American Studies Program Page

jeff johnson and students in ruane

Why Study American Studies at Providence College? 
Our American Studies Program allows you to learn about and examine the American experience through many lenses — art, literature, history, culture, politics, and social movements. It is a highly flexible program, making it an ideal program for students interested in multiple aspects of the humanities such as English, history, black studies, political science, sociology, public and community service, business, and many other disciplines. 

Students majoring in American Studies have the ability to customize a program of study that’s unique to their own interests and goals. Students may choose to follow the academic path that we set for them or create their own by focusing on a single discipline or forming a new concentration.

Department Website

What you'll study

With dozens of courses taught by faculty from a range of disciplines, calling the American Studies major at PC interdisciplinary would be an understatement. This interdisciplinary character is exhibited in two ways:  

  • Take 12 hours of mandated American Studies electives from among a wide variety of courses offered in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts.
  • Also take 12 hours of special American Studies seminars in your junior and senior years. These seminars are organized around specific topics in the American experience and give the concentration its special strength and character.

Selected Courses

  • American Art  
  • History of Photography  
  • Music in the United States  
  • Development of North American Architecture  
  • Globalization and Social Justice  
  • Early American Literature  
  • Social Change  
  • African-American Women  
  • The Power of Whiteness  
  • American Foreign Policy  
  • American Philosophy
  • The Consumer Society  
  • Modern American Fiction 


Our core American Studies faculty possess a range of specialties that reflect the variety of studies present in the program itself — from AfricanAmerican culture and Atlantic history to Cold War history and Congress. They have completed fellowships at such places as the American Philosophical Society, The John Carter Brown Library, Harvard University, UCLA, and the Massachusetts Historical Society, and they have presented their work at a wide range of academic and professional conferences around the world.

They’ve received grants from such esteemed organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Fulbright Graduate Grant, and they have received awards such as the J. William Fulbright Scholar Award and the Higher Education Leader of the Year award from the National Society for Experiential Education.  


Students are encouraged to broaden their understanding of American history and culture by working as interns at institutions such as the Rhode Island or Newport Historical Society, Peabody Essex Museum, Providence City Hall, Slater Mill Historic Site, or the Providence Maritime Foundation, among others.

Students may also explore advanced topics in the field outside of the regular program offerings through an independent study.  



of 2017-2021 interdisciplinary program graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school

*Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond with the sum of the separate figures.

  • 59% are employed only
  • 14% are attending school only
  • 14% are employed and attending school

Selected Places of Employment/Service

  • BlueGrace Logistics
  • Broadridge Financial Solutions  
  • Council on International Educational Exchange  
  • Claims Bureau USA, Inc.
  • ClearCompany
  • DialogueDirect  
  • Elementary/secondary schools throughout the United States  
  • Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation  
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
  • Progressive Insurance
  • Teach for America  
  • The Media Kitchen
  • U.S. Army  

Selected Graduate Schools

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University  
  • Duke University
  • Marquette University Law School  
  • Providence College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology  
  • Suffolk University
  • Trinity College Dublin  
  • Villanova University