Director: Prof. Laurel Shire (Department of History) September 2005 marked the opening of Western's undergraduate program in American Studies; one of only a handful in Canada, and the only program to offer two honors specialization degrees. This exciting and innovative program is an interdisciplinary exploration of the values, society, and cultural expressions of the people of the United States. It looks at literature, history, popular culture, and politics in an effort to better understand the meaning and significance of the American identity. Given the importance of the United States in the world today, especially to Canadians, American Studies is a program that will be of critical interest to students from a variety of backgrounds and interests. A degree in American Studies will prepare Canadian students for a host of possibilities that demand an understanding of the culture and politics of the United States. Possible careers include government positions, teaching, business, journalism, law, broadcasting, tourism, and advanced research.
Undergraduate Program Advisor: Rebecca Northcott
Dear American Studies students:
The new modular changes have now been approved by the University. I think you will find that they are more flexible than ever, with many new and exciting courses across campus. We are phasing out the Honours Specializations in American Cultural Studies and Canadian-American Relations, as we are doing away the with dual streams in American Studies (now everyone can study both if they wish). If you are already in an Hon Spec module, it remains open for you, and new requirements are listed below. If module enrolments increase, we may open a general Honours Specialization in American Studies in the future.
Remember that you are required to meet the module requirements that were in place when you entered your module - which you can always find online in the archives section of the Academic Calendar. However, if you like the new modules, you can also follow the new rules. I'm happy to discuss special permissions to count courses you took in the past that aren't in the new modules (usually because they are no longer offered).
Keep in mind that the software the registrar uses to calculate your progress toward your degree has not yet caught up to these changes - if you are getting weird messages related to this, don't panic. Make an appointment with academic counselling if you are concerned, or wait a few months and try again - hopefully the software will be updated by then. ~ Prof Shire.