May be elected as an area concentration program
rerequisites to Concentration. Concentrators
must take one of the following prerequisites, generally
by the first term of their junior year: AMCULT 100 (What Is An
American?), AMCULT 201 (American Values), HISTORY 160 (U.S. History
Before 1865), or HISTORY 161 (U.S. History After 1865).
Concentration Program. Concentrators must
take 36 credits in American Culture or related units (not including
the prerequisite), at the 200-level and above; 24 credits must
be at the 300-level or above. There are also several distribution
requirements, designed to expose students to a diversity of topics
and disciplines. Concentrators may not elect more than 9 credits
from any single unit outside of American Culture. They
must also elect at least one course on ethnic or racial minorities
and at least one course on women or gender issues in America.
(These courses may also satisfy other requirements listed below.)
In describing the path through which students will
generally move through the concentration in American Culture,
it is helpful to divide the curriculum into three parts: gateway
courses, concentration tracks, and upper-level core courses.
Gateway courses: The Program has a broad
array of 200-level courses through which students may get an
initial exposure to American studies. These "gateway courses"
include introductions to ethnic studies, topical seminars, "periods"
courses on particular eras, and AMCULT 201 (American Values).
Gateway courses are not primarily surveys, but discussion-based
"modes of thought" courses that model various themes
and approaches to interdisciplinary American studies. Concentrators
are required to elect any two courses between AMCULT 201
and AMCULT 217. (If AMCULT 201 is taken as the prerequisite,
it may not also count for the "gateway" requirement.)
Tracks: Except for students taking the Self-Designed
Option (see below), all American Culture concentrators will select
one of three "tracks" as their area of particular interest.
These have been designed to offer students intellectual focus
without sacrificing breadth of choice. The tracks are: (1) Arts,
Literature, and Culture; (2) Ethnic Studies; and (3) Society
and Politics. Students are required to take at least 18 credits
in their track (as approved by the undergraduate concentration
advisor); these will normally be at the 300-level or above, but
the concentration advisor may approve 200-level courses as track
electives too. Track electives may satisfy other concentration
requirements as well. Students must take at least three and no
more than six credits in "cognate" courses that study
the themes of the track in a setting outside the United States.
Each track has certain courses and requirements
of its own.
- Students electing Arts, Literature, and Culture must
take AMCULT 335 (Arts and Culture in American Life) and at least
three credits in either creative expression or
the analysis of non-print media. Other track electives should
study such materials as the visual arts, dance, literature, film, media, music, and popular culture.
- Students electing Ethnic Studies must take AMCULT
399 (Race, Racism, and Ethnicity), at least one 200-level introductory
course in ethnic studies, at least one ethnic history course, and at least one course focused on women of color.
- Students electing Society and Politics must take AMCULT
345 (American Politics and Society) and at least one course focused
on U.S. society before 1945. Other track electives will generally
concern such subjects as communications, historical study, ethnography, politics, sociology, and economics.
Upper-Level Core Courses: In addition to
the particular focus provided by the tracks, concentrators will
come together in their final two years in a sequence of required
seminars. These are designed to enable students to explore American
Studies at a high level of sophistication, working closely and
collectively with core Program faculty. Concentrators will study
the methods and development of American Studies in AMCULT 350
(Approaches to American Studies), typically in their junior year.
In the following year, they will elect a section of AMCULT 496,
AMCULT 498 (Senior Seminar in American Culture), or AMCULT 499,
intensively studying a topic related to their interests or their
Self-Designed Option: Concentrators may
petition the Undergraduate Education Committee of the Program
to design their own curriculum in place of selecting a track.
The proposed plan of study must be rigorous, well-focused, and
grounded in an informed set of intellectual interests. Students
wishing to pursue the Self-Designed Option should consult with
the undergraduate concentration advisor early in their junior
year for help in developing their plan of study and petition.
Honors Concentration. Qualified students
may enter an Honors concentration. Students who apply for the
Honors program should submit a 150-word statement of intent early
in the fall term to the Director, plus a tentative list of proposed
courses. Honors students may petition the Program Undergraduate
Education Committee to elect the self-designed track. A junior
writing workshop is offered for juniors each winter term (AMCULT
398). Students in this seminar are required to prepare a thesis
prospectus and bibliography and to select two thesis advisors.
Honors students receive six credits during the senior year for
researching and writing the Honors thesis (AMCULT 493). Interested
students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least
3.5 should contact the Honors concentration advisor early in
the fall term of their junior year at the latest.
Advising. Students are encouraged to consult
with the undergraduate advisor. For appointments regarding the
concentration program, please call (734) 763-0031.
Undergraduate Committee. Students who wish
to consult or petition the program regarding any requirement
should submit a written request addressed to the Program Undergraduate
of Michigan | College of LS&A
| Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index
This page maintained by LS&A
Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall
Copyright © 2002 The Regents
of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817
of the University of Michigan
may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from
this document or used for any non-University purpose.