About the Major
African American Studies examines the historical, cultural, political, economic, and social development of people of African descent. We focus on African America as part of the African Diaspora. We situate the specific forms of expression and resistance from people of African descent in North America in the context of a wider Black world, including societies in the Caribbean, South America, and Central America. African American studies is particularly strong in comparative analysis. It is an in-depth, comparative, and multidisciplinary major.
You will learn about African American and Black diasporic history and culture in relation to the history and culture of Latinx, Asian, Native American, and other underrepresented populations of North America. We will focus on social justice: the histories of slavery, colonialism, segregation, economic exploitation, and the continual forms of resistance Black people have developed in the struggle for civil and human rights. As an interdisciplinary field, you will develop the independent analytic abilities of investigation needed to research history, literature, politics, sociology, psychology, law, and more.
To earn a bachelor of arts degree in African American Studies, you must take:
Core courses (required of all majors)
- Lower-division requirements (12 units)
- ETST 001
- ETST 003
- One chosen from ETST 002, ETST 005, or ETST 007
- Upper-division requirements (40 units)
- ETST 101A or ETST 101B
- ETST 100 or ETST 131
- ETST 109-I and ETST 191R
- 16 additional upper-division units in ethnic studies chosen from courses focusing on the African American experience
- A minimum of one ethnic studies course chosen from two of the following four areas of emphasis (8 units)
- Asian American Studies
- Chicano Studies
- Native American Studies
- Comparative Issues
Note: no internship courses may be counted toward the upper-division electives in ethnic studies.
To earn a African American Studies minor, you must take:
- Lower-division requirement (4 units): ETST 003
- Upper-division requirement: 20 additional upper-division units in ethnic studies chosen from courses focusing on African Americans
- Prerequisites as needed