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

The Department of African American Studies offers a major in African American Studies. The major consists of 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. Students must complete ten (10) courses, totaling a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours, and must choose a concentration: Language, Literature, Arts, and Culture or History, Behavioal Science, and Social Inquiry. 

Requirements for the A.B. in African American Studies

To major in African American Studies, a student must successfully complete:

  • Introduction to African American Studies (AFAM-101)
  • Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies (AFAM-456)
  • 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
  • One course in pre-20th century
  • One focused on the African diaspora
  • One additional elective

Within the aforementioned requirements, students must take 2 courses outside of their concentration area. Of those courses, one (1)  must be at the 200-level or above.

Minor in African American Studies

The Department of African American Studies offers a minor in African American Studies.   The minor consists of 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.  Students must successfully complete six (6) courses, totaling a minimum of eighteen (18) credit hours.

Requirements for the Minor in African American Studies

To minor in African American Studies, a student must successfully complete:

  • Introduction to African American Studies (AFAM-101)
  • Methodologies and Theoretical Issues in African American Studies (AFAM-456)
  • Two elective courses numbered 200 or higher
  • Two additional elective courses

The Department of African American Studies’ website (new window) 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 the Schedule of Classes.