Majors, Minors, and Certificates

Cultural and Social Analysis Concentration


The AASD offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in two different concentrations: 1) a cultural and social analysis concentration with traditional liberal arts training aimed at exploring the culture and history of African-Americans; 2) a public policy concentration, which trains students to use advaned analytical, problem management skills to create viable, new policy solutions to alleviate the debilitating problems affecting African-American communities; and 3) a joint BA/MPM degree to majors in the African American Studies/Public Management Program.

All AASD majors are required to complete the 15 credit-hour of foundation courses that focus on African-American community. In these courses students examine social, political and economic institutions and their relevance to African-American citizens and their communities.

Majors also must complete AASP 397, Senior Thesis, and pass an oral defense of their thesis before the AASD faculty. During AASP 397, students work closely with their major advisor or a selected faculty member who guides the student's research and writing.

The Cultural and Social Analysis Concentration (39 credit-hours)

Segment 1: The Foundation Courses, 15 credit-hours

AASP 100 Introduction to African American Studies
AASP 101 Public Policy and the Black Community
AASP 200 African Civilization
AASP 202 Black Culture in the United States
AASP 297 Research Methodologies in African American Studies

Segment 2

18 credit-hours in one upper level African American Studies course or more specialty areas. (Note: These courses, which must relate to the African or African-American experience, must be 300 level and above-AASP 386 not included. Most courses will be listed under AASD. The department does accept pre-approved courses.)

Segment 3

A departmental seminar (AASP 400 or AASP 402) and Senior Thesis (AASP 397), or a Non-Thesis Seminar (AASP 396) and the Experiential Learning course (AASP 386), three credit-hours each.

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Public Policy Concentration


African American Studies majors enrolled in the 48 credit-hour public policy concentration must pursue a prescribed set of courses. The concentration is divided into four segments: the 15 credit-hour Foundation Courses, 21 credit-hours of analytical skills courses, nine credit-hours of electives in the policy area, and a three credit-hour final option.

Segment 1: The Foundation Courses (15 hours)

AASP 100 Introduction to African American Studies
AASP 101 Public Policy and the Black Community
AASP 200 African Civilization
AASP 202 Black Culture in the United States
AASP 297 Research Methodologies in African American Studies

Segment 2: Analytical Skills Development (21 hours)

Statistics STAT 100, or any pre-approved statistics course.
ECON 200 Principles of Micro-Economics
ECON 201 Principles of Macro-Economics
AASP 301 Applied Policy Analysis and the Black Community
AASP 303 Computer Applications in African American Studies
AASP 305 Theoretical, Methodological, and Policy Research Issues in African American Studies

Skills Elective in approved course from student's area of interest, such as courses in management, accounting, computer programming, mathematics, statistics, and economics.

Segment 3: Policy Electives (9 credit hours)

The policy electives, including AASP 499A-Z, AASP 443 and AASP 441, are upper level courses which encourage students to think creatively about the underlying causes and possible solutions to a complex array of problems (including technology-based problems) confronting minorities and society at large.

Note:The public policy concentration's sequence of courses combines the historical scholarship of Segment 1 with the analytical tools of Segment 2. Therefore, students are required to have completed the core courses, AASD 301, AASP 303 and the statistics and economics requirements, before taking any courses in Segment 3.

Segment 4: AASP 397, Senior Thesis

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Minor in Black Women's Studies


The African American Studies Department (AASD) and the Department of Women's Studies proudly announces a new joint minor in Black Women's Studies. Drawing on the theoretical, methodological and pedagogical insights of the field of black women's studies, this interdisciplinary minor emphasizes the lives and experiences of women of Africa and the African Diaspora by drawing broadly from the humanities, social sciences, history, and the arts.

The field of Black Women's Studies is a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary field which has developed dramatically in the past three decades with an outpouring and depth of intellectual productivity in both the humanities and social sciences. As a growing specialty in the fields of both Women's Studies and African American Studies, Black Women's Studies (BWST) has addressed a history of exclusion of Black women's lives and experiences in Women's Studies and has filled the lacunae about Black women which developed in African American Studies as a result of its intellectual trajectory that focused primarily on Black men.

