African and African-American Studies Major

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African and African-American Studies offers students a broader and deeper understanding of our world. We promote global and inclusive perspectives—drawing from history, literature, the arts and the social sciences—to explore the realities and life experiences of Africans and African Americans. For students of any ethnic background, a major in AAS offers a uniquely rounded liberal arts education that can lead to a wide variety of career options or further studies.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare the major in African and African-American Studies.

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (35-38 credits*)

Major Departmental Requirements (36 credits)

Students in the African and African-American Studies program pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.

The major consists of 36 credits: 12 credits from the basic core and 24 credits from upper-division courses. After successfully completing 12 credits of introductory work, students are encouraged to specialize in a liberal arts discipline. At least 12 of the 24 required upper-division credits must be in the chosen area of specialization.

Required Basic Core (12 credits, four courses)

  • AAS100 Introduction to African-American Studies*
  • AAS104 Institutional Racism*
  • AAS113 Introduction to African-American History*
  • AAS114 African-American History 1865-present*
  • AAS204 African Politics and Society*
  • AAS215 Caribbean History*
  • AAS235 Introduction to African-American Literature*

Required Upper-division Courses (24 credits)

Students complete at least 12 credits in their chosen area of specialization. The remaining 12 credits are selected from the Department of African and African-American Studies or, where necessary, from other departments by advisement from the Department of African and African-American Studies.

Electives (46-49 credits)

Total Credits (120 credits)

Additional Degree Requirements

*denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate the purpose and history of the field of African and African-African American Studies, and its proclivity to offer a corrective to mainstream representations of Africa and Africans.
  2. Interpret the Africana experience by applying methodologies and perspectives in African and African American studies.
  3. Identify key themes on how race, ethnicity, class and gender impact issues in African and African American Studies from a variety of disciplinary approaches.
  4. Analyze the historical experiences of African people on the continent of Africa and in the Diaspora, underscoring crucial themes relevant to their experiences.
  5. Analyze the literary expressions and contributions of African people on the continent of Africa or in the Diaspora, including analysis of seminal literary treatises from ancient times to the present.
  6. Analyze the experience of African people on the continent of Africa or in the Diaspora from the perspective of the social sciences.
  7. Apply the skills and knowledge acquired in their studies to practical use, such as going on for further study or serving as agents of change in their own settings and communities.