Coming from outside Arts or Business

USSC students

Although the American Studies major is only available to students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Business School, students from other faculties are able to complement their studies with units from the United States Studies Centre.

Our units of study are highly ranked by both other academics and students, being praised as “some of the most unique, creative and respected units” available, and our lecturers are award-winning, including a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching.

Students pursuing combined Arts or Business degrees have the ability to pursue a major in American Studies.

If you are in one of the subject areas below and would like to enrol in our subjects, go to the Sydney Student Portal and login to: My Studies / Units of Study / Apply for Special Permission.


Students enrolled in Science programs have a large amount of flexibility, and can take electives from almost any other faculty, including units in American Studies. For example, within a Bachelor of Science, you can undertake up to eight units in American Studies to complement your studies.

Recommended units for Science:

  • USSC2601 US in the World
    This unit covers the construction of, and influencing factors for American foreign policy. This also includes defence, and the technology that distinguishes the United States as the number-one military power in the world. A strong theoretical counterpoint for Science students interested in working in government or defence.
  • AMST1001 Global America
    This unit covers the rise of American leadership throughout the world in various industries. In addition to culture and social values, technology has played an enormous part in the rise of America – particularly in the realm of international economics.


For some Engineering programs you can have up to 12 credit points (two subjects) free to pursue American Studies. For example, in a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil), you are able to pursue 12 units of ‘general electives’. Depending on the structure of your degree, you can receive special permission to enrol in USSC units to broaden your analytical and constructive reasoning skills.

Recommended units for Engineering:

  • AMST2606 Stand Up USA: American Comedy and Humour
    Looking for a break outside you Engineering load? AMST2606 covers the history of American comedy, covering all the greats, from Chappelle to Parks and Recreation. Particularly for Engineering students who are members of BAMSOC, this is the perfect complement – and probably your only chance to get an HD for writing about memes.

Health Sciences

For some Health Sciences programs, students would be able to undertake up to 48 credit points (eight subjects) in American Studies. For example, in the Bachelor of Health Sciences, students who complete their 60 credit point Health Sciences major and their second major have up to 48 free units to pursue electives from outside of the faculty.

Medical Science

Students enrolled in an undergraduate Bachelor of Medical Science can take up to 24 credit points (four subjects) in elective areas from any other faculty, including American Studies.

Recommended units for Medical Science:

  • USSC2603 Americanism and Anti-Americanism
    The United States has gained a global reputation for their unique healthcare system, particularly after recent debates around the future of Obamacare. This unit of study will give you the ability to study global views of America, both within the country and outside of it, covering a wide spectrum of political areas, such as domestic and foreign policy, social and cultural issues, and healthcare.


The Education program you are enrolled in will determine the level of flexibility you will have to pursue units of study outside of that area. For example, the Bachelor of Education (Primary) offers 12 credit points (two subjects), while the Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences) and Arts allows the pursuit of up to 102 credit points (17 subjects).

Recommended for Education:

  • USSC2604 Sex, Race and Rock
    For aspiring teachers that are interested in either history or music, this unit of study melds the two into one of the most unique and radical offerings available at the University of Sydney. This unit covers the history of music through the lens of major social movements. Learn about how artists such as Prince, KISS, Lady Gaga, and Kendrick Lamar paved the way for social change, and enjoy guest lectures from industry players, such as the lead singer of The Jezabels and the co-founder of MTV.
  • USSC2602 US Politics: Elections, Presidents, Laws
    For teachers interested in teaching in areas such as politics or HSIE, this unit of study is the perfect introduction into one of the most complex and globally influential political systems in the world. In particular, this unit of study will provide recent case studies – most notably an explanation of the processes that lead up to, and followed the 2016 US presidential election.

Note: In addition to special permission from your subject area, you will also need to receive permission from the lecturer of the subject.