*Not a baccalaureate degree program
African-American Studies is an interdisciplinary degree-granting program within in the Department of Transnational Studies that explores the history as well as the political, economic, social and cultural circumstances of people of African descent everywhere. The program's major and minor ground students in a curriculum that is global in scope, covers a broad spectrum of topics in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and provides a comprehensive liberal arts education.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:
- Broad thematic periodization and chronology of African history, and the place of Africa in world history
- The parameters of the current socio-economic and cultural circumstances of the people of the African continent
- The chronology of the socio-economic, political and cultural history of the African diaspora in the Americas, and the role of the African diaspora in the history of the Americas up to the present
- The role of African Americans in the evolution of U.S. constitutional democracy through their struggles for inclusion
- Major themes in the current socio-economic, political and cultural circumstances of the African diaspora in the Americas
- Major descriptive and analytical themes in the historical role of the women of the African diaspora in the Americas, and in their current socio-economic, political and cultural circumstances
- The major depictions — both fiction and non-fiction — of these issues
African and African American Studies at the University at Buffalo replicates the experience of a small liberal arts college in the midst of a major research university. We invite students looking for the advantages of being part of the department that combines personal attention with a wide choice of courses on the African American, Africa, and Caribbean experience. The curriculum emphasizes an interdisciplinary perspective that contributes to mastering the research, writing and