African American Studies Major
The African American Studies Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with two highly-regarded options: a Cultural and Social Analysis Concentration with emphasis on culture and history; or the Public Policy Concentration with an emphasis on problem-solving, analytical decision-making, and practical applications of policy analysis and management skills. In addition, students who elect majors in other departments can earn a Certificate in African American Studies. In September 2004, we introduced a minor in Black Women's Studies which is a collaborative program with the University's Department of Women's Studies.
Courses offered in this department may be found under the acronym AASP.
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 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:
- Goal 1: Competency in critical analysis:
- AASD students will be able to demonstrate critical reading and analytical skills, including understanding an argument's major assertions and assumptions and how to evaluate its supporting evidence.
- Students will be able to articulate how historical change shapes ideas and social and political structures.
- Students will be able to analyze forms and traditions of thought or expression in relation to cultural, historical, political, and social context, as, for example, dance, literature, music, and philosophical and religious traditions.
- Goal 2: Competency in written communications:
- AASD majors will be able to demonstrate research skills, integrate their own ideas with those of others and apply the conventions of attribution and citation correctly.
- Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to formulate a thesis related to a specific topic and to support the thesis with evidence and argumentation.
- Goal 3: Technological competency and critical analysis:
- AASD majors will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the differences among appropriate and inappropriate methods for drawing conclusions through the use of formal analytical, or computational techniques to address real-world problems.
- Goal 4: Critical/Analytical Reasoning:
- AASD majors will be able to distinguish between premises and conclusions, or between data and inferences from data.
- Goal 5: Competency in oral communications:
- AASD majors will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the connection between writing and thinking and will be able to utilize writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking and communicating in an academic setting. They will use effective presentation techniques drawn from interdisciplinary research methods.
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 faculty advisor.
|Foundation Courses Required for All Majors|
|AASP100||Introduction to African American Studies||3|
|AASP101||Public Policy and the Black Community||3|
|AASP202||Black Culture in the United States||3|
|AASP297||Research Methods in African American Studies||3|
Upper-division AASP electives in the policy area (AASP numbers 499A-Z) or, with approval, elective courses outside of AASP
Cultural and Social Analysis Concentration Requirements
|ELECT 300/400: Upper-Division Electives in African American Studies||18|
|AASP395||Fundamentals of Quantitative Research in Socio-Cultural Perspective||3|
|Directed Readings in African American Studies|
|Classic Readings in African American Studies|
Public Policy Concentration Requirements
|AASP301||Applied Policy Analysis and the Black Community||3|
|AASP303||Computer Applications in African American Studies||3|
|AASP305||Theoretical, Methodological and Policy Research Issues in African American Studies||3|
|ECON200||Principles of Microeconomics||3|
|ECON201||Principles of Macroeconomics||3|
|Introductory Statistics for Sociology|
|Elementary Statistics and Probability|
|AASP* Policy Electives in African American Studies||6|