Requirements for the Major in Africana Studies
Students who choose to major in Africana studies must complete at least 40 credit hours of course work, including three core courses, one year of foreign language study, and elective courses offered by the Center and/or participating departments.
Each student will take three core courses, one in each of the sub-fields of Africana studies: African studies, African-American studies, and African diaspora studies. Core courses will be offered on a regular basis—either annually or, at a minimum, once every other year. The core will include the following existing courses, plus one introductory course:
- AS 362.111 Introduction to African American Studies
- AS 100.120 Slavery: from Africa to the Americas
- AS 100.121-122 African History
- AS 362.220 Discourses in African Diaspora
Foreign Language Study
Students must demonstrate competence in an appropriate foreign language, either by examination, or by completing one year of language study at the intermediate level. If a student satisfies the language requirement by examination, s/he must take an additional eight credits of elective courses to meet the total requirement of 40 credit hours for the Africana studies major. Students may elect to study a language spoken in one or more African diasporic communities and/or on the African continent. Relevant languages include, but are not limited to, Kiswahili, Yoruba, Arabic, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Each student must complete a minimum of 24 additional credit hours comprised of elective courses offered by participating faculty. At least 12 credit hours must be in courses at the 300 level or above. The Center staff maintains an updated list of appropriate current course offerings, including courses offered by visiting faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and Dean’s Teaching Fellows, and will assist students in selecting courses to construct a coherent program of study. Participating faculty will also be encouraged to develop courses specifically for Africana studies, including interdepartmental and/or team-taught courses.
Honors in Africana Studies
Students who wish to do honors in Africana studies are required to take a two-semester (eight-credit) research seminar, in which they will prepare an honors thesis in consultation with a faculty adviser in the student’s particular area of interest and the faculty coordinator of the undergraduate research seminar. The research seminar will provide guidance on research design, methodology, and analysis and presentation of findings, and give students an opportunity to discuss one another’s projects, share experiences, and receive constructive comments from their peers as well as the faculty coordinator.
In selecting research topics and collecting materials, students are encouraged to explore resources outside those immediately available on campus. With its rich collection of museums and archives, large and historic African-American communities, and growing populations of recent migrants from Africa, the Baltimore-Washington area offers many opportunities for research in Africana studies. Students who wish to undertake research in Africa, or in African American or African diasporic communities beyond the local area, will be encouraged to take advantage of summer research grants and/or study abroad opportunities available at Hopkins. The Center will work with other departments and programs at Hopkins on behalf of students who wish to combine their research in Africana studies with work in another field or ongoing program, such as the joint Minority Health Program recently established by the School of Public Health and Morgan State University.
Requirements for the Minor in Africana Studies
Students who wish to minor in Africana studies must complete a minimum of 24 credits, including two core courses and electives. Three of the electives must be upper-level courses. Foreign language study is not required, but up to eight credits of course work in a foreign language may be counted toward the required electives.