African American Studies Major
The African American Studies Department offers a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies or a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies with a concentration in Public Policy. All students will take three foundation courses, two methods courses and one of three capstone options. Students choosing the African-American Studies major take five courses in two thematic areas (or clusters): 1) Cultural and Historical Analysis and 2) Civic Engagement and Social Justice. Students choosing the major will take courses that emphasize understanding historical and cultural context, developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills and fostering the capacity to effect change locally, nationally and globally. Courses cover a wide range of topics, including history, literature, health and well-being, family, politics, criminal justice, gender and race, and incorporate both the African-American and African Diasporic experience.
Students who choose the Public Policy Concentration must take six courses in our Public Policy sequence. The Public Policy concentration offers an emphasis on problem-solving, analytical decision-making, and practical applications of policy analysis and management skills. Courses in public policy cover a range of policy areas, including health, criminal justice, reproduction and education, and also address the institutions and processes involved in policy-making. Students have the opportunity to pursue a Joint BA/MPP degree.
Admission to the Major
Students wishing to major in African American Studies must make an advising appointment for an orientation to the major. Students must complete an application and attend a BSOS academic plan workshop.
Please call the AASD office at 301-405-1158 or visit https://calendly.com/lahsram9 to make an advising appointment.
The African American Studies Department (AASD) fosters an intellectual environment in which majors learn to critically examine, analyze, interpret and discuss the experiences, culture, traditions, and dynamics of people of the African Diaspora. A primary goal of the program is to develop strong critical thinking, analytical skills, research and writing skills, through our curriculum, such that AASD majors learn the interdisciplinary methods used in examining the socio-economic, historical, and political experiences and contributions of people of African descent. Our curriculum is organized and structured to introduce AASD majors to African American Studies and to ensure that they receive appropriate grounding in the major themes of the field and can place these themes in the historical context of the African Diaspora such that they are better prepared to address the social scientific issues of race, racism, and inequality. The program provides preparation in fundamental research methodology so that AASD majors are able to explore research questions with sufficient rigor.
Relevance of goals to the mission statements and/or strategic plans of the university, college, or program as applicable:
The University of Maryland's stated goals for undergraduates include the ability to learn and develop critical reasoning and research skills; written and oral communications skills; science and quantitative reasoning, and technological fluency. AASD majors are well prepared upon graduation in these areas through the department's curriculum and extensive one-on-one mentoring by the AASD faculty.
Program Learning Outcomes
A primary goal of the African American Studies Department is to develop strong critical thinking, research and writing skills, through our curriculum, such that AASD majors learn the interdisciplinary methods used in examining the socio-economic, historical, and political experiences and contributions of people of African descent. Students should acquire the following knowledge and skills:
- Describe the social and historical context of the issues in African American and African Diaspora communities related to health and well-being, family functioning, economic development, political participation and contemporary culture.
- Explain the dynamic interplay between social oppression and resistance in African-American Communities and the African Diaspora
- Identify critical events and historical periods and analyze their implications for politics, economics, health and psychological functioning in African American and African diaspora communities.
- Use social science methods and data to analyze social problems and propose solution.
- Evaluate the validity of claims and conclusions in secular and scientific publications.
- Identify, compute, and interpret common methods for analyzing quantitative data.
- Write clearly and speak persuasively.
Students must earn a grade of "C-" or better in each course that is to be counted toward completion of degree requirements. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements. All related or supporting courses in other departments must be approved by an AASP academic advisor. Each semester there will be an approved list of courses for both those choosing the major or the concentration in Public Policy. The academic advisor will review the student's options during their mandatory advising appointment.
African-American Studies Major: 35 Total Credits
Public Policy Concentration: 38 Total Credits
|Foundation Courses Required for All Majors|
|AASP100||Introduction to African American Studies||3|
|AASP101||Public Policy and the Black Community 1||3|
|or AASP202||Black Culture in the United States|
|AASP210||Intro to Research Design and Analysis in African American Studies||3|
|AASP399||(Research Practicum) 2||2|
|Fundamentals of Quantitative Research in Socio-Cultural Perspective 1|
|(Advanced Qualitative Methods)|
|Capstone (Choose One)||3|
|(Study Abroad in Africa or the African Diaspora)|
|(Capstone Seminar and Community Practicum)|
Required for Public Policy Concentration Students
Research Practicum is taken for 1 credit per semester.
African-American Studies Major
|Five courses at the 300 or 400 level are required. There must be at least one course in Cluster 1 and one in Cluster 2||15|
|(Gender, Race and Health)|
|(Black Children and Youth)|
|(Diversity in Black Family Life)|
|(Racial Socialization of Children)|
|(The Role of Place in Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities)|
|(Structural Violence and Medical Apartheid in Black Communities)|
|(Race, Reproduction and Population Policy: An International Perspective)|
|(Race, Poverty and Transition to Adulthood)|
|(Reducing Black White Achievement Gaps)|
|(Black Men, Popular Culture and Disability)|
|(Intro to Pan-Africanism)|
|(African Contributions to History)|
|(Africa in World Politics)|
|(Comparative Racial Politics)|
|(The Commodification and Economics of the Prison Industrial Complex)|
|(Black Women's Political and Cultural Engagements/Representations of Africa and the Global Diaspora)|
|(Social Inequality and Social Policy in a Global Perspective)|
|(Race, GIS and Social Inequalities)|
|(Negroes with Guns)|
|(African Americans and Public Policy)|
|(The History of Conservative Black Politics)|
Public Policy Concentration
|AASP301||Applied Policy Analysis and the Black Community||3|
|ECON200||Principles of Microeconomics||3|
|PLCY388||Special Topics in Public Policy||3|
|or PLCY401||Contemporary Issues in Public Policy|
|AASP Policy Electives in African American Studies||9|
|Selected Topics in the African Diaspora|
|Black Resistance Movements|
|Science, Technology, and the Black Community|
|Blacks and the Law|
|Special Topics in Black Culture|
|Advanced Topics in Public Policy and the Black Community|