This paper addresses the historical development and general characteristics of American Studies in China and examines its strengths and weaknesses with a case study of an American Studies graduate program in Beijing. The paper first provides an overview of the history of American Studies in China since 1979, the year that marked the normalization of the Sino-US diplomatic relationship and the institutionalization of American Studies as an academic field. Second, it summarizes the unique characteristics of American Studies in China and lists major challenges it now faces for further development. The third part uses the American Studies Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University, a flagship graduate-level study and research program in China, as a case study to examine more closely the accomplishments of the past 30 years and the challenges faced at the current stage. A questionnaire survey conducted among its alumni and a content analysis evaluation of all available M.A. theses demonstrate that the flagship program has its language strength and unique pedagogical accomplishments. However, the program has been uneven in disciplinary development and research training. The findings suggest that for further growth, the program should design more balanced curricula, put greater emphasis on research training, and incorporate more interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary approaches into American Studies.