College of Arts and Sciences

Why Major in African American Studies?

African American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the history, culture, beliefs, and actions of people of African descent in the United States and across the world.

As a Major or Minor in African American Studies, you can:

  • Explore the multi-dimensional experiences of people of color in local and global contexts.
  • Take courses across departments based on your interests and goals.
  • Learn how to apply both critical and creative thinking with confidence.
  • Gain experience in humanities and social science research methods, textual analysis, and service-learning opportunities.
  • Develop oral and written communication skills through multiple platforms and technologies.
  • Work with an engaged, award-winning core faculty who will guide you through each stage of the academic process.

Scholars in African American Studies come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and work in fields that deepen the public understanding and consequence of minority experiences. Be a part of a community of scholars that includes (pictured from left to right): historian Darlene Clark Hine, artist Jonathan Green, and economist Julianne Malveaux.


A degree in African American Studies also offers exceptional preparation for high-achieving students who intend to pursue graduate study and professional degrees, particularly in law, education, politics, health, and cultural studies. Students with a B.A. in African American Studies have gone on to careers in science (Mae Jemison, astronaut), government (U.S. Diplomat Jendayi Frazer), medicine (Claudia Thomas, M.D.), art and literature (Gloria Naylor, Aaron McGruder), journalism (Bill Whitaker, CBS news) and non-profit management (Zulayka Santiago, Latino advocacy organization).