American Studies

Discover America - for Yourself

American Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that involves numerous academic areas which, when combined, tell the story of America’s past and present, and give a glimpse into the future of the nation. American Studies courses provide a rich and diverse education that develops critical thinking and writing skills essential to success in any profession.

Students will explore influential cultural movements such as jazz and transcendentalism, as well as significant historical events including the American Revolution and the Civil War. Classes are taken in the areas of American history, American literature, and American politics, law, and policy, with an emphasis on the first two categories.

WPI students reap the benefit of the unparalleled resources at the American Antiquarian Society,  a world-renowned independent research library that documents the lives of American people from the colonial era through the post-Civil War reconstruction. The American Antiquarian Society is located just steps from campus.

Examine America from the multiple perspectives of history, art, literature, and politics while gaining a more complete understanding of the richness and diversity of American culture.


As part of the HUA Requirement, Inquiry Seminars in American Studies enable students to combine courses in history, literature, and humanities on American society and culture. The annual undergraduate seminar at the American Antiquarian Society also offers unique access to the library’s collections.

Find out what Inquiry Seminars or Practicums (.pdf, 413kb) will be added this academic year here.