Following such noteworthy scholarly achievements as the hallmark publication of Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, in 1984; the establishment of the Association of Black Women Historians in 1979 that annually awards prestigious book and article prizes that have been won by some of the most noted contemporary American historians; the two Black Women and the Academy Conferences at MIT & Howard, and the founding of the journal, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism in 2000 at Smith College, this specialty has come of age as a valued field of academic inquiry, engaged in intellectually rigorous and exciting scholarship, recognized throughout the academy.

The University of Maryland is in a unique position because it is recognized as a national and international leader is the field. Housed in the Departments of African American Studies, Women's Studies their respective and over-lapping affiliates are a group of faculty whose stature and a stellar reputations are continuously reaffirmed through publication of books, monographs and articles, as well as grants, awards, prizes, fellowships, exceptional professional service and academic productivity. The requirements for this minor are designed to ensure that students become knowledgeable about the comparative, historical, humanistic and social scientific approaches of this specialty.

The minor in Black Women's Studies draws on cross cultural, humanistic and socioeconomic perspectives to provide a coherent interdisciplinary approach to the study of Black women's lives and history. As a specialty in the fields of Women's Studies and African American Studies, it will provide students with tools for understanding the social and cultural contexts in which race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nation and other dimensions of difference intersect to influence the lives and experiences of Black women. As an interdisciplinary, comparative course of study, the minor will explore the cultural practices and creative activities of women of Africa and the African Diaspora. In addition, through this course of study, students will analyze how Black women have empowered themselves through community work, political activism, and cultural production. Fifteen credits of coursework are required. Interested students are asked to contact the AASD academic advisor at (301) 405-1158.

Program of Study for a Minor in Black Women's Studies - Fifteen (15) credit hours of coursework required

Specific course requirements:

WMST263:  Introduction to Black Women's Studies OR
AASP298B:  Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community AND
AASP 313:  Black Women in U.S. History

And

Nine (9) credit hours to be selected from the approved course listing (see below).

  • One course must be comparative or non-US.
  • At least two courses must be at the 300-400 level.
  • No more than 6 credit hours may be taken at institutions other than UMCP.
  • No more than 6 credit hours can be applied towards a major.
  • Students must earn a "C" or above in each course applied toward the minor.
  • Admission is open to all UMCP undergraduates.

Approved Courses

WMST 263  Introduction to Black Women's Studies
AASP298B  Construction of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community
AASP 313  Black Women in U.S. History
WMST 298  Black Women's Art and Culture
THET 240  African Americans in Film and Theater
HIST 319  Women in the Civil Rights Movement
WMST 360  Caribbean Women
ENGL 362  Caribbean Literature
ENGL 368  Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora
AASD498D  Women of the African Diaspora
AASP 483  Gender, Sexuality, and the Black Family
AASP 493  Feminist and Nationalist Thought in Black Communities
WMST 498  Black Feminist Thought
WMST 498  Womanisms and Feminisms: Theories and Methods (proposed course)
WMST 498  Black Women in the Public Eye

Please contact the AASD academic advisor at 301-405-1158 for more information and to schedule an advising appointment.

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AASD Certificate Program


The Certificate program is a 21 credit-hour complementary study component which offers students an excellent opportunity to develop a specialization in African American issues while pursuing an undergraduate degree in another field. Students may select the cultural and social analysis concentration or public policy concentration in AASD.

Segment 1: The Foundation Courses (9 credit-hours)

Students must take AASP 100, AASP 101, and AASP 200 or AASP 202.

Segment 2:

9 credit-hours of AASP upper division level electives. (300 level or above)

Segment 3:

3 credit-hour seminar, AASP 400 or AASP 402.

Note: No more than 9 credit-hours may be taken at institutions other than UMCP. No more than 9 credit-hours which apply toward a major may be used toward the above stated required certificate program hours. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for each course applied towards certificate completion.

For more information on obtaining a certificate in African American Studies, please contact Advisor Advisor, Valencia Skeeter at (301) 405-1170. Ms. Skeeter will meet with prospective certificate students and explain the certificate requirements in detail.

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