American Studies investigates U.S. society and culture from the widest possible variety of perspectives and intellectual approaches. Our students are introduced to the diversity of American experiences, past and present, and they explore the local, national, and global roots of contemporary America.


First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this:

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16

 


Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Course Title

Course Number

Credits

Department

Intro to American Studies

01:050:101

3

American Studies (050)

Intro to Race & Ethnicity in America

01:050:102

3

American Studies (050)

Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number

Credits

Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Intro to Sociology 01:920:101 3 Sociology (920)
General Psychology 01:830:101 3 Psychology (830)
Cultural and Social Life 01:070:101 3 Anthropology (070)
Black Experience in America 01:014:203 3 Africana Studies (014)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multiple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Anthropology (070)

African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (013)

History - Africa, Asia, Latin America (508)

Sociology (920)

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.

 

Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

Study Abroad, American Studies Prizes, Independent Study, Media Culture Program

Yes,  the Senior Honors Thesis project will span two semesters on a topic to be determined by you and your faculty advisor and a second reader. Honors in American Studies will enhance your application to graduate and professional schools. Those who undertake and complete independent honors work will be able to include a sample of your best written work in your applications.