African American Studies

Department of African American Studies

The Department of African American Studies offers an A.B. in African American Studies, as well as a minor in African American Studies.

The Department of African American Studies embraces Georgetown University's mission as it also seeks through its “commitment to justice and the common good” to engender “serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs [in order to promote] intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding,” particularly concerning African Americans in the United States. By studying the intellectual, historical, cultural, economic, political, religious, literary, scientific and social ideas, institutions, movements and practices of African Americans, the department provides tools to theorize solutions to social issues rooted in longstanding and persistent racial divides. The department's interdisciplinary methodology encourages students to make connections and to think critically and creatively across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The African American Studies curriculum promotes the faculty’s cultural competencies, critical faculties, and historical sensibilities and equips students for educational and career success. 

Major in African American Studies

Effective Fall 2016, the Department of African American Studies offers a major in African American Studies. Students must complete ten (10) courses, totaling a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours, and must choose a concentration: Literature, Language, Arts, and Culture (LLAC) or History, Behavioral Science, and Social Inquiry (HBSSI).  The major has two required courses, AFAM-101: Introduction to African American Studies and AFAM-457: Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies.  Students must take 8 additional courses, including five within their area of concentration, one in which the historical focus is pre-20th century, and another in which the content focus is the African diaspora.  The pre-20th century course and African diaspora requirements can be overlaid, and students may satifsy them concurrently while completing other requirements for the major.  Courses that deeply and substantively examine African American culture, history and experience in the United States, study African culture, history, people, and politics as pretext and context to African American experience, and explore the Black Atlantic diaspora satisfy the major's requirements. Students are encouraged to select at least nine hours of course work specifically related to African American experience in the United States. To major in African American Studies, a student must successfully complete:

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE A. B. IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

  • Introduction to African American Studies (AFAM-101)
  • Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies (AFAM-457)
  • Five elective courses within the area of concentration (1 course numbered 100 or higher, 2 courses numbered 200 or higher, and 1 course numbered 300 or higher)
  • Two elective courses in non-concentration area
  • One additional elective

Within the aforementioned requirements, one course must focus on the African Diaspora and the other must have a pre-20th century historical focus.

Minor in African American Studies

Effective Fall 2016, the Department of African American Studies implements the new requirements for the minor in African American Studies.  Students must successfully complete six (6) courses, totaling a minimum of eighteen (18) credit hours.  The minor consists of two required courses, AFAM-101: Introduction to African American Studies and AFAM-457: Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies, and four additional courses, two of which must be numbered 200 or higher. Courses that deeply and substantively examine African American culture, history and experience in the United States, study African culture, history, people, and politics as pretext and context to African American experience, and explore the Black Atlantic diaspora satisfy the minor's requirements. Students are encouraged to select at least nine hours of course work specifically related to African American experience in the United States. To minor in African American Studies, a student must successfully complete:

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

  • Introduction to African American Studies (AFAM-101)
  • Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies (AFAM-457)
  • Two elective courses numbered 200 or higher
  • Two additional elective courses

*Students who declared the minor prior to Fall 2016 may satisfy the minor by fulfilling either the former or new requirements.  The previous requirements can be found on the Department of African American Studies' website, and students should consult with the Department Chair to see how their previous course work fits into the new model.* 

The Department of African American Studies' website contains the most up-to-date information regarding the major, minor, and approved courses, and students are encouraged to visit it for additional information.

For course listings for African American Studies, see http://courses.georgetown.edu/.