Welcome to Undergraduate Studies in the Department of African American Studies. As the new Director of Undergraduate Studies, I look forward to answering any questions you might have for the department and working with you throughout your time at UMD.

In this age of multiple pandemics, our department is poised to support you through your academic journey and provide advising, coursework, and mentorship to complement any major or career trajectory. Having a grounding in African American Studies allows for an innovative and social justice perspective in thinking through and working towards equitable solutions for today’s biggest social issues.

Housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, our department is unique among African American Studies nationwide. As an interdisciplinary department, we have faculty that specialize in all fields with a focus on African descended peoples throughout the world. As a student-focused department, there are multiple opportunities offered for students to work and interact with our faculty and staff. We have partnerships both across campus and the  D.C. area particularly in areas of policy and law and have had our students go on to top graduate and law schools.

There are several different ways to be a part of our department during your undergraduate career. In addition to our two majors, we also offer a minor in African Studies, and a minor in Black Women’s Studies in conjunction with Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. There are also opportunities to complement a major in another department through our double major or Certificate in African American Studies programs.

As we embark on this journey to a new normal, our department is excited to support you. 


Please feel free to reach out to me via email for more information about the opportunities to join African American Studies.

Dr. Ashley Newby, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Ashley L. Newby, PhD
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of African American Studies