In general, Concentrations provide meaningful focus for study in several disciplines, and encourage students to be deliberate about their coursework within AMCS as well as in any complementary programs or departments where they might find courses to count toward the major. The program has already identified a wide range of courses in different departments that are well-suited to study in each of the seven established Concentrations. Pre-defined lists of concentration-area courses will be updated each semester, and AMCS will also consider requests from students who wish to take a course that is not included in these lists.
Certainly, majors should choose a Concentration based on cultural topics of interest to them. But they might also consider the types of courses that fall in a given Concentration area, and think about the methods and approaches that will deepen their knowledge of certain aspects of American culture and prepare them to work on specific problems using a given set of tools and methods. For example, the Social Thought and Social Problems Concentration would be suited not only to students who have a strong interest in social aspects of American culture, but for those who plan to pursue sociology or social work.
As students explore their options and define an area of concentration, they are encouraged to consider taking either general methods courses (e.g. L98 4023: Models of Social Science or L98 491: Collection and Analysis of Qualitative Data) or discipline-specific methods courses that provide training that is especially relevant to their course of study (and useful for Capstone research). This is relevant even for those with another major, as additional preparation in another discipline may be necessary for a capstone project. AMCS advisers can provide guidance on this matter, as well as other types of courses that would be especially appropriate given a chosen concentration area.