Research Opportunities & Senior Capstone

If you would like to conduct original research in American Studies, opportunities available include our undergraduate research courses including AMS 99, AMS 199, and the Senior Capstone Project (AMS 190A, and AMS 190B).  

Undergraduate Research Courses AMS 99/AMS 199

Students completing an AMS 99 - Individual Study for Undergraduates (1-5 units, P/NP grading) or AMS 199 - Special Study for Advanced Undergraduate (1-5 units, P/NP grading) course have the opportunity to individually work on a proposed American Studies project with faculty mentorship. 

AMS 199 requires an adequate background in the subject proposed for study as well as prior completion of 84 units; credit is limited to a total of 5 units per term. 

Students interested in completing an AMS 99 or 199 course should review the AMS 99/199 form and will need to obtain approval from an American Studies faculty sponsor prior to completing the form and enrolling in the course.

AMS 99/199 Form

American Studies Senior Capstone Project

The American Studies senior capstone project (AMS 190A, previously called Senior Thesis, is a great opportunity for students to produce a substantive and original piece of American studies work. The capstone project is optional. The goal is to synthesize and integrate what students have learned from their various courses. Most students will choose a research question, identify appropriate sources and methods, and decide on the most appropriate form for their finished project. You can take a more creative form (for example, a short film, an audio podcast, or another type of media project).

The capstone course provides students with a structured environment to pursue a project and to work with other American studies majors in a supportive and collaborative fashion. While students may elect to continue pursuing their capstone project for an additional quarter (as an independent study under the guidance of a faculty member) it is no longer required. Please note that students in other interdisciplinary majors may also take the course with the instructor’s permission.

AMS 190B Form 

Past AMS Projects  

Other UC Davis Research Opportunities

  • Undergraduate Research Center (URC)
  • The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) encourages and facilitates research opportunities for UC Davis undergraduates in all majors and class levels. They offer awards and activities to support undergraduate research across the university. To learn more about the Undergraduate Research Center please visit
  • Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities Conference
  • Each year, UC Davis undergraduates in all academic fields are invited to submit an abstract and registration information to participate in the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities Conference. The conference is designed to acquaint undergraduate students with the process and academic rigors of presenting research in a scholarly manner and in an affirming environment. To learn more eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit
  • Mentorships for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science (MURALS)
  • Mentorships for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters, and Science (MURALS) is a pre-graduate opportunity program designed to enrich the research experience of students situationally disadvantaged in their access to graduate school. To learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application process, please visit
  • Mentor-Mentee Program in Humanities, Arts, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences
  • The Mentor-Mentee Program in Humanities, Arts, Cultural Studies, and Social Sciences pairs graduate student mentors with second year, third year, and fourth year undergraduates in the humanities and social sciences to introduce students to academic research and build research and analytical skills. To learn more about the program please visit
  • Provost's Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF)
  • The Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF) supports undergraduate students doing research or creative projects under the guidance of UC Davis faculty members. Students from all discipline areas are eligible to apply.  Applicants need to be enrolled during the time of the research project. The maximum award is $1,500 toward approved costs directly related to the project. To learn more about this fellowship opportunity and application process, please visit