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African American and African Studies

College of Letters and Science

  • Bachelor of Arts

Explore the history and culture of Black communities in Africa, the United States and the wider diaspora. African American and African studies is an interdisciplinary field of study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Students in this department investigate the history and culture of communities of African descent in the United States and on the African continent, as well as in diasporic communities of Canada, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. We also explore how social, political and economic factors shape community experience in these locations. The purpose of this program is to give students a sense of the individual characteristics and common concerns of Black communities in Africa, the United States and in the wider diaspora.

Major Requirements

You will begin with a series of foundation courses on historical and contemporary African American culture and society, essential social science methodology and comparative ethnic studies. You may choose, in addition to your study of African American culture, to focus on African or diaspora studies. There is great flexibility within the major to concentrate on areas of particular interest to you.

Contact Information

Degree Outcomes


  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Advocate
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Counselor
  • Administrator
  • Policy Director

Graduate Study

  • Law
  • Sociology
  • Cultural studies
  • Education
  • Film studies

Alumni Employers

  • Apple
  • Teach for America
  • State of California
  • University of California
  • PeaceCorps
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