The American Studies Program attracts some of the strongest students in Weinberg College and the School of Communication. A high percentage of majors earn honors, and virtually every year they win numerous other academic awards at Northwestern. They have consistently received highly competitive graduate awards and fellowships and have been admitted to top graduate and professional schools.
Majors have chosen many different career paths. A significant number have attended law school, while a number have chosen doctoral programs in History, English, and other fields, and have pursued academic careers. Others have advanced degrees in such disparate fields as management, international affairs, urban planning, journalism, social work, biology, and medicine. Program alumni are variously employed in several different kinds of legal practice, business (from investment banking to market research), government, consulting, journalism, education, community planning, political activism, social work, and in the arts as creators, producers, and performers. Several have served in the Peace Corps or Teach for America.
It is not just high academic achievement that distinguishes American Studies majors. Whatever their course selections and their grades, they are highly motivated individuals who want to take an active role in shaping a meaningful life at Northwestern and beyond. They include not only winners of prizes and fellowships, but also leaders of many different kinds of campus organizations who put dedication and energy into their extracurricular activities as well as their work in the classroom.
The Program has a remarkably high approval rating from its majors and alumni. They credit it not only with introducing them to a stimulating and valuable body of knowledge, but also with providing them with essential training in reading, thinking, discussing, and writing. American Studies graduates appreciate the way the Program prepares them to understand the things they study deeply and comprehensively, as issues and questions actually arise in life.