African American Studies (B.A.)

The major in African American Studies prepares students for a wide range of professional and career opportunities. Majors can continue to graduate (including doctoral level) studies in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, or pursue professional programs in law, medicine, business, and journalism. Graduates who enter the job market are prepared for careers in human services and public health, education, public relations, community development, urban planning; and more generally for jobs in the public sector, in central cities and urban institutions, or jobs that involve cultural or intergroup relations as well as international affairs. In the context of metropolitan Detroit, African American Studies graduates will be better prepared to deal with the complexity and diversity of the city’s political and demographic realities as they assume important roles of leadership.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University.

 

Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the Departmental major requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. A grade point average of 2.0 is required both in the African American Studies major and in General Education requirements for graduation.

Students with an interest in African American studies and majoring in anthropology, English, history, sociology, urban studies, and political science are encouraged to consider a second major in African American studies. Many African American Studies courses are cross listed, and African American Studies majors may receive credit for courses taken for another major.

Major Requirements

Majors must complete at least thirty-six credits in a prescribed course of study, including:

AFS 3420/PS 3820Pan Africanism: Politics of the Black Diaspora4
AFS 2210(SS) Black Social and Political Thought4
AFS 3180Black Social Movements4
AFS 3200The African-American Film Experience4
AFS 5110(WI) Black Women in America (Writing Intensive Requirement)3
Select two of the following:6-8
African American Culture: Historical and Aesthetic Roots
AfroLatino/a History and Culture
(IC) Introduction to African-American Literature: Literature and Writing
Race and Racism in America
Black Urban History
Black Workers in American History
(FC) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Foreign Culture: The Africans
African Americans in Television
Select one of the following:3-4
Special Topics in African American Studies
Law and the African American Experience
The Psychology of African Americans
AFS electives4-8

Internships

Internships are available in which students gain experience through placements in settings similar to those in which they will later be seeking professional roles. These include: community service agencies, community-based self-development organizations, public and private institutions, Black alternative organizations and other appropriate settings. Some students may also do a practicum directly with the Department of African American Studies, assisting in research, community relations, and in the organization, coordination and conduct of community extension and education service programs. The objective of this mode of study is to offer students the opportunity to synthesize diverse ideas, theories and methodologies with important and practical real world imperatives. Interested students should contact the department's undergraduate advisor,

Summer Study Abroad

This travel program periodically visits Africa and/or Brazil. Through an integrated field/classroom/seminar experience, students are challenged to grow intellectually, as well as to increase their self-awareness and sensitivity to other cultures. For more information, consult the department advisor.