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The Major in Afro-American Studies

What can I do with a major in Afro-American Studies?

As an Afro-American Studies major, you will gain skills in project development, research and analysis, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, problem solving and writing—all skills employers look for in new hires. The undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies prepares you for the complex challenges that face our communities, country, and the world in the 20th century.  Find out more⇒


Majoring in Afro-American Studies requires that a student complete a minimum of eleven (11) courses in the Du Bois Department in addition to AfroAm 365: Junior Year Writing. In their final year, students take a two-semester capstone sequence: AfroAm 494DI: The Du Bois Senior Seminar (offered in the FALL only), and AfroAm 496: The Du Bois Senior Project. Senior projects can be thesis papers or another type of project designed in consultation with a faculty advisor from the department. Independent study credits do not count toward the major requirements. Afro-Am Major Requirements (pdf).

*Primary Majors: Only one departmental course may satisfy the Gen. Ed. Requirement.
*Secondary Majors:  All courses in Afro-American Studies that satisfy Gen. Ed. Requirements will be accepted towards the major, and ourses from your primary major may be accepted as well. 

I. Introduction (1 course)

  • 101 — Introduction to Black Studies, 3 credits

II. Introductory Sequence (4 courses)

Humanities Group (2 courses required)

  • 117 — Survey of Afro-American Literature I, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 118 — Survey of Afro-American Literature II, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 151 — Literature and Culture, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 155 — Concepts in Afro-American Music I, 3 credits (AT,DU)
  • 156 — Concepts in Afro-American Music II, 4 credits (AT,DU)
  • MUSIC 102 — Afro-American Music, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • MUSIC 103 — History of Jazz, 4 credits (AT,DG)

History & Social Sciences Group (2 courses required)

  • 132 — Afro-American History, 1619-1860, 4 credits (HS,DU)
  • 133 — Afro-American History, Civil War to 1954, 4 credits (HS,DU)
  • 161 — Introduction to Afro-American Political Science, 4 credits (HS,DU)
  • ECON 144 — Political Economy of Racism, 4 credits (SB,DU)
  • HISTORY 161 — History of Africa since 1500, 4 credits (HS,DG)

III. Advanced Sequence (4 courses)

Four courses at the 200-400 level (History, Social Sciences, Literature, Creative and Performing Arts)

IV. Junior Year Writing (1 course)

  • 365 — Composition: Style and Organization, 3 credits

V. Senior Seminar Sequence (2 courses)

Both courses required for primary and secondary AfroAm majors: open to juniors and seniors

  • 494DI — Du Bois Senior Seminar, 3 credits (IE designation, fall offering only)
  • 496 — Independent Project, 3 credits

Courses accepted from outside departments and within the other Five College departments or programs may count towards the major: You must contact Britt Rusert, Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Tricia Loveland prior to registering for any courses outside the Afro-American Studies Department.

General Education Requirements