Courses and Requirements

American Studies is an interdisciplinary field defined both by its objects of study—the processes, places, and people that comprise the United States—and by a mode of inquiry that moves beyond the scope of a single disciplinary approach or critical methodology. An individually designed course of study, which is the hallmark of the American Studies Program, allows students to forge multidisciplinary approaches to the particular issues that interest them.

The program also offers a correlate sequence in Native American Studies which enables students to examine Indigenous cultures, politics, histories, and literatures, in a primarily North American context. Students electing the correlate sequence are trained in the methodology of Native American Studies as a means to critically assess colonial discourses, examine the many ways Native peoples have contributed to and shaped North American culture, and analyze and honor the autonomy and sovereignty of Indigenous nations, peoples, and thought.

The senior thesis/project allows in-depth research on a particular element of the student’s chosen focus.

Academic Requirements

For courses and requirements, visit the Vassar College Catalogue.


Correlate Sequences

Header image: Clementine Hunter, Melrose Quilt, ca. 1960, fabric, 73 x 60 in. (185.4 x 152.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Barbara Coffey Quilt Endowment, 2014.5


Patchwork garment covering the entire body including the head
Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2009, mixed media, 96 x 26 x 20 in. (243.8 x 66.0 x 50.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2012.34A-B, © 2009, Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo by James Prinz Photography