American Studies BA

Drawing on the resources of many academic departments, American studies investigates the complex culture of the United States from several different perspectives — its history, political institutions, literature and art — uncovering important connections that emerge when cultural topics are discussed across disciplinary categories.


The program combines interdisciplinary courses from the departments of anthropology, art, economics, English and creative writing, history, music, philosophy, political science and sociology. With guidance from your faculty advisor, the program can be tailored to your interests, and culminates with a senior seminar concentrating on some aspect or period of American life.

Because of the interdisciplinary approach, students can intern in a variety of fields ranging from museums to publishers to government agencies. The city of Oswego’s rich history as a center for trade, commerce and military defense makes SUNY Oswego the perfect place to study this topic. Oswego historic attractions include Fort Ontario, a key installation in early wars; the Safe Haven Museum, commemorating a one-of-its-kind shelter for Jewish and other refugees fleeing Europe during World War II; and connections with the Underground Railroad.


Bachelor of Arts


  • Use the interdisciplinary approaches that characterize contemporary American Studies to produce thoughtfully informed writing and/or other forms of expressive media
  • Critique intersectional systems of socialization that enable or frustrate access to “American” identity at different historical moments (e.g., practices of racialization, class formation, body normalization, gender performativity, constructions of citizenship)
  • Compare several “American” cultures and their attendant representations in distinct forms of art, writing and/or material culture
  • Analyze forms of civic engagement and describe how these forms shape or disrupt community

Career Opportunities

  • Legislative analyst
  • Policy adviser
  • Correspondent
  • Journalist
  • Historian
  • Public relations specialist

Program Resources

The Oswego Guarantee

  • No increase in room & board 
  • Timely course offerings
  • High touch connections to alumni 
  • Small student to faculty ratio
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