What Can I Do With a Major In American Studies?

Maggie Heier WCIDWAMIConnect with
Maggie Heier
Career Counselor
cosg0022@umn.edu
612-624-7577

Major Information

You can do a lot with this major! American Studies majors go on to successful careers in business, academics, advocacy, politics, government, publishing, the arts, research, and much more.

All 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:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • In-depth knowledge of American culture and history
  • Strong analysis and critical-thinking skills
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to do effective research      

Interest Code: ESC

 

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Internships & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Graduate Programs in American Studies and Related Fields

Career Options

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 journalism alumni in all eight of the career fields). For more career information for journalism majors, utilize these additional resources: 

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

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

Education

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, Human Services, & Social Justice

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, Consulting, Marketing, & Sales

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
Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, & Communications

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, Public Policy, & International Affairs

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

Graduate Programs

  • MS, Human Computer Interaction, Technical Communication, Rhetoric - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Technology, Data, & Analytics

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