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You will see that American Studies has worked with many departments from across the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professional schools to identify appropriate courses that will allow you to focus on justice and fairness in various disciplines for each pathway. These courses focus on complex issues of citizenship, opportunity and access, and liberty as they intersect with issues of race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality, economic class and institutions. Overall, our framework integrates topics in social welfare and public policy with liberal arts perspectives on justice and fairness to give students a solid foundation for addressing these issues in their communities, schools, and workplaces, as well as more broadly in local and national government, transnational arenas, the legal system, social services, the media, and a range of other public venues. Broadly, the core and pathways make explicit the links between courses within and across each category that will help you to see how this program can support your chosen major, career goals, and personal interests. 


You will need to take 9 hours of course work, three of which may be drawn from your major or another minor.  In other words, at least one course that you have already taken or are planning to take may be listed as part of the Social Justice Minor.  If it is listed, then you may apply this course to your major and the Social Justice minor.

Three Courses Required for your Social Justice Minor

AMS 100: Introduction to American Studies;

AMS 110: American Identities (an interdisciplinary introduction to individual and group identities over time. Students explore theories and methods relating to identity from various perspectives, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, age, religion, and region.);

and AMS 496: Perspectives and Experiences in Social Justice.

The first two courses provide the intellectual and analytical foundation essential to understanding how the courses in the pathways intersect and correspond.

AMS 496 will equip students to use this knowledge as they encounter issues of justice and equity in their own lives.

Choose Your Electives from one or more Pathways of courses.

In this minor, we have developed six Pathways of learning that enable you to choose your coursework.  Think about what interests you most about justice, injustice, equality, inequality, and overall fairness. Now review our list of Pathways and decide what you would like to learn more about.  You may select from one or more Pathway to fulfill the requirements of your minor.  Overall, pathways provide formal, coherent, and interdisciplinary sets of courses that help you recognize thematic connections between courses that might otherwise seem distinct and separate.


  1. US Race and Ethnicity
  2. Space, Place, and Environment
  3. U.S. Migration, Immigration, Diaspora and Human Trafficking
  4. Work, Labor, Education, and Health
  5. Institutions, Social Control, and Policy
  6. Women, Gender, and Sexuality 


  1. 9 Hours Core
    a. AMS 110: American Studies Identities (3) SC S (offered Spring/Fall) (available on-line as of Summer 15) or AMS 112/SOC 112: American Identities, Honors (3) SC S
    b. AMS 100: Introduction to American Studies (3) HT H (Offered Spring/Fall/Summer) (available on-line as of Summer 15) or AMS 101: Introduction to American Studies, Honors (3) HT H
    c. AMS 496 (in approval process) (3 hours): New course titled, “Perspectives and Experiences in Social Justice” (This proposed course requires students to engage in social justice work on or off campus and to engage in regular classroom activities and readings). Prerequisite AMS 100 (AMS 101) and AMS 110 (AMS 112/SOC 112 ).
  2. 9 Hours of Electives Selected from 6 Social Justice Pathways
    Select 9 hours from 1 or more of the 6 Pathways courses approved List of Courses (Courses not listed may be considered for approval upon consultation with your AMS advisor/Director of Undergraduate Studies). 3 hours (1 course) may be shared with the major. 3 hours (1 course) may be shared with another minor. (see list of Pathways courses) 

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