Bachelor of Arts

American Studies (AMS)

   What is American Studies?

How do culture and power shape the past, present, and future of the United States and the Americas?

American Studies investigates the movements, migrations, and individuals that have created the diverse cultures of the United States and the Americas. This major helps students develop a critical understanding of the historical conflicts that have shaped what it means to be "American" today -- and what it will mean in the future.

Graduating AMS students are equipped to enter various professional fields and graduate programs, to work within community-based organizations, and/or to pursue further interdisciplinary graduate education in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school please click here.

AMS Major Requirements


While there are no official prerequisites beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, students choosing this major will find it helpful to have completed college coursework in American history, culture, and/or social structures.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
  • AMS Core (5 credits)
  • BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research OR BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research (5 credits)
  • AMS Courses (30 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework  (20 credits)
  • General Electives (22 credits)

TOTAL = 90 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.

Note: Classes in this major are offered primarily during day-time hours.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 90 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. At least 10 credits in each Area must be completed in courses offered by UW Bothell. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an AMS major requirement.

Lower Division Credit Policy

Up to 35 credits of lower division (100-200 level) coursework taken at UW Bothell may be applied toward designated requirements within the 90 program credits. Please contact an IAS advisor for details.

Matriculated status

With the exception of the General Electives, courses taken to satisfy AMS major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2012?

Students admitted to the AMS major prior to Autumn 2012 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. Students with questions about their major requirements should contact an IAS advisor

American Studies Learning Objectives

The American Studies Curriculum advances the four core IAS learning objectives . Students taking courses and/or majoring in American Studies:

1)  Explore how histories of power, privilege, and migration shape the cultures of the United States and the Americas.

2)  Conduct research using a variety of cultural materials, including film, fiction, photographs, comics, newspapers, oral histories, sound recordings, artifacts, historical manuscripts, and government documents.

3)  Produce and communicate new knowledge about the United States and the Americas.

4) Work with others to make and share that knowledge with multiple constituencies and collaborators.

Core and Affiliate Faculty and Staff


(Faculty Coordinator)



















Kochhar-Lindgren, K.  
Please contact the AMS Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the American Studies major. To declare the AMS major, please contact the CUSP office.  

AMS Resources


I came to UW Bothell specifically to pursue American Studies because the program combined my academic interests in history, film, literature, and culture. The interdisciplinary coursework helps to form the natural learning community I found at UW Bothell. These courses have challenged me to explore my own identity. Bethany Rickard Class of 2008