A major or minor in Africana Studies introduces students to the comprehensive study of the African Diaspora. We offer students the analytic tools to understand the root causes and changing nature of inequality around the world. Our curriculum is designed for undergraduates interested in deepening their study of the social sciences, humanities, and public health through an attention to the historical and contemporary experience of black people.
As a matter of knowledge, students will gain an understanding of the world from the perspective of African-descended people. Our courses provide an appreciation of how communities and individuals have responded to racism and inequality over time. Knowledge of African and Diaspora history is crucial for cultural and political literacy.
As a matter of utility, Africana Studies offers students the tools to achieve excellence in fields as diverse as public health, government, sociology, education, social services, and medicine. It provides an ideal approach for understanding the experiences of marginalized groups and ethnic communities. Our recent Africana Studies majors and minors have gone on to graduate programs in public health, international studies, education, social work, social policy, and law.
Students must successfully complete three core courses in Africana Studies from the following list:
- Introduction to Africana Studies (362.112)
- African History (100.121-122 or 362.121-122)
- Introduction to the African Diaspora (362.104)
- Introduction to African American Studies (362.111)
Each student must complete a minimum of 24 additional credit hours, comprised of elective courses offered by participating faculty, including courses offered by visiting faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and Dean’s Teaching Fellows.
Requirements for the Minor
Students who wish to minor in Africana Studies must complete a minimum of 18 credits, including two core courses and electives. Three of the electives must be upper- level courses.
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.