Degree Requirements

The major will consist of 30 credit hours, 24 of which must be at the upper division level.  To complete a minor in AAAS, a student must complete 18 credit hours of coursework.  AAAS 275, Introduction to Africana Studies, is the required introductory course to the major and the minor.  

Students completing the African and African American Studies degree will acquire knowledge concerning the following:

  • The continuities of beliefs, cultural principles and structures, customs and practices of everyday life that link continental African cultures and African diasporan cultures.
  • The major developments of African American history from the American colonial period to the present; the canon texts and central thinkers in African and African American intellectual history, as well as the relation of this historical legacy to the emergence of the discipline of African and African American Studies.
  • The cultural production and achievements of Africans and African Americans in the visual and performing arts and literature.
  • The critical role played by African and African American labor in the U.S. and European economies, from the slave trade to the contemporary global economy.
  • The significant role of the family, multiple religious and spiritual practices, and the Black Church, in sustaining African American communities.
  • The social, political and economic difficulties and prejudices faced by other marginalized sectors of U.S. society.
  • The value of achieving an international and global consciousness to function effectively in the 21st Century.

In addition, AAAS majors will be able to demonstrate:

  • Analysis of the progress, setbacks, important movements and the contributions of major leaders in African American and diasporan historical development.
  • Ability to draw connections between contemporary African American social problems (e.g. the wide-scale poverty characteristic of African American urban communities), their historic roots, and relevant hegemonic policies and practices.
  • Competence in research methods, oral presentation and expository writing.