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Experimental Education

The Department of American Studies offers a seminar on Service Learning in America (AMST 398) and offers credits for approved internship projects (AMST 493). Students have learned about American studies by serving the community in museums, schools, social agencies, and other cultural institutions.

Undergraduate Awards

The department awards Julia Preston Brumley Travel Scholarships to help fund international travel and study abroad. The Peter C. Baxter Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the outstanding senior majoring in American studies.

Undergraduate Research

Independent Study: The Department offers credit for AMST 396 Independent Study and FOLK 495 Independent Field Research. After having an initial consultation with their proposed faculty advisor, students will need to initiate the sign-up process via the Online Learning Contract Manager. Detailed instructions for completing this form can be found here.

Honors thesis: Additionally, majors can develop a two-semester honors thesis project (AMST 691H and 692H or FOLK 691H and 692H) in consultation with an advisor. Students have received summer undergraduate research fellowships, earned research support and travel awards, and presented their work at the Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research each spring.

Graduate School and Career Opportunities

American studies is an excellent liberal arts major for students interested in graduate and professional school study. The major prepares students for graduate work in fields such as American history and literature. After receiving their baccalaureate degree, American studies majors consistently have been accepted in law and business schools, which are interested in students with a broad, interdisciplinary undergraduate background. American studies provides a solid basis for a variety of career choices, including public service, business, teaching, museum curation, and journalism. The folklore concentration and minor are a productive component of study for those preparing for graduate school in anthropology, communication studies, journalism, music, and folklore itself–including the master of arts in folklore at UNC–Chapel Hill–as well as for those planning careers in museum curation, public arts presentation, and music production.