What Can I Do With a Major In American Studies?

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explore majors and careers!


Laura Heilman
Laura Heilman
Career Counselor Liaison
Dept. of American Studies

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Explore this Major

Learn more about majoring in American studiesAll liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and American studies majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include an in-depth knowledge of American cultural, historical, societal, and political contexts; strong analytical and critical thinking skills; and the ability to reflect deeply and dialogue across issues of equity and cultural diversity.

Students who take the SuperStrong Interest Inventory receive a three-letter interest code, which identifies their top three areas of interest, work activities, potential skills, and personal values. The interest code "ESC" is often associated with this major, however, the SuperStrong assessment can help you understand how your interests connect to a variety of majors and career options. You can learn more about common employer types and occupations associated with this major. You can also see CLA specific examples of alumni careers below.

 

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Internships & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Graduate Programs in American Studies and Related Fields

This is a small sample of programs alumni have gone onto, to find graduate programs in this field, search the Grad School DirectoryPeterson's Guide, and the Chronicle of Higher Education listing of American Studies programs.

Alumni Career Examples

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are alumni in all eight of the career fields). You can also utilize the LinkedIn's Alumni Tool and the Maroon and Gold Network to further explore alumni career pathways and connect directly with professionals.

Click to expand each gray box below for opportunities pursued by alumni in this major! 

Education

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Internships

  • Tutor - Hmong American Mutual Assistance Association
  • History Fellow - Minnesota Historical Society

Entry-Level

  • Project Assistant - United Knowledge
  • Educational Consultant - Newspapers in Education
  • Exhibits Representative - Mall of America
  • Pre K Tutor - Minnesota Reading Corps
  • Educational Specialist - Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs University of Minnesota
  • Residential Counselor - Seneca Center

Experienced

  • ELD Kindergarten Teacher - San Francisco Unified School District *
  • Lead Literacy Teacher - Chicago Public Schools*
  • Adjunct Professor - Empire State College*
  • Teaching Assistant - New York University*
  • Classroom Teacher - Rosa L. Parks Elementary School*
  • Project Director, Literacy - The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
  • Director of Strategic Initiatives - The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute*
  • Director, School Age and Youth Development Programs - University of Washington*

Graduate Programs

  • Secondary School Licensure, Social Studies - University of Minnesota
  • MA, Education - San Francisco State University
  • EdD, Reading and Language - National Louis University
Nonprofit & Advocacy

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Internships

  • Fellowship Programs Coordinator - Human Rights Center University of Minnesota
  • Racial Justice & Public Policy Intern - YWCA of Minneapolis
  • Summer Intern - Asian American LEAD
  • Development and Marketing Administrative Assistant - Sabes Jewish Community Center
  • Women's Human Rights Program Intern - The Advocates for Human Rights

Entry-Level

  • Americorps Youth Program Coordinator - The Project for Pride in Living
  • Community-Based Organizational Development Volunteer, Peace Corps
  • Cultural Orientation Trainer - IOM
  • Hmong Women's Circle Coordinator - Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley
  • Racial Justice Program Specialist - YWCA of Minneapolis
  • Director of Photography Program - North Minneapolis Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Experienced

  • Director - Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum
  • Vice President, Museums & Collections - The Henry Ford
  • Counseling Care Coordinator - Native American Community Clinic*
  • Life Skills Trainer - P.O.R. Emotional Wellness
  • Program Director - YMCA of the Twin Cities
  • Program Assistant, Interpretive Programs & History Interpreter III - Minnesota Historical Society
  • Evaluation Associate - Minnesota Historical Society
  • Learning & Evaluation Manager - Bush Foundation*
  • Administrator - Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce
  • Executive Director - Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce
  • Facing Race Dialogue Coordinator - YWCA of Minneapolis
  • Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Program Assistant - The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute
  • Training Consultant - WholeBeing Solutions
  • Executive Director - Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
  • President - HousingLink*

Graduate Programs

  • MSW - Augsburg University
Business

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Internships

  • Student Telemarketer - University of Minnesota
  • Intern - Primerica Financial Services
  • Assistant Marketing Director - Radio K
  • New Business Intern - Carmichael Lynch
Entry-Level
  • Grants Manager - Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
  • Partner - Crazy Savvy Communications Agency
  • Sales & Marketing Associate - Navarre Corporation
  • Account Executive - The Onion
  • Sr. Business Analyst - Macys
  • Brand Manager - Ralph Lauren

Experienced

  • Manager - Best Buy
  • Selling Manager - Macy's
  • Senior Group Manager, Experiential Marketing and Alliances - Target
  • Director, Online Marketing - PlanetOut, Inc.
  • Marketing Analytics Manager, Integrated Reporting and Analytics - AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah*
  • Senior Director, Marketing Analytics & Insights - gearDigital
  • Marketing Director - The Cedar Cultural Center*

Graduate Programs

  • MBA, Marketing - University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business
  • Organization Development Certificate - University of Minnesota
Communications & Media

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Internships

  • Editorial Assistant - University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
  • Marketing & Events Intern - Greenspring Media
  • Reporter - Minnesota Daily
  • Editorial Intern - Socrates Media

Entry-Level

  • Communications Consultant - Fairview Health Services
  • Communications and Marketing Chair, Board of Trustees - Sunshine Montessori School
  • Senior Producer - AOL NEWS
  • Lead Editor-Surge Desk - AOL NEWS
  • Special Events and Development Intern - CommonBond Communities
  • Social Media Community Manager - Quixotic Coffee
  • Producer, "Money Matters" show - Air America Radio
  • Community Relations Manager - HousingLink

Experienced

  • Senior Communications Consultant - Fairview Health Services
  • Communications Manager - Fairview Health Services
  • Director of Communications - Fairview Health Services
  • Managing Director - Newspapers in Education
  • Project Coordinator - Job Twinning Amsterdam
  • News Editor - LIFE.com
  • Web Producer - The New York Times
  • Video Curator - The New York Times
  • Programming Manager-Video - The New York Times
  • Senior Multi-Platform Editor - CNN
  • VP and National Lead, User Experience - Razorfish
  • CEO, Managing Partner - Bond Art+Science
  • Consultant/Interpreter - Moua Consulting Group, LLC
  • Social Media Strategist - Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Senior Social Media Community Manager - The Social Lights
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Specialist - Food Works, Inc.

Graduate Programs

  • MPA, Leadership and International Affairs - University of Minnesota Humphrey School
  • MA, Journalism - New York University
  • MPhil, Social and Cultural Analysis - New York University
Government & Law

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Internships

  • Public Policy Intern, AFL-CIO

Entry-Level

  • Legal Assistant - Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer, and Pembroke
  • Deputy Finance Director - Jim Webb for Congress
  • Legislative Aide - Office of Senator Jim Webb
  • Campaign Manager/Treasurer - Terri Bonoff for State Senate
  • Sergeant - US Army
  • Campaigner - Oxfam Novib
  • HOME Coordinator - Anoka County Community Development Department

Experienced

  • Finance Director - Rick Nolan for Congress
  • Outreach Director - Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Legislative Assistant, United States Senate - Office of Senator Al Franken
  • Learning and Development Consultant - Hennepin County
Tech

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Entry-Level

  • Technical Advisor Program Administrator - Fish & Richardson P.C.
  • Web Producer - Connecting Images
  • Manager, Online & Email Marketing - PlanetOut Inc.
  • Specialist - Apple
  • Freelance Database Consultant

Experienced

  • Patent Secretary - Merchant & Gould P.C.*
  • Patent Secretary - Boston Scientific*
  • Senior Patent Paralegal - Google*
  • Competitive Intelligence Analyst - Google*
  • Digital Analytics Consultant - LS Digital Analytics
  • Senior Analyst, Category Management - Activision
  • Customer Champion - Code42
  • Corporate Systems Engineer - Code42
  • Senior Sales Engineer - Box*
  • Research Consultant - Annenberg Institute for School Reform *
  • Executive Director - Minnesota 2020

Graduate Programs

  • MS, Human Computer Interaction, Technical Communication, Rhetoric - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

The College of Liberal Arts Career Services and the University of Minnesota has no control or responsibility for the: (a) quality or safety of any experiential learning opportunity/position descriptions or (b) the application, hiring practices, or EEO/AA status of any of the organizations listed here. We encourage students to use precaution when applying to, interviewing at, or participating in volunteer, internship, job, or research programs outside of the University. These opportunities are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota and have not been fully vetted.