At my university, there is a compulsory course in European option pricing (centered around Black Scholes formula).
But the course on optimal stopping theory (which is needed for American options) is an elective course.
If most real options are American, why so much focus on European option pricing in the literature and at universities?
For example, why is the Black Scholes formula so important? If it's for European options, and most options are American, then why do we care so much?