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American Studies (AS) offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying American culture and history, challenging students to think about American life as a whole, rather than from the perspective of a single academic discipline. The major in American Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University offers a broad-ranging curriculum examining history and culture, society, national identity, communities, and ideologies that have shaped our great nation.

Students will take classes in a number of areas to build a complex understanding of America through in-depth examinations of the influences of the past and the contexts of the present. Required courses include American history, literature, religion, economics, and government; additional courses are selected from a variety of topics, such as sociology, political science, Latin American studies, African American studies, human and community services, and mass communication.


American Studies majors are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities outside the classroom including internships, mentor opportunities, study abroad, conferences, and other activities both on and off campus. AS majors will likely be particularly interested in LR’s study abroad programs in Latin American and its Washington Semester program (designed for students with interests in practically any academic area).


Like other liberal arts degrees, American Studies equips students with the critical thinking, writing and other skills necessary for many career paths as well as a well-rounded life. Graduates of American Studies programs go on to careers in a variety of fields, including law, social work, public history, government, journalism, business, advocacy, museum work, professional writing, and teaching.


The American Studies major earns a BA degree. Students can also choose to minor in American Studies.

American Studies Major Requirements

Program Contact

Dr. Julie Voss

Associate Professor of English, Director of General Education
Hickory Campus