American Cultural Studies

An interdisciplinary program, American Cultural Studies takes advantages of the rich curricular offerings of the various departments and colleges within the university. Through the American Cultural Studies program, you will study issues arising specifically from cultural diversity in American society. 

The study of American Culture allows students and faculty to:

  • Address issues such as race/ethnicity, educational equity, social and cultural theory, socio-economic class, and gender and sexual orientation, while analyzing the formation of identities in societies. 
  • Concentrate on the Americanization process and American cultural institutions and/or American cultural values.
  • Examine and question the concepts of privilege, silence, and voice.
  • Become critical thinkers who will be well prepared to work for social change.


“American Cultural Studies prepares students to function and to be successful in an ever increasingly diverse and multicultural society. In line with shifting demographics, the understanding of different cultures and population groups will be essential within the twenty first century in virtually any field of endeavor.” –Larry Estrada, Faculty

Beyond the Classroom

Work or volunteer in the Associated Students Social Issues Resource Center, which facilitates the sharing of diverse perspectives by providing resources, information, and the coordination of events. The Social Issues Resource Center is a space in which students and other members of the Western and Bellingham communities can self educate, discuss, and organize around important social justice issues. 

Careers and Graduate Studies

The American Cultural Studies (ACS) major combines the social sciences with humanities to provide students with a rich undergraduate background that is the foundation for careers and advanced study in law, domestic social services, public service, government service, education, and graduate work in American studies, ethnic studies, and the social sciences. 

Graduates of the program are especially prepared to go on for further study. Over half of all ACS graduates go on to professional and graduate schools upon the culmination of their undergraduate degree.


Sample Careers

  • Attorney 
  • Public Administration Higher Education 
  • Social Worker 
  • Marketing Specialist 
  • Firefighter 
  • Teaching English as a Second Language 
  • Consumer Advisor 
  • Community Relations Director 
  • Human Resource Coordinator 
  • Police Officer 
  • Non-Profit Agency 
  • Administrator 
  • Public School Teacher


Department of American Cultural Studies

American Cultural Studies, BA

Share this Major

Apply to Western
Request Info