American Studies

The United States Studies Centre coordinates the American Studies program for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. American Studies is an interdisciplinary major incorporating units of study from the US Studies Centre and from the departments of Art History and Film Studies, English, Government and International Relations, History, and Music. 

Zara Seidler
“I chose to do American Studies because I thought it was a really great time to be studying American politics given the climate there at the moment. The ‘US in the World’ and ‘US Politics: Elections, Presidents, Laws’ units gave me an understanding deeper than what you can access through the news and gave me the tools to be able to analyse what I was seeing in the news." Zara Seidler, Bachelor of International and Global Studies

The American Studies major draws on the combined expertise of the US Studies Centre and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to offer Australia’s broadest range of undergraduate units focused on the United States.

The program consists of compulsory first-year units, two core senior units, and other approved units of your choice, which enable you to develop a critical, multi-faceted understanding of the United States and its global influence.

The Centre also offers a fourth year honours program.


Students intending to major in American Studies must complete both AMST1001 Global America (offered in Semester 2) and either HSTY1076 American History from Lincoln to Obama or HSTY1023 Emerging Giant: The Making of America (Note: both HSTY1076 and HSTY1023 are taught in Semester 1 with only one of these units offered each year).

After completing those units, students must complete AMST2601 American Foundations (preferably in Semester 1 of their second year) and AMST3601 American Perspectives, along with four senior units of study offered by participating departments of which no more than three may come from a single department.

Students who enrolled prior to 2014 should contact the course coordinator to find out the units of study required to qualify for the major.

American Studies coordinator

Associate Professor Brendon O’Connor

Units of Study

Offered by the US Studies Centre:

Offered by other departments: