Reed College Catalog


American studies is a major for the student who wants additional coursework in American society and culture. American studies majors usually select a disciplinary concentration in history, literature, religion, or political science, but other concentrations are available.

Majors take a junior qualifying exam designed by the American Studies Committee. In most years, an informal colloquium, which students are expected to attend, meets several times a semester.

Admission to the major is by application to the committee. The first part of the application should outline the student’s coursework to date and describe the anticipated field of concentration. The second part of the application should describe and make a case for the proposed interdisciplinary study.

Requirements for the Major
1. The student will fulfill the same departmental and divisional requirements as a regular divisional major with the same field of concentration.
2. In addition, the student will take a minimum of two units in American history and two units in American subject matter outside the field of concentration. These latter two units must be in the same field and in a department other than history.

Recommendation for the Major
In certain years a seminar may be offered as an introduction to the major. It is recommended that students considering the major take this course during their junior year. This course is meant as an introduction to the major and does not meet the requirement to take the junior seminar in the student’s field of concentration.