May 25, 2024  
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2019-2020 
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG] See drop-down menu above to access other catalogs.

African American Studies Minor

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African American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the experiences, history and cultural productions of people of African descent in the United States. As an academic discipline, African American Studies considers the study of the particular experiences and contributions of African Americans to be a valuable, distinct area of inquiry; it also recognizes the international and intersectional nature of African American life, especially in its ties to Africa, the African diaspora and to other people of color in the United States. Through its emphasis on diverse perspectives and theoretical approaches to race, the minor provides students with a transformative intellectual experience and competencies that will equip them to engage actively with the world. African American Studies serves as a valuable complement to many majors, including anthropology, art history, criminal justice, education, English, history, philosophy, political science, social work and sociology.

For more information, please contact the African American Studies Coordinator, Dr. Emily Field, in the Department of English, at

Course Requirements

Focus courses (6 credits)

Focus courses are entirely devoted to African American Studies-related content: they either focus on the history, experience and/or cultural productions of African Americans or equip students with the fundamentals of theories of race and ethnicity that can help contextualize, interpret and understand African American history, experiences and culture.

Select two courses from the following:

Contexts and approaches elective courses (6 credits)

By situating their coverage of African American history, experiences and culture in specific disciplinary, and often comparative, contexts, these courses allow students to approach African American Studies from multiple perspectives and with the tools of multiple methodologies.

Complete at least two courses (6 credits) from the following:

Elective (3 credits)

Complete an additional three credits of electives. These may be drawn from the lists above of focus courses and contexts and approaches courses, or from the list below of Africa and the African Diaspora courses.

Africa and the African Diaspora courses situate African American history, experiences and culture in global contexts, recognizing the continuities and resonances between African America and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.


  • Students must take courses with at least two different prefixes (not including AFAM). In other words, course work for the minor must be from at least two different departments.
  • Students must take at least one course at the 300 level or above.
  • By permission of the African American Studies Coordinator, departmental topics and themes courses, including Second Year Seminars, may count towards the minor. Each semester during advising, the coordinator will circulate a list of courses from the upcoming semester that will count towards the minor.
  • By permission of the coordinator, directed studies, study tours, internships or service learning projects may count for up to three credits toward the minor.

Total minimum credits: 18

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