What is American and Ethnic Studies?
How have culture, power, and dissent shaped the diverse populations of the United States in relation to the larger world?
American and Ethnic Studies investigates the social forces, political institutions, and cultural productions that have created the United States and shaped what it means to be an "American." This major will help you develop a critical understanding of the categories that have shaped the emergence and reproduction of systems of power defined in relation to national citizenship. We pay particular attention to diverse and intersecting categories of race, place, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and ability. Our courses examine the relationships between power, inequality, resistance, social and environmental justice, and difference. Using various scholarly methods, American and Ethnic Studies makes connections between past and present conditions. We educate students in historical and social inquiry, textual analysis and interpretation, and critical theory and practice.
The American and Ethnic Studies degree prepares students for careers in governmental, community-based, nonprofit or social justice organizations, or for graduate programs in legal, cultural, and historical fields.
For more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school please click here.
AES 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 politics.
BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
BISAMS 305 Power, Dissent, and American Culture (5 credits)
BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research OR BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research (5 credits)
AES Courses (30 credits) to include a minimum of 5 credits from each of the following areas:
Historical and Social Inquiry
Textual Analysis and Interpretation
Critical Theory and Practice
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.
With the exception of the General Electives, courses taken to satisfy AES major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.
Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2014?
Students admitted to the AES major prior to Autumn 2014 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. Students with questions about their major requirements should contact an IAS advisor.
American and Ethnic Studies Learning Objectives
The American and Ethnic Studies Curriculum advances the four core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in American and Ethnic Studies:
1) Think critically about the relationship between power, inequality, resistance, difference, and social and environmental justice in the United States and in relation to the larger world.
2) Explore how structures of power in the Americas have constituted and been constituted by diverse and intersecting categories such as race, place, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and ability.
3) Research American cultures in both the past and the present using a variety of sources, including literary texts, historical archives, film, photographs, comics, newspapers, oral histories, sound recordings, and government documents.
4) Develop creative, collaborative, and intersectional approaches for the study of the Americas.
5) Apply critical and interdisciplinary knowledge within a range of academic, professional, and community-based settings.