Visit the Afro-American Studies website.

Main office:
329 New Africa House
181 Infirmary Way
(413) 545-2751


About the Department

About the Degree

Career Opportunities


About the Department

The W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies is one of the largest such departments in the country, offering an undergraduate major for all students who wish in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Black people in Africa and the New World. The course of study is interdisciplinary, with courses in African and Afro-American history, art, political science, and literature.


Students in Afro-American Studies have the opportunity to participate in a variety of on- and off-campus learning situations. The training and experience of the faculty provides a perspective on the history, culture, and place in the world of Africans and Afro-Americans that differs markedly from that of the traditional disciplines. This approach to the study of humanity offers a better understanding of the totality of human experience.


The Department’s highly selective doctoral program seeks to reproduce both the scholarship and the social commitment of Du Bois in a new generation of scholars who will carry into the twenty-first century the work that Du Bois accomplished in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rigorously trained in the highest ideals and most advanced techniques of scholarship, students are urged to carry that scholarship out of the academy and into the world, for the good of the community and the nation. The Department of Afro-American Studies endeavors to produce well-trained scholars who will bring a unique fusion of cross-disciplinary scholarship and social commitment to their own colleges and universities, and to the communities in which they live.


Contact: Tricia Loveland
Office: 325 New Africa House
Phone: (413) 545-2751

Degree: Bachelor of Arts


The Minor

A minor sequence in Afro-American Studies requires that a student elect a minimum of 15 credit hours in the Du Bois Department. Any department-based course not taken as an independent study counts towards the minor requirement. Credits earned in any regular courses taught in other Five College Black Studies departments count towards the minor requirement as well. Students who intend to fulfill the minor requirements in Afro-American Studies are required to register with the department at the beginning of their junior year. Graduating seniors must submit a Declaration of Minor form to the department main office at the beginning of the semester in which they intend to graduate.


The Major

The major in Afro-American Studies requires that a student complete a minimum of 33 credit hours in the Du Bois Department in addition to the Junior Year Writing requirement. Independent study credits do not count toward the major requirements.

I. Introductory Courses (15 cr.)
II. Advanced Courses
Twelve credits hours in courses numbered above 200. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in a particular area
III. Junior Year Writing
365 Composition: Style and Organization
IV. Senior Thesis (6 cr.)
All majors are required to write a six-credit senior thesis or equivalent under the supervision of a faculty member, and to attend a related senior seminar. Students ready to undertake their thesis projects must contact the department secretary to begin the process. For May graduation, the process begins at the beginning of the preceding fall semester, for February graduation at the beginning of the preceding spring semester. At that time students must read and sign a copy of the “Senior Thesis Project Rules, Regulations and Deadlines.”

Please click on the following link for a pdf version of the Major Requirements: Major Requirements


Department Chair:
Amilcar Shabazz
325 New Africa House

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Career Opportunities

Graduates of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies have entered graduate schools in the fields of African and Afro-American studies, history, political science, public health, industrial relations, urban planning, law, literature, and several other areas. They have secured employment in areas such as teaching, journalism, television communications, criminal justice, insurance sales, and community organizing.


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