African American Studies, BALAS

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Major in African American Studies

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department faculty: African American Studies Faculty

overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

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African American Studies is a field that systematically explores the life and culture of African American peoples and their African Diaspora relationships, patterns, and ties.  Those who major in African American Studies will learn about the historical, political, ideological, legal, social, artistic, and economic issues affecting African Americans.  They will learn about the dignity-affirming struggles of African American people to have their humanity acknowledged, valued, and understood. 

The major in African American Studies (AAS) is to provide students with a transdiciplinary perspective on the origin, role and policy implications of race in the United States and world political economy, society and culture, over time. AAS students will learn diverse concepts, theories and methodologies for analyzing the experiences and perspectives and the cultural and intellectual production of African Americans and African descended people, largely though not exclusively in the United States. An African American studies major will be encouraged to achieve excellence in developing vital creative and critical competencies, including oral and written communication, computer and statistical skills. Students majoring in AAS will also be encouraged to join a new generation of leadership grounded in African American studies knowledge and committed to public engagement to meet the continuing challenges of a diverse democratic society; and to foster national discourse to produce public policy aimed at achieving social justice.

This program is designed to serve undergraduate students primarily interested in the social sciences and humanities, though all students are welcome and encouraged to enroll in the program. This program prepares students for graduate study and research in traditional disciplines and interdisciplinary fields and for careers in the private or public sectors such as teaching, social work, human resources, criminal justice, management and administration, city planning, marketing, policy-making, medicine and law.

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Major in African American Studies

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours). Please see your adviser.

Departmental distinction:
To graduate with distinction, students must complete the following:  

  1. 3.3 overall G.P.A
  2. 3.6 program G.P.A
  3. Complete AFRO 495 Senior Thesis Seminar with a grade of 3.3 or better

I. Core course requirements
AFRO 100Intro to African American St3
AFRO 220Intro to Research Methods AfAm3
AFRO 490Theory in African American St3
AFRO 495Senior Thesis Seminar3
II. Theory and Methods Requirement
At least one theory and one methods course beyond the core. The courses must be selected from a list maintained in the Department's advising office.6
III. Thematic Areas
Students must take at least one course each from the following five areas. At least 6 of the remaining hours must be taken from only one of any of the five areas. A list of courses is maintained in the Department's advising office.21
A. Comparative Race, Racialized Communities and Identities
B. Cultural Production and Cultural Movements
C. Political Economy, Public Policy and Contemporary Issues
D. Global Interconnections: Black Transnationalism and the African Diaspora
E. Black Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
IV. Cognate or Supporting Coursework
Students must complete 9 hours of supporting coursework. Supporting coursework courses consists of a set of courses which are logically grouped, and which reflect or support a student's interests outside of the African American Studies major. Supporting coursework courses must be approved by the Department's undergraduate advisor. 9
Total Hours48