University of Minnesota
African American & African Studies

Department of African American & African Studies home page.

Undergraduate Program

Areas of Concentration


The undergraduate major in African American & African Studies provides students with a systematic understanding of the cultural and historical experiences of African peoples and peoples of the African Diaspora. This exciting and informed undergraduate curriculum emphasizes five areas of concentration of the African World:

  1. Literature and Arts
  2. Histories and Historiography
  3. Social and Behavioral Science Perspectives
  4. the African Continent
  5. the African Diaspora

Combined with language training and learning abroad opportunities, these areas of concentration integrate the global study of African peoples by engaging students inside and outside the classroom and by teaching the tools of inquiry from the liberal arts disciplines.

The major prepares students:

  • To examine African American history, life (race, gender and inequalities), civil rights, and culture (literature and arts).
  • To examine related disciplines of history, geography, literature, religion, and the languages of Africa.
  • To examine the migrations and immigration of African peoples on a global scale and the underlying inequalities that result in their dispersion.

African Languages

In addition to its five areas of concentration, the undergraduate major fully integrates languages into its undergraduate degree curriculum. Our language program prepares students intellectually to explore and participate in an ethno-national culture and for world citizenship. We currently offer courses in Swahili and Somali. Courses in Arabic are offered through the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures.

Undergraduate Minors

The undergraduate minor in African American & African Studies provides students an opportunity to integrate an area of concentration or special minor into African American & African Studies or into another major undergraduate degree program.

Undergraduate majors also have an opportunity to earn an Ethnic Studies Minor in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity.

Consult the Academic Advisor for details regarding these opportunities to earn a major or minor in African American & African Studies.

Undergraduate Handbook

A new undergraduate handbook is being developed, and will soon be posted to replace the old handbook.

What can you do with a major in African American & African Studies?

Download a PDF poster, or visit the CLA Career Services AA&AS page. Learn more from an AA&AS major about their experience, via this video testimonial.