A 36-unit honours program can be undertaken wholly within American Studies or jointly with another appropriate department or school such as History, Politics, or English. A joint program is constructed in consultation with the two departments, but usually involves 18 units of study in each of the two disciplines. A joint honours program should be carefully constructed in consultation with both areas.

The American Studies honours program involves both coursework and a thesis. The program of study and topic descriptions are set out on the Honours - American Studies page.

To be eligible for honours a candidate normally must have completed a Bachelor degree with a major sequence in American Studies and achieved a GPA of at least 4.25 in 27 units of a major sequence in American Studies. However, the BA Board may approve other applicants who show evidence of the ability and background in the discipline to undertake honours work.

Students who satisfy the conditions will receive an offer of entry to honours in late December (provided they have indicated their major on the enrolment form) together with a form which should be returned to the BA Office by the end of December. Honours enrolment is held in late January, and is distinct from undergraduate re-enrolment.

Enrollment in any honours program is provisional upon the relevant school/department being able to provide appropriate resources and staff to supervise the program of study.

Application forms for honours are available from the BA Office.

2014 fourth year (honours)


A, B, C & D

American Studies Honours Thesis
4.5 units
AMST7007 Studies in American Social Criticism Part 1
4.5 units
AMST7008 Studies in American Social Criticsm Part 2
4.5 units
AMST7016  Washington Internship Program
 4.5 units

You should be aware that Studies in American Social Criticism can be taken as an Honours topic in both History and Politics.

Recent American Studies honours theses

The following are examples of honours theses completed in American Studies in the past five years:

  • Hannah Armitage, The suasive power of political language: how the term 'partial birth' changed the abortion debate in the United States
  • Martin Bailey, Why regulation failed, again: An American context for the Global Financial Crisis
  • Joshua Balfour, Redefining war: George W Bush and military transformation: an uncommon revolution
  • Kyra Berry, The politics behind the Iraq war: the role of Australian and American legislatures
  • Andrew Butler, A neoconservative ascension: the neoconservative capture of the Bush foreign policy agenda
  • McRae Dunbar, A Goldy dominion: the influence of the Christian right in US politics
  • Carol Ellis, Limited neutrality: American public opinion and the war in Europe 1939-1941
  • Sunshine Elmore, Separate-but-equal: from Plessy v Ferguson to Brown v Board of Education
  • Roderick Essery, Red in grey and blue: why did the Native American 'five civilised nations', particularly the Cherokees, fight 'brother against brother' on opposing sides of the American Civil War?
  • Nicole Gale, Nuclear brinkmanship: United States-North Korean relations under Presidents Clinton and Bush
  • Christina Gardner, Political design or God's will? US territorial expansion in the 1840s
  • Jane Goodwin, Designing women: representations of women in American situation comedy since 1950
  • Kay Haddock, Lippmann: the liberal theoretician
  • Kevin Hall, A dodged tenacity: Ulysses S. Grant, free labour, and a nation's New Order
  • Kate Hogan, From sparks to a blaze: the reassertion of Native American sovereignty in the twentieth century
  • Justine Hugo, The mid-Atlantic man Alistair Cooke
  • Kevin Kenny, The ANZUS crisis: cold war diplomacy, 1984-1986
  • Damian Lataan, Flights of fancy: the failure of American air power during the Great War 1917-1918
  • Emma Morris, Who was Malcolm X?
  • Ed Price, Carter, Reagan and the first wars on terror
  • Seth Rosenberg, The Ku Klux Klan in Rutherford, Cleveland, Gaston and Lincol Counties, North Carolina in 1870-71
  • Deana Scheerhoorn, C'mon get happy: the politics of American situation comedy
  • Lucas Scheffel, Al Capone: the symbol of law and order in 1920s Chicago
  • Toula Skiadas, Differences that count: understanding the motivations of committed partisans in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections
  • Corey Tresize, Culture, form and politics: notes on the progression of the American intellectual tradition
  • William Turner, American exceptionalism: rhetoric and reality
  • Branka Vukasinovic, The changing nature of the civil rights movement: a final dissertation
inspiring achievement