Siena's American Studies program allows the inquisitive student to explore the United States through a multitude of disciplines such as history, literature, art, sociology, political science, religion, gender and multicultural studies. American Studies majors are diverse thinkers who often combine this flexible major with study abroad, Pre-Law, certificate programs, minors or another major.

Program Highlights

  • Small class sizes guarantee that students will work closely with faculty, and enjoy maximum flexibility and opportunity.
  • A special connection with the American Studies program at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands (Albany’s sister city), brings Dutch students to Siena and sends Siena students to the Netherlands.
  • The McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution gives Siena American Studies majors access to internships and opportunities unique to our campus and our region.
  • A focus on service learning and community engagement gives students valuable skills and contacts through their regular academic program and beyond.
  • Opportunities to work alongside active historians as assistants, gaining experience with artifacts, documents, and pedagogical techniques.
  • Internship placements throughout the historically rich Capital Region give students hands-on experience at sites of local, regional and national importance.
  • Senior capstone experience.

Requirements for the Major (39 credits)

  • HIST203 - American History I 3 credits
  • HIST204 - American History II 3 credits
  • AMST250 - The American Dream 3 credits
  • AMST451 - American Studies Capstone 3 credits

6 credits in American Literature (LTAM)

The remaining 21 credits in American Studies must be chosen from Areas A, B, and C, with no less than 6 and no more than 12 credit hours in each area.

The Areas are:

Area A - Courses with AMSA attribute

  • AMST485 - Topics: Revolutionary Era 3 credits
  • HIST310 - Colonial-Revolution US 1600-1789 3 credits
  • HIST311 - North American colonies 1492-1763 3 credits
  • HIST312 - American Rev Atlantic World 3 credits
  • HIST313 - Antebellum America 1815-1854 3 credits
  • HIST315 - Civil War and Reconstruction 3 credits
  • HIST320 - Industrial America 1877-1920 3 credits
  • HIST323 - Contemporary America 3 credits
  • HIST325 - US Women's History 3 credits
  • HIST327 - New York State History 3 credits
  • HIST401 - Colloquium in History: Topics 3 credits
  • HIST451 - US Social and Cultural History to 1877 3 credits
  • HIST453 - US Social and Cultural History post-1877 3 credits
  • HIST455 - Westward Movement-1750-1890 3 credits
  • HIST457 - American Immigration in Historical Perspective 3 credits
  • HIST461 - African-American History 3 credits
  • HIST463 - US Military History 3 credits
  • HIST465 - Spanish Borderlands 3 credits
  • HIST390 - Honors Seminar 3 credits
  • HIST490 - Honors Seminar 3 credits

Area B - Courses with AMSB attribute

  • ECON230 - U.S. Economic History 3 credits
  • POSC100 - Contemporary U.S. Politics 3 credits
  • POSC205 - State and Local Government 3 credits
  • POSC305 - Metropolitan Government 3 credits
  • POSC313 - American Political Parties 3 credits
  • POSC315 - U.S. Congress 3 credits
  • POSC320 - American Presidency 3 credits
  • POSC329 - Spec Studies in American Politics 1 TO 3 credits
  • POSC351 - U.S. Foreign Policy 3 credits
  • POSC370 - Civil Liberties I 3 credits
  • POSC372 - Civil Liberties II 3 credits
  • SOCI120 - Global Social Problems 3 credits
  • SOCI130 - The Family 3 credits
  • SOCI150 - American Indians 3 credits
  • SOCI210 - Race and Ethnic Relations 3 credits

Area C - Courses with AMSC attribute

  • ATDV105 - Topics in Film 3 credits
  • CREA255 - American Art 3 credits
  • CREA256 - American Music 3 credits
  • CREA240 - American Theatre 3 credits
  • EDUC220 - Democracy-Pluralism American Ed 3 credits
  • ENGL213 - Survey of American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL345 - Early American Lit 1500 1820 3 credits
  • ENGL350 - American Renaissance 1820 1865 3 credits
  • ENGL355 - Realistic Movement in American Lit 3 credits
  • ENGL360 - American Lit of the Jazz Age 3 credits
  • ENGL368 - Lit of the War in Vietnam 3 credits
  • ENGL370 - African American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL372 - Native American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL374 - Asian - American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL376 - Latinola Literature 3 credits
  • PHIL420 - Classic American Philosophy 3 credits
  • RELG305 - Religion in America 3 credits
  • RELG310 - American Evangelical Tradition 3 credits
  • RELG315 - American Catholicism

Auxiliary Courses (6 credits)

Two semesters in the same foreign language
These languages include: French, Spanish, German, Latin, Russian, Greek, Italian, or Arabic.
American Sign Language does not fulfill this requirement.

Skills Developed

According to the American Studies Association, “the greatest value of the American Studies major is diverse thinking. In no other curriculum is the student offered such a wide exposure to thinking and scholarship in so many areas.” American Studies majors know how to weigh a variety of evidence, whether visual, literary, historical, or statistical, and how to evaluate it for validity and perspective. Exposed to a wide range of methods, they are uniquely equipped to consider which tools are best for gathering, interpreting, and sharing information, fitting them for a wide variety of careers.

Employers of our Graduates

  • ABC News
  • CenturyLink (Carlisle, PA)
  • Children’s Village (Nanuet, NY)
  • Fort Ticonderoga
  • GE Oil & Gas
  • History Press
  • Maple Leaf Realty
  • Parsons Family and Child Center
  • Siena College
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Marine Corps

Internship Sites

  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (through the McCormick Center’s William & Mary semester).
  • ABC (Good Morning America)
  • Grant Cottage State Historic Site
  • New York State Military Museum and Veteran’s Research Center
  • NBC
Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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