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African American StudiesMajor

Degree AwardedBA
Hours To Complete38 - 44
Courses Required11
Department Contact


A Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies is designed to hone and enhance students' research, writing, and critical thinking skills through an interdisciplinary approach. Students are therefore required to take a range of courses in the humanities and social sciences, as well as courses that deal specifically with civil and human rights and Diaspora studies.

Twelve courses are required for the major in African American Studies.

Emphasizing the historical agency of African American and other peoples of African descent and the centrality of race, racism, and racial formation in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, the major is organized thus:

  1. Introductory Requirement: 1 course - AAS 100: Intro to African American Studies (4 credits)
  2. History Core Requirement: 1 course - HIST338/AAS 338 (African American History to 1865) or HIST 339/339 (African American History Since 1865)
  3. Literature Core Requirement: 1 course - AAS 261 (Survey of African American Literature to 1900) or AAS 262 (African American Literature Since 1900)
  4. Humanities Area Requirement: 1 course - Any other AAS course that is cross listed with the following departments: AMST, ARTHIST, CPLT, ENG, ENGCW, FILM, FREN, FILM, HIST, MUS, PHIL, REL, SPAN, and other approved courses
  5. Social Science Area Requirement: 2 courses - Any other AAS course that is cross listed with the following departments: ANTH, ECON, EDS, HIST, POLS, PSYC, SOC, WGS and other approved courses (Note: The second social science class must come from a different discipline than the first social science class)
  6. Diaspora Area Requirement: 1 course - Any other AAS course in which students study people of African descent outside of the United States and is listed or cross listed with the following programs or departments: AFS, LACS and other approved courses
  7. Civil and Human Rights Area Requirement: 1 course - AAS 267, 300, 410, 412, 481 and other approved courses
  8. Electives: 3 courses that originate in or are cross-listed with AAS
  9. Required Capstone Course - AAS 490: Senior Seminar