The American Studies minor leads to a better understanding of American experience through multidisciplinary study of culture and society. Students will examine major texts, theories and concepts related to the subject.

Courses must be taken from at least three departments, and topics can include American history, politics, race relations, diversity, cultural identity, gender and sexuality, social movements, religion, women’s and gender studies, music, consumer culture, jobs and work, immigration and ethnicity, slavery and literature.

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Jacqueline Clark

Clark, Jacqueline

Professor of Sociology, Helen Swift Neilson Professor of Cultural Studies

Sarah Frohardt-Lane

Frohardt-Lane, Sarah

Associate Professor of History, Chair of History Department

Henrik Schatzinger

Schatzinger, Henrik

Professor of Political Science, Chair of Political Science Department and Director for the Center for Politics and the People

Mary Unger

Unger, Mary

Associate Professor of English and Director of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Minor in American Studies
Total Credits 20 credits
Elective Courses 20 credits of study from the following list of approved courses, including at least four credits at the 300-level. A minimum of four credits must be earned in at least three distinct departments. A student taking a course that is cross-listed in multiple departments should check with the coordinator about how the course contributes to the three-department requirement for the American Studies minor. Additional topic classes may count with the coordinator’s approval.

CMM 336 Social Movement Communication, CMM 352 Political Communication, ENG 246 Early American Literature, ENG 250 Later American Literature, ENG 380 Major Author, Zora Neale Hurston, ENV 216 Consumer Culture, ENV 248 U.S. Environmental History, HIS 240 Colonial America and the Early U.S. Republic, 1600-1815, HIS 241 The United States, 1815-1914, HIS 242 The United States, 1914-Present, HIS 248 U.S. Environmental History, HIS 260 Black Power, HIS 262 American Race Relations, 263 Women in American History, HIS 264 History of Immigrants and Immigration Policy in the United States, HIS 360 Topics in African American History:20th-Century African-American Thought and Culture, HIS 372 United States and Latin America, MUS 112 Topics:American Music in the Twentieth Century, MUS 112 Topics: Jazz History, MUS 200 Music and War, MUS 333 History of Twentieth-Century Musical Styles, POL 216 Constitutional Law, POL 220 American Politics and Government, POL 222 Media, Politics and Personal Power, POL 223 Interest Groups and Money in US Politics, POL 231 American Political Thought, POL 246 Morality and Public Policy, POL 268 Diversity and American Politics, POL 320 Topics in American Politics, POL 324 Campaigns and Elections, POL 335 Congress and the Presidency, POL 343 U.S. National Security Policy, POL 381 United States Foreign Policy, POL 385 Terrorism and Intelligence, SOC 201 Social Problems, SOC 204 Sociology of Job and Work, SOC 216 Consumer Culture, SOC 301 Social Movements, SOC 304 Sociology of Inequalities, SOC 306 Criminology, SOC 309 Sociology of Religion, WGS 110 Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or WGS 300 Major Author, Sora Neale Hurston

Career Tracks

A minor in American Studies prepares students to pursue a wide range of career paths, including politics, journalism, law, education and business. The American Studies minor gives each student the opportunity to hone research, writing, critical-thinking and communication skills while developing an understanding of American experiences.

Unique Opportunities

Students who minor in American Studies delve into the study of U.S. culture from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The program is structured to build students’ skills in at least three disciplines; it also presents an opportunity for each student to explore areas of particular interest with a wide range of courses that students can take to fulfill the minor. This multidisciplinary approach prepares students for a broad range of career paths after Ripon.