What Can I Do with an American Culture Degree?

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American Culture and Your Future

Position yourself for success in a global career. Develop a comprehensive perspective with flexible critical thinking, writing and speaking skills.

The curriculum in American Culture is a classic liberal arts education aimed to create citizens with a serious breadth of knowledge. Graduating students are conversant in social sciences. You would know a foreign language or two (possibly even ancient and impractical ones). You would be well versed in canonical literature. You would know how to think, how to write, and how to speak in public, academic, and business settings. Having mastered these skills, you would then find your way in the world. A degree in American Culture confers marketable and valuable skills that give our students an edge in pursuing a wide range of career paths.

Link to U-M Career Center

Ideally a traditional liberal arts program imparts skills to create "well-rounded" citizens. But the value of a college or university education is also about professionalization. Today, the American Culture curriculum develops the traditional liberal arts education skills of elasticity of mind and critical thinking abilities in combination with multi-world savvy and sophistication, and cultural interpretation and production dexterity necessary for success in a rapidly changing global economy. The customary liberal arts education has been updated with interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary boundary crossings that connect history and literature, politics and sociology, high culture and low.

The Department of American Culture aims to offer exactly this kind of quick thinking, fast moving, culturally sophisticated, multi-world education. We emphasize a new brand of ethnic studies, one rooted in global migration and movement, transnational identities, and unexpected juxtapositions. We put those insights into play with the world of cultural production and consumption: new media, music, technology, film. And we underpin the whole thing with an appreciation for the history, literature, and art that has been and continues to be produced from American centers and margins.

Armed with these skills, our graduates imagine for themselves a future:

In the culture industries:

  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Television and film
  • Criticism
  • Media
  • Sports

In public and civic service:

  • Law and politics
  • Social activism
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Primary, secondary, and post-secondary education
  • Public arts organizations
  • Public history and museum work

In the work of the world:

  • Labor organizing
  • Non-governmental Organizations
  • Teach for America
  • The Peace Corps
  • Non-Profit Organizations