• Katherine Hayes, Class of 2011

    “The major allowed me to explore many different avenues within the social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of American society. As an interdisciplinary major, the classes I took often taught me things I could apply and expand upon in other classes. … My coursework always crossed boundaries.”

  • Aaron Randolph, Class of 2011

    “The most diverse and intriguing group of classes I have encountered here at Cornell.”

  • Milos Balac, Class of 2011

    “Becoming an American Studies major was the best decision I ever made at Cornell. Entering as an undecided freshman arbitrarily leaning towards Psychology, I truly found my academic niche at Cornell through the American Studies program and its dedication to diverse interdisciplinary work. … I was immediately hooked.”

  • Megan Nemlich, Class of 2012

    “Working within American Studies excites me because my education never stops. As I have dug into topics and stories during my time as a student, I have also lived amongst new controversies daily. There are very few universal statements to be made about this field, but my time at Cornell has helped me realize two such absolutes: nothing occurs or exists in a vacuum, and history builds on itself. Individually, these two lessons have allowed me to look critically at social change, war, innovation and technology, elections, the economy, and countless other entities. But together, these ideas force me to live in America as an active participant, as a person who understands the implications of her words and actions, as a responsible contributor in our culture.”

  • Courtney Beglin, Class of 2012

    “I believe American Studies is an ideal major for students who desire a broad, flexible, and diverse course of study. … I would not have changed anything about my undergraduate experience, and I believe that many of the benefits I have enjoyed have been a direct result of the guidance of the American Studies major.”

  • Emma Shalaway, Class of 2012

    “The critical thinking and analytical skills that I developed as an American Studies major are skills that will serve me in the future in myriad ways. Regardless of my future career path, these are skills that empower me and give me intellectual confidence. For me, the American Studies major is the perfect representation of a Liberal Arts education, which is what I wanted when I applied to Cornell’s College of Art and Sciences.”

  • Dan Robbins, Class of 2013

    “I would recommend American Studies to any inquisitive liberal arts student. Not only because it combines so well with a variety of double majors, but also because it is consistently one of the strongest departments I’ve come across in Arts & Sciences.”

  • Merritt Steele, Class of 2014

    “American Studies is much more than the sum of its parts. It creates something organically new and exciting.”

  • Caroline Russ, Class of 2014

    “Being an American Studies major has made me a much better student and a much better citizen, as I am more thorough, cautious, and open-minded in approaching everything that I read, watch, and hear, both inside and out of the classroom. I am truly grateful for my education and the unique skills and knowledge that I have gained as a Cornell American Studies major, for they have had made me a better person.”

  • Hannah McKinney, Class of 2015

    “The ability to devise my own path empowered my education. In a more rigid program, I may not have had the opportunity for such exposure and self-reflection.”

  • James Vincenti, Class of 2015

    “American Studies is an interdisciplinary [major], so I’ve been able to take courses in subjects like popular culture, cinema, political campaigns, history, and agriculture. On one level it really has been a lot of fun to study such diverse subjects, but on a deeper level it has also been incredibly useful. American Studies is a major that requires a lot of reading and a lot of writing on subjects you may know nothing about, which makes you very good at analyzing things you’re not familiar with. I find this to be an invaluable skill to have, as it makes it very easy to adapt to different situations as they come.”

  • Megan Zhang, Class of 2016

    “During my medical school interviews, my American studies major gave me a unique background and was definitely a conversation starter. … It makes you a much more competent person in dealing with people who have different backgrounds than yourself. I appreciate the confidence it gives me to ask people about their side of the story, because there’s always another side of the story.”

  • Jemma Curtin, Class of 2016

    “I will always value this major because it gave me the opportunity to test my passions across the board, and especially to enhance my skills in reading, writing, public speaking, and analysis. Most of all however, I feel as though my education has prepared me to take on the world, and a home country full of tension and division.”

  • Jessica Matalon, Class of 2016

    “The ability to explore American society from so many different angles has shown me the impact of the past on the present and the importance of considering how and why certain patterns have developed. Looking at American culture through a number of different lenses has given me a better understanding of the way in which the nation’s history has shaped all aspects of society.”

  • Kate Poor, Class of 2016

    “If we want to engage with social issues in this nation, we must go deep with issues that we don’t experience. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the patient, passionate, inspiring, and dedicated professors in this major who have persisted with us, as we contend with the tricky, sensitive, and vital politics of identities and oppressions in America, and I am infinitely grateful that this major has such a concentrated focus on uprooting social hegemonies and privileges.”

  • Michelle Fleurantin, Class of 2017

    “Before taking the Introduction to American Studies course, I struggled to find a major that encapsulated my academic interests. I sought a field that challenged its students to take a multifaceted approach to every issue; a field in which I could incorporate law, history, race/ethnic studies, women and gender studies and the social sciences; a field which refused to silence the often untold stories of a nation’s people. … And I must say [American Studies] has indeed changed the way I approach world-problems and has provided me with a uniquely crafted education that has already proved valuable to me out in the real world.”

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