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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in American Studies

There are ample opportunities to enhance your education in American Studies through independent research, off-campus study, and internships.There are ample opportunities to enhance your education in American Studies through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program and departmentally supported independent studies. In addition, special fellowships awarded to Knox through national competitions and through the research grants of Knox faculty make Knox a leader in promoting undergraduate research.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner.

  • "'Loving Them as Well as Ourselves,': Finding Middle Ground Between the Dakota and Missionaries at Lac Aui Parle, 1835-1845," Johanna Margaret Blume, '07.

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. Knox offers several off-campus programs of particular interest to American Studies students:

  • The Newberry Library Program in the Humanities offers semester-length and short-term academic sessions at the Newberry Library in Chicago, one of the nation's leading libraries for research in history.
  • The Urban Studies Program in Chicago examines contemporary American culture.
  • In the Washington Semester, students study government in action. A program seminar meets with public officials, political figures, lobbyists and others active in the federal government. Students also complete a research project, frequently based on the student's internship in a government agency.
  • The Chicago Arts Program (ACM) is a 15-week guide to the contemporary visual arts, theater, music, literature, dance, film, and architecture. In addition to attending a wide range of cultural events, students live in Chicago and meet and work with local artists and arts professionals in part-time internships and independent study projects while enrolling in two courses.

As a student of American Studies at Knox, you'll have the opportunity to expand your education -- to get that valuable "real world" experience you hear so much about -- by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests. In recent years, students have conducted internships at The Newberry Library, The Smithsonian Institute, and National Park Service. An example of a recent student internship is:

  • Wetland Intern, V3 Companies, Woodridge, Illinois. Colleen Bohlin '05, environmental studies and American studies major.
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