American Studies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the American Studies major, students will have developed the skills and knowledge required for successful completion of the major in the home department as well as methodological expertise in the field of American Studies. Learning outcomes for the home department can be found by visiting the relevant major’s homepage.

Additional American Studies learning outcomes:

  • Engage with and critically reflect on the methods and scope of American Studies
  • Critically reflect on what interdisciplinarity means in American Studies
  • Formulate and execute a genuinely interdisciplinary study of some American phenomenon, with American broadly understood to include transnational, hemispheric, oceanic, and global approaches to the study of American society and culture, as well as the more traditional approach centered on the U.S. nation-state
  • Engage with scholarly literature relevant to the topic
  • Develop a methodology or framework appropriate to the topic of study and to American Studies

The primary assessment tool for learning in the major at Reed and the level of student achievement in the major area is the senior thesis; the junior qualifying examination, which assesses a student's readiness for thesis, provides a second assessment tool. American Studies majors take a single junior qualifying examination designed to test their readiness in both their home field and American Studies. For more information on the American studies requirements, see Majoring in American Studies, and for examples of past theses, see Thesis.