American Studies

About these states we call united

The American studies program focuses on the culture and civilization of the United States. Examine the intersections of U.S. political, cultural and social life through courses from numerous disciplines, including history, literature, art, music, political science, sociology and anthropology. Become better acclimated with topics, controversies and scholarship that permeate America’s social and cultural fabric.
Why study American Studies at Millsaps?

In their own words

Thomas Good, Class of 2024

“By the time I came to Millsaps, I had already lived in five states in five completely different regions. American studies allowed me to recontextualize my understanding by not just explaining the factors that make these places unique, but also the shared experiences that tie them all together.”

Featured Courses

Here is a sampling of a few courses that might pique your interest.

ENGL/GOVT/HIST/RLST 2760: American Exceptionalism
This course considers the importance of American Exceptionalism in our national consciousness. The course's major interdisciplinary focus will be on the connections between literature and various forms of print media, the visual arts and history. Materials will come from the fields of geography, philosophy, and religion as well. To bring these issues closer to home, we will observe how our theme enters the popular mind via the motion picture medium by viewing and critiquing some classic (and not-so-classic) American films. At the same time, we will also weigh how important revisions in the way Americans view their history have had an important impact on public perceptions of our nation’s sense of origins.
HIST 3160 History of Medicine & Health in the U. S.
Examine the history of medicine and health from the colonial era to the present. Emphasis will be paid to the ways in which politics, cultural beliefs and religious values have been an integral part of the history of medicine and public health.

Degree Options

Discover your degrees, minors, concentrations and certification options available for this field of study.

Minor in American Studies
American studies minors have pursued careers in public service, politics, law, education, business and media and journalism.
Self-designed Major
Design a major to best fit your personality, career goals and specific educational needs. The self-designed major is a customized major that you design, working closely with appropriate faculty. Create your own American studies major.


Our curriculum emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking skills essential to any career (and therefore any Pathway), as well as scientific writing and experimentation skills that may be especially critical to students interested in any of our six Pathways tracks.

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Q&A with Victoria Gorham

Q&A with Victoria Gorham

Millsaps was a transformative institution for me. I always knew I wanted to teach at a liberal arts college like it when I finished graduate school.

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