Why Major in American Studies? Alumni Thoughts

Our Alumni

Over the last four years, our graduates have gone on to work with over 20 universities and corporations:

Maryland General Assembly - Legislative Aide       UC: Riverside - Assistant Professor
Smith College - Assistant Professor                      Dartmouth College - Assistant Professor
CSU: Dominguez Hills - Assistant Professor          National Football Leauge - Tight End
KIPP LA Schools - After School Instructor              Gracenote - Associate Program Director
Ariel Public Communications - Writer                   Aderant - Resarch Specialist
USC - Talent Search                                             Riot Games - Development Manager
Red Cross - Develpoment Officer                         CIP Comm. & Indusrty Prog. - Graphic Designer
IEC Colleges - Director of Admissions                  Harvard University - PHD Student
Movement Strategy Center- Senior Fellow            City of LA - Mgt. Assistant/Compliance Unit
Stanislav's Superior Court - Legal Clerk                Anthem Inc. - Manager Goverment Relations
Jumpcut Studios - Content Developer                  Green Dot Corp. - Vendor Managment Analyst
Square - Disputes Support Representative           Lionsgate Entertainment - Assistant Manager
ABC Entertainment - Publisist                              My Hotel Wedding - Marketing
Smoking Guns Studio - Visual Artist/Designer 

Shamoiya Washington, American Studies & Ethnicity ‘14

American Studies & Ethnicity majors, congratulations on choosing one of the supreme academic programs at USC! I loved being an ASE major because it was my safe place, my home where I was able to convene with my fellow peers and discuss progressive ideas and thoughts. I know many people will ask you,"What is American Studies and Ethnicity and what can you do with an ASE major?" Well I will be honest and tell you that with an American Studies & Ethnicity major, your career opportunities are endless! Because you will ... Read More

Karina Casillas, B.A. American Studies and Ethnicity ‘13

My dual-degree combination was unheard of at the time, but made sense to me: American Studies and Ethnicity & Public Policy and Development. I translated it as "the study of social issues and how policy can change or affect our shared and independent experiences". My self created degree tract became a practical and hands-on approach to learn how to help others resolve and prevent circumstances many deal with today. I was accepted to USC as an undeclared major. As I was researching the majors USC offered ... Read More

David Hernandez, B.A. Chicano/Latino Studies '13

I choose to be an American Studies and Ethnicity Major because I knew it would provide me with a different lens of how to best make sense of the world around me. At the same time it has allowed me to establish: effective writing skills, critical thinking analysis, research skills, and all learning from an interdisciplinary framework. In doing so, I feel that I have a variety of options to choose from after graduation, from law, education, the arts, ...Read more

Nelly Chavez, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity ‘12

When I first got to USC, I felt lost. As a first-generation college student, I felt immense pressure to pick a major that would lead to the stability that is supposed to come with a college degree. Since I was far away from home, however, this pressure dissipated fairly quickly and I was able to delve into subjects that I had never imagined existed. As I discovered American Studies classes, which were one of the few places ... Read More

Anay Martinez, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity ‘11

My first semester at USC was a difficult one, and part of that difficulty stemmed from feeling like I didn’t belong. Taking an American Studies and Ethnicity course was one of the first times I felt comfortable on campus. I realized the impact it had on me, and simply how much I was intrigued by the subject. I quickly declared a double major in ASE and Sociology. I fell in love with the major, and felt like every student on campus should take ASE courses. However, my enthusiasm ... Read More

Kendall Williams, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity '11

I'm currently in a masters program at Teachers College, Columbia University, focusing on organizational leadership and development. I graduated from USC Dornsife with a BA as an ASE major in May 2011.

I started out as an International Relations major, but I switched to American Studies and Ethnicity after taking a GE course: Race, Religion and Rhetoric in America. After that course, ... Read more

Joanna Lin, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity ‘08

On the first day of Introduction to American Studies and Ethnicity, a course I took as a general education requirement, Professor Thomas Gustafson asked: “When did America begin?” One by one, students called out different years: 1492, the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas; 1607, the founding of the Jamestown in colonial Virginia; 1776, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence; and 1789, the commencement ... Read More

Denise Chiang, B.A. American Studies & Ethnicity ‘07

My high school education prepared me for a major in American Studies. I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland near Washington, DC. I liked Social Studies and English. This prepared me for an interdisciplinary approach to my studies at USC. As an American Studies major, I could study religion, politics, art history, film history, literature, etc. I finished the American Studies major after trying some other majors like International Relations and Communication ... Read More

Gina Clayton, B.A. American Studies and Ethnicity ‘06

My American Studies and Ethnicity major provided an unparalleled opportunity for me to understand the condition and historical context of Black Americans and communities in the United States that have had to fight for meaningful inclusion in both history books and in society. The American Studies and Ethnicity classes I took were personally transformative for me. It is my education at USC ASE department ... Read More

Oscar Rene Gutierrez, B.A. Chicano Studies ‘06

As a child of Mexican immigrants, I chose to major in Chicano Studies to learn more about my heritage, culture, and ancestors.  As we delved further and further into the materials, I not only began to appreciate Mexican history and culture more, but I also learned more about myself and my own identity as a Mexican-American.  Additionally, studying in such a diverse environment like Los Angeles enables you to ... Read More

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534