What does it  mean to be an American? The answer to this question often depends on issues such as class, gender, ethnicity, era, place of origin, and socialization. The liberally-educated person in the 21st century should have a critical understanding of the American experience from various academic perspectives; to better recognize the social, cultural, economic, political, geographic and technological interdependence of all persons in the United States.

Courses in this category provide a close look at the United States of American and its people through disciplines that draw on social, historical, political, and literary studies. Students should be able to identify major events, persons, ideas, and circumstances that contributed to the development of American attitudes and institutions. Students should then be better able to answer for themselves “What is America?” and “What does it mean to be an American?”