University of Minnesota
African American & African Studies

Department of African American & African Studies home page.

Degree Requirements


The African American & African Studies major integrates the global study of African peoples by teaching students the tools of inquiry from the liberal arts disciplines. Majors can take courses in the departmental curriculum that fulfill the University-wide liberal education requirements. These include the Diversified Core Requirements, the Designated Theme Requirements, the Writing Requirement, and the Second Language Requirement (See the U of M Undergraduate Catalog). Honors and Freshman Seminars are also offered.

The core requirement for the major is a combination of courses from one of three disciplinary clusters:

  1. literatures and arts of the African world
  2. histories and historiography of the African world
  3. social and behavioral science perspectives on the African world

Or from one of two regional concentrations:

  1. the African continent
  2. the African Diaspora

A complete list of courses offered in the undergraduate degree curriculum and the liberal education requirements they meet is found below.

General Requirements

All students are required to complete general university and college requirements including completing at least 120 credits of writing and liberal education courses and the CLA language requirement. Students are also encouraged to study one of three (3) languages of Africa and the Middle East (Arabic, Swahili, and Hausa and/or one of the languages related to the African world (French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish) to meet their CLA second language requirement and/or to prepare for learning abroad opportunities.

Program Requirements

Students must complete all required areas on an A-F basis and at least 30 credits with a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all major courses.


Students must complete all required courses on an A-F grade basis and at least 15 credits in African American & African Studies at the 3/4/5xxx level with a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all minor courses. Students are encouraged to take the "Gateway Course" (AFRO 1012 -The Black World in Contemporary Perspective, 3 cr.), but it does not contribute toward minor credits. All courses must have the AFRO designator.

Students may complete up to 2 credits toward the minor for an approved internships. Up to 3 credits may be accepted from directed study, or independent study associated with a learning abroad opportunity. For approval of these courses, please consult with the departmental undergraduate adviser.

Special Minor(s) Requirements

Ethnic Studies Minor in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity

A major in African American & African Studies or some other undergraduate degree program can earn an Ethnic Studies Minor in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity.  Students who complete the minor in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity take one core and four elective courses in ethnic studies. The four electives must be taken across at least two ethnic studies fields.

Please consult the academic adviser or DUS for details regarding these special opportunities.