Is American Studies a History Degree?

American Studies is a multidisciplinary field of study that encompasses various aspects of American culture, history, and society. It explores the different facets of the United States’ history and culture, such as literature, art, politics, economics, and social structures. However, many people often wonder whether American Studies is a history degree or not.

What is American Studies?

American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that combines elements of various disciplines such as history, literature, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. It aims to provide a nuanced understanding of American society and culture by analyzing its various components. The interdisciplinary nature of American Studies allows students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the United States’ historical and cultural evolution.

Is American Studies a History Degree?

While American Studies incorporates elements of history in its curriculum, it is not solely a history degree. It explores various aspects of American society and culture beyond chronology and timelines. Instead, it examines how historical events have shaped the United States’ culture and society.

American Studies also includes the study of literature, art forms like music and film that serve as reflections of the country’s cultural identity. In addition to this, it explores various social structures such as race relations in America.

In contrast to a traditional history degree that focuses on specific historical events or periods, American Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary perspective on the United States’ past and present.

The Benefits of Studying American Studies

Studying American Studies can provide several benefits to students. Firstly it provides students with a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the United States’ evolution by incorporating different disciplines like literature or sociology into one course.

Moreover studying America’s diverse cultures can help develop critical thinking skills by promoting greater awareness about issues related to race relations or gender equity in America.

Lastly studying America’s past through its artistic forms can be an enriching experience for those interested in learning more about how various art forms have played a role in shaping the country’s cultural identity.


In conclusion, American Studies is not just a history degree. It is an interdisciplinary field that explores different aspects of American culture and society.

While it does incorporate elements of history, it goes beyond simple chronology to provide students with a nuanced understanding of America’s past and present. Studying American Studies can provide several benefits to students by challenging them to think critically about issues related to race, gender, and society.