Mark Rice, Chair
St. John Fisher University American Studies graduates contribute to our democracy with a deeper understanding of American life, the motivation to improve our world, and cutting-edge skills employers want, including the ability to ask important questions, solve complex and relevant problems, collaborate across difference, lead difficult conversations, write for various audiences, and successfully present their results in public forums.
American Studies graduates often seek careers in education, teaching elementary school or high school social studies. Another popular path is law school or graduate school in American studies and related fields (such as business, communications, English, history, library science, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology). American studies graduates pursue careers in business, policy advocacy and community work, cultural organizations and non-profits, higher education and student affairs, and libraries and museums.
Some majors pursue the 4+1 Teacher Certification Program or the 3+3 Pre-law Program (see descriptions and links below), and others take advantage of post-graduation employment opportunities like Rochester Youth Year.
Why pursue American Studies at Fisher?
American studies courses give you the opportunity to better understand the cultures of the United States through the study of literature, arts, history, politics and social movements. American studies encourages you to approach intellectual and complex real-world problems from a variety of perspectives and to understand that different disciplinary approaches complement each other and can result in more creative answers to questions of both historical and contemporary interest.
The American studies major offers a balanced educational experience in the humanities and social sciences. Our major prepares you to live meaningful lives as informed citizens, aware of our rights and responsibilities in an increasingly complex global environment. The American studies department supports and encourages majors to consider taking advantage of one of the many study abroad opportunities offered by the University.
Through the study of various dimensions of past and present American society and culture, American studies majors:
- Understand interdisciplinary approaches to the study of American culture.
- Develop the ability to conduct research in areas in the general scope of American studies and communicate the results of such research.
- Become qualified and prepared for careers in professions such as education, law, public administration, and business, as well as for advanced study in American Studies and related fields.
What makes Fisher American Studies unique?
In addition to the opportunity to intern or experience a semester abroad or in Washington, DC, participating in our nation’s democracy through various organizations, majors work closely with our faculty, who specialize in place-based learning, working with archival resources, ArcGIS mapping expertise, leading difficult conversations, research writing, public presentation, and community-engaged partnerships.
American Studies graduates understand American identities and cultures, as well as thoughts and institutions, and engage in the democratic experiment as global citizens.
The American studies major provides both the content and the habits of mind necessary for students to become dynamic teachers with cutting-edge skills employers want, including developing an anti-racist understanding of American history and cultures, ArcGIS mapping expertise, skills to lead difficult conversations, and practice working with archival resources. American studies is an approved content major/area for inclusive childhood education and for adolescence social studies teaching certification.
4+1 Teacher Certification Program
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education offers a 4+1 program designed to provide an accelerated pathway to New York State Teacher Certification for highly qualified students in the liberal arts and sciences.
This competitive program allows you to complete your baccalaureate degree in the liberal arts and sciences and a master’s degree in inclusive education with dual teacher certification in five years. For more information visit: https://www.sjf.edu/major-minors/american-studies/41-teacher-certification/
3+3 Pre-Law Programs
Earn a law degree in six years through the Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP) at Fisher.
St. John Fisher University, in conjunction with the State University at Buffalo School of Law, Michigan State University Law School, and Ohio Northern University Petit School of Law, offers the opportunity for a select number of qualified St. John Fisher University students to earn a bachelor of arts degree and a juris doctor degree over the course of approximately six years of full-time study. For more information visit: https://www.sjf.edu/major-minors/legal-studies/33-program/