African American Studies
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
1119 Taliaferro Hall
African-American Studies at the University of Maryland offers a truly interdisciplinary program of excellence focused on the Black experience in the U.S., Africa and the African Diaspora. AASD offers our undergraduate students the option of emphasizing either a cultural-social concentration or one in public policy. We also offer graduate level courses, in collaboration with the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership. Additionally, all University of Maryland students have the opportunity to earn a certificate in African American Studies. AASD works closely with Women's Studies and Sociology, the Driskell Center, the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity and the Maryland Population Research Center. We also have close ties to nearby off-campus resources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Library of Congress, the Museum of American History and National Institute of Health among others.
Chair: O. Barbarin (Prof & Chair, Prof)
Director: S. Hodgson (Dir Admin Srv)
Associate Professors: S. Harley, S. Madhavan, J. Richardson
Assistant Professor: C. Hardaway
Lecturers: T. Clarke (Lecturer), J. England, R. Hall (Lecturer), J. Nichols, G. Kintiba
Adjunct Professor: A. Williams (Res Prof)
The African American Studies Department has mandatory advising for all AASD majors.
Undergraduates in good academic standing may enroll in the African American Studies Department or obtain more information about available options and services by contacting the Undergraduate Academic Advisor, African American Studies Department, 1119 Taliaferro Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, 301-405-1158.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
African American Studies majors and certificate students are welcome and encouraged to apply for undergraduate research assistantships as part of AASP386, Experiential Learning. The student must be in good standing and have at least 56 cumulative credit hours to apply.
Additionally, AASD majors with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above may enroll, with department permission, in the AASP397, Senior Thesis, working with one or more core AASD faculty members. The student must have successfully completed AASP297, Research Methods in African American Studies.
For more information and details, please call the AASD Academic Advisor at 301-405-1158.
Experiential Learning, AASP386, in African American Studies is an academic seminar for majors and certificate students who are working at internship or service sites and organizations whose mission and goals related to the African American experience. Through course work and class discussions, students are challenged to integrate their experiential experiences with the interdisciplinary study of past and present African American communities. To successfully earn credit for experiential learning students must fulfill the requirements at the internship or service site, participate in a weekly seminar, and complete the assigned projects aimed at bringing together academic research, reflective work, and professional development.
The internship or service portion of the course requires students to work closely with their site supervisors. Students are required to fulfill the job responsibilities and work the number of hours per week that is outlined in their learning proposals. Site supervisors define specific job responsibilities and assignments, monitor their training, and evaluate their performance at the end of the semester by completing an evaluation form and submitting a letter of recommendation to be included in their portfolios.
Students are also required to participate in a weekly seminar and complete assignments that examine the relationship between classroom, work, and service experiences. The seminar will give students the opportunity to discuss their internships and how their experiences are enhanced by their understanding of African American studies. During the seminar, students will share information about assignments and give each other feedback. Students will evaluate their internship sites and the roles the sites play in black communities and in promoting social change.
AASP386 was developed to enable majors and certificate students to formally link their academic studies to experiences as undergraduate teaching assistants, undergraduate research assistants, and through external internships, while doing so in a structured learning context.
Undergraduate teaching assistants and undergraduate research assistants work directly with an AASD faculty member who provides supervision and mentoring to the student in all aspects of their undergraduate assistantship.
Student participating in external internships work closely with their site supervisors. Students are required to fulfill the job responsibilities and work the number of hours per week that is outlined in their learning proposals. Site supervisors define specific job responsibilities and assignments, monitor their training, and evaluate their performance at the end of the semester by completing an evaluation form and submitting a letter of recommendation to be included in their portfolios.
All students must participate in a weekly seminar, and complete assigned projects aimed at bringing together academic research, reflective work, and professional development.
AASD offers honors sections for many of our General Education and upper-level elective courses.
AASP397 is a capstone course that offers AASD majors who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and who complete AASP297, with a "B+" or better, the opportunity to work with a tenured or tenured-track AASD faculty member in an independent study to complete a senior thesis project.
Senior thesis students have the opportunity to research, write, and orally defend their thesis project before a panel of AASD faculty.
Please make an appointment to see the AASD Academic Advisor about the honors sequence by calling 301-405-1158.
Student Societies and Professional Organizations
AASD majors have the opportunity of being well prepared for leadership positions in campus organizations. AASD majors have historically held notable positions at the University of Maryland in such organizations as the NAACP, Alpha Nu Omega Sorority, Incorporated and The Black Student Union.
The Society of African American Studies is the student-run organization associated with and supported by the department. The Society provides community service in local schools, hosts on-campus programs and events, and annually has supported a local family through its "Adopt-a-Family" program.
The Society annually sponsors a "Saturday Freedom School" program which brings middle school children from a local Prince George's County Public School to campus for seven consecutive Saturdays. The program provides mentoring and academic support that seeks to foster the development of positive Black identities in the student participants, while strengthening their academic performance.
Students are recruited from across the UMD campus to serve as mentors to Saturday Freedom School participants.
Please call 301-405-1158 to inquire about the Society of African American Studies.
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, please visit www.financialaid.umd.edu.
Awards and Recognition
Graduating seniors with an overall GPA of a 3.2 who have earned a 3.5 GPA within the major are recognized with departmental honors.
Graduating seniors with an overall GPA of a 3.5 who have earned a 3.7 GPA within the major are recognized with departmental high honors.