United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page
A Deep Dive Into America


cadets in formation

“We all committed our lives to the idea that is America.”–Gen Mark A. Milley to the Joint Force, June 2, 2020.

The American Studies minor at the U.S. Air Force Academy prepares students for leadership as officers for our military and as citizens for our nation. As the Constitution’s “We the people” demands, citizens must know and work with fellow US Americans of all backgrounds in order to form a more perfect union; as Master Sun asserts, officers must know their nation—its government, society, and people—just as they know themselves, or risk defeat. Deploying a unique blend of humanistic and social scientific inquiry, cadets will study various ideas about “America” and “Americanness” as it has been defined and experienced across time and by diverse peoples. Ultimately, by studying evidence, theories, and methods drawn from more than one field of study, students will come to better understand the power of interdisciplinary thinking as a necessary tool for formulating their own response to the idea of America that will be the lifeblood of their careers of service to the Air Force and to our nation.


The American Studies minor requires a minimum of five classes (15 semester hours). The minor is designed to pair well with majors in both hemispheres. Any of the approved courses in the literature, history, and government/ law requirements below may also be used as an elective for the minor.

(1) U.S. literature course (selected from an approved list of English courses circulated each semester)
(1) U.S. history course from the following:
History 210 (Foundations of Modern America)
History 220 (American History Since Reconstruction)
(1) U.S. government course/ U.S. law course from the following:
Political Science 392 (American Political System and Theory)
Political Science 451 (American Political Thought)
Law 331 (Criminal Law and Procedure)
Law 351 (US Constitutional Law)
(2) electives from an approved pool of US-focused courses from any discipline (make sure to check for the latest courses at registration time):
Any U.S.-focused literature course beyond the (1) required course above (selected from an approved list of English courses circulated each semester)
History 328 (Axis and Allies: The History of World War II)
History 340 (America and the World)
History 341 (American Regional Identities)
History 343 (The American Revolution)
History 344 (The American Civil War)
History 345 (The American Way of War)
History 346 (Great Americans)
History 347 (Power to the People)
History 348 (The History of Women in the United States)
Political Science 481 (American Elections and Political Parties)
Political Science 482 (The US Supreme Court)
Political Science 483 (The US Congress)
Political Science 484 (The American Presidency)
Law 340 (Business Law)
Law 360 (Law and Literature)
Law 456 (National Security Law)
Military and Strategic Studies 491 (Strategy in the Americas)
Philosophy 382 (American Philosophy)
Any approved 495 (Special Topics) or 499 (Independent Study) focused on an American topic or subject

For the most current list of courses or to sign up, email us at
American Studies AIC