AFRICAN & AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES

Area of Focused Interest Requires an Additional 20 Credit Hours
Course Requirements are: EN 341; HS 331; HS 336; PL 313, and PS 203

Links to sources for jobs, career options and graduate study are listed below: 

A minor field concentration in African & African-American studies involves the comprehensive and multi-disciplinary study of the varied experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world diaspora. This would include societies in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America as well the United Sates. Students will investigate the complex social, economic, political, cultural and historical development of people of African descent worldwide. However, particular emphasis will be extended to help explore the current socio-economic, cultural and political trends in Africa and the African-American community with a vision toward the future. A diasporic framework of analysis is required such that students will be expected to develop an analytical ability that is also based in interdisciplinary skills and research.        

In addition to the interdisciplinary core requirement of 60 credit hours for the B.A. degree in BHS, students who choose a minor field concentration in African & African-American Studies are required to successfully complete an additional concentration of 20 credit hours. This would include courses in African-American Literature, African & African-American History, Psychology of the African-American Experiences and Politics of American Minorities. 

What Career Options are Available in African & African-American Studies?

Just as a B.A. degree with a major or minor field concentration in any area of the social sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, history, etc) qualifies a person for entry level jobs which require “people skills”, the same can be said of this area of study. Students will have the combined major and minor field interdisciplinary preparation in comparative 

economics, database management, statistics, social research, history, political science, sociology and psychology as well as this unique subject matter. Therefore, such students will be more than well equipped to excel in entry level jobs and careers as would any student completing a B.A. degree. African & African-American Studies also offers students the appropriate training for those interested in pursuing admission to graduate or professional schools and careers in such areas as:

education
journalism
law
business management 
city planning
international relations
politics
psychology
publishing 
social work     

What Exactly Can You Do with a Degree in African & African-American Studies ?

To answer this frequently asked question, the Department of African-American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota commissioned a special study. Robert Fikes, Jr., a key librarian at San Diego State University, was asked to compile a representative list of several hundred professionals who, as undergraduates, had completed a B.A. degree in this area. If you have any doubts concerning the relevance of choosing such an area of study then just consider that one day you might find yourself in the company of such persons as:

Ambassador Dr. Jendayi Frazier – Current U.S. Ambassador to South Africa
Ray Saurez – Broadcast Journalist with PBS
Dr. Mae Jemison – First African-American female Astronaut
Dr. Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr. – University of Chicago
Atty. Naomi Pabst – Professor African-American Studies, Yale University
Aaron McGruder – Political Cartoonist, “Boondocks”, NAACP Image Award Recipient 2002
Devorah Major – Poet Laureate of San Francisco, 2002
Lisa Williamson aka “Sista Souljah” – writer/activist, author NY Times bestseller “The Coldest Winter Ever” (2004)
Endesha Ida Mae Holland – Civil Rights Activist & Playwright
Haven Daley – TV Reporter & Producer PBS
David Van Taylor – Documentary Film 

These are just a few of the prominent individuals who completed their undergraduate studies in African & African-American Studies at various colleges and universities throughout the United States. The Department of BHS encourages its students who choose this minor field concentration to prepare themselves for entrance into careers in the social service, “for-profit” business sectors and/or subsequent graduate or professional study.

The following are sample internet resources that students might explore in helping you plan ahead for career possibilities as well as gaining further insight into this unique area of study:

The Black Collegian Online www.blackcollegian.com
Chicago Council on Black Studies http://sol.plp.uic.edu/online.htm
African American Web Connection www.aawc.com
Afro-American Studies on the Web http://afroam.aas.wisc.edu/places.htm
Soul Search: Search Engine for the World’s People of Color www.soulsearch.net
The Universal Black Pages www.ubp.com
African-American Organizations www.aawc.com/aao.html
Africa News Online www.africanews.org

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