Students whose grade point average in the History or American Studies majors (including support work) before the beginning of their final year at UTSA is 3.5 or above, and whose overall grade point average is 3.0, may earn Department Honors. To do so, students must enroll in the honors thesis course (HIS 4993 or AMS 4993) their final two semesters and must complete a substantial original research project approved by the faculty supervisor and another faculty member. Students must maintain a 3.5 grade point average in both the major and support work to be eligible for the award.
The Department of History offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Studies and History. Students majoring in History may also select a concentration in Social Studies. The department also offers minors in American Studies and History. More information can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.
There is no minor program in Latin American Studies. LAS majors are encouraged to enhance their undergraduate degree by completing minors in other disciplines. No more than one upper division course may be used to satisfy requirements in both a major and minor.
American Studies combines the study of history, literature, the arts, and social sciences to understand the diverse perspectives on cultural traditions and material practices shaping regional, ethnic, class, gender, and political diversity in the United States. American Studies students will conduct interdisciplinary study of topics such as race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, transnationalism and border studies, urban experience, social justice, cultural studies, and religion. American Studies provides excellent preparation for careers in many fields, including law, journalism, government, foreign service, social work, international business, education, nonprofit, and public administration.
The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120. Thirty-nine of the total semester credit hours required for the degree must be at the upper-division level.
Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed in the table below satisfy both degree requirements and Core Curriculum requirements; however, if these courses are taken to satisfy both requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree.
A completed LAS application includes: an Application Form and Program Worksheet, current Bearfacts unofficial transcript with the course that will be counted for the major highlighted, official transcripts from all other colleges attended with coursework the student intends to count toward the major, “Petition to Declare a Major" form signed by the student, Personal Statement—a typed, double-spaced, one-page essay describing the student’s interest in LAS. In the statement, students should describe their interest in the major, their career aspirations, any plans for a higher degree, future goals, and anything else relevant to studying Latin American Studies.
The major in Latin American Studies (LAS) is designed to provide a balanced curriculum in the history, culture, and society of Latin America for students wishing to receive a broader perspective than is usually available through a department major. From the rich variety of offerings within and across departments, there is a wide range of possibilities to suit the interests of students. The program may be of particular interest to students who:
Seminar 3 hours; 3 credits. This course examines Latin American politics from comparative and historical perspectives. Particular focus is placed on various manifestations of political authority in the region and the major societal challenges to state power. The course reviews and critiques alternative theoretical approaches to the study of state-societal relations in Latin America.
39 semester credit hours in courses approved by the American Studies advisor, of which 21 must be at the upper-division level:
24 semester credit hours of required courses:
AMS 2043 Approaches to American Culture
AMS 3123 Applications of American Studies
AMS 3243 Studies in Transnationalism
AMS 3343 Studies in Race and Ethnicity
AMS 3443 Studies in Gender and Sexuality
15 semester credit hours of support work focused on the Americas from at least two disciplines. American content may be interpreted as North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The American Studies faculty advisor must approve all support work.
39 semester credit hours of electives
Students majoring in American Studies are encouraged to make advising appointments with faculty in AMS early in their course of study.
Note: The Latin American Studies major is being retired and replaced by Global Studies. The deadline to declare Latin American Studies is Friday, December 8, 2017. Please visit the or the page on the Berkeley Academic Guide for more information.
Students have the option of taking AMS 4933 Internship in American Studies to substitute for one of the above courses.
To declare a Minor in American Studies, or seek approval of substitutions for course requirements, students should consult the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Advising Center or an AMS Faculty Advisor.