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All Undergraduate Programs

American Studies

Race, politics, capitalism, globalization, popular culture. American studies places you at the heart of the 21st century’s most compelling narratives—and at Rollins, you’re given the flexibility to maximize that relevance.

With a focus on four core departments and many ways to tailor your learning plan, you’ll develop a holistic, wide-ranging way of thinking and expression that is increasingly valued by graduate schools and employers alike.

You’ll engage in hands-on learning under the watchful eye of expert faculty, building critical-thinking, creative problem-solving, and effective communication skills that will prepare you for a range of graduate programs and for a career in everything from business and law to health care and publishing.

Why Study American Studies at Rollins

Connect with Campus Leaders

As an American studies major at Rollins, you’ll be uniquely positioned to network with multiple department leaders and seize professional opportunities across campus.

Develop a Comprehensive Perspective

Your coursework focuses on four core departments—English, history, political science, and sociology—allowing you to investigate American culture and society from multiple angles.

Discover Your Passions

With a long list of electives and a requirement for coursework outside the core departments, the American studies program is designed to let you explore many different academic disciplines.

Interested in Studying American Studies at Rollins?

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Kalli Joslin
“Majoring in American studies at Rollins gave me the flexibility to find and develop my interests and then really hone in on what I was passionate about. The major’s interdisciplinary approach helped me build a well-rounded perspective and develop the research, critical-thinking, and communication skills I need to thrive in law school.”

Kalli Joslin ’19

JD Candidate, Georgetown University Law Center

Rollins American Studies Careers

From law and health care to publishing and education, Rollins American studies grads are making tomorrow happen in an array of fields.

Rebecca Firpi headshot

Rebecca Firpi ’15

MD Candidate, Florida International University

Elisabeth Hagood headshot

Elisabeth Hagood ’86

Attorney, Elisabeth Hagood, Attorney at Law

Hannah Horwath headshot

Hannah Horwath ’16

MD Candidate, University of North Florida

Grace Simpson headshot

Grace Simpson ’16

Account Executive, Meredith Corporation

Taylor Thomas headshot

Taylor Thomas ’16

JD Candidate, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Real World Experience

From internships and research to community engagement courses, Rollins American studies students hone their skills in the real world.

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National LGBT Chamber logo
United Nations logo
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Popular Courses

Rollins’ American studies courses focus on five key themes: the drivers of change; notions of equality; major divisions; core and conflicting principles in American society; and American exceptionalism and global perspectives.

AMST 200
Introduction to American Studies

In this class, you’ll focus on a specific theme, such as American crime, then study that theme from all angles, using historical texts, novels, television shows, podcasts, and more.

Students sitting in an American Studies seminar.
MUS 165
History of Rock and Roll

Explore the sociological, cultural, political, and musical impact of rock and roll, sampling diverse styles of popular music along the way.

SOC 331
The Civil Rights Movement

Investigate the African-American freedom struggle from the era of slavery to the present, with a special emphasis on the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

ENG 307
Immigrants in American Film and Literature

Explore the American immigrant experience through literature and film, using material as diverse as the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, the critically acclaimed film The Godfather, and the musical Hamilton.

Students watching a movie in class.
HIS 311
History of American Sexuality

Examine societal attitudes toward premarital and teen sex, gendered sexual pleasure, prostitution, abortion, contraception, eugenics, pregnancy, and other sexual issues.

Students gather around and discuss large black-and-white photos.
POL 343
The American Presidency

Trace the development of the presidency, then study the relationship between the president and Congress, bureaucracy, and interest groups.

A Day in the Life of a Rollins American Studies Major

“The American studies major was perfect for me because it allowed me to study a variety of subjects and not just focus on one. I learned about everything from African-American history to issues of globalization to the overlap in literature and film. Because of my major and the larger Rollins community—which offers so much support—I really learned how to self-advocate and integrate lessons from many disciplines.”

Nicky Lindenberg '20

Beyond the Classroom

Study Abroad Because this major crosses several core disciplines, there are a diverse range of opportunities to study around the world for credit toward the major. As an American studies student, you’ll be encouraged to take advantage of these study abroad programs in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and more.

One-on-One Collaboration As a senior in the American studies major, you’ll spend your final semester working one-on-one with a professor to complete an interdisciplinary capstone project.

Faculty-Led Field Studies Field study experiences connect with work you’ll do in the classroom. So as you learn about American environmental history, you can also visit state and national parks. Or, as you study the literature of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner, you can visit their homes and tour the lands that inspired their work on a Southern lit road trip.

American Studies students stand outside under gazebo.

Expert Faculty

Our robust American studies faculty is equipped with a high number of terminal degrees in their fields and a broad range of expertise in interdisciplinary study.

American Studies Program
Carnegie Hall – Room 101
1000 Holt Ave. – 2666
Winter Park, FL 32789
T. 407.691.1273

Visit the American Studies Program Website

Contact American Studies Professors

Amy Armenia, PhD

Amy Armenia, PhD

Professor of Sociology

Research interests: Intersection of family and work, and the challenges and contradictions faced by those who do paid care work

Don Davison, PhD

Don Davison, PhD

Professor of Political Science

Research interests: Political behavior, American institutions, public policy, and formal theory and methodology

Paul Reich, PhD

Paul Reich, PhD

Associate Professor of English

Research interests: Late 19th- and 20th-century American literature, African-American literature, the American West, interdisciplinary studies, and popular culture

Claire Strom, PhD

Claire Strom, PhD

Professor of History

Research interests: U.S. history, especially American sexuality and the Vietnam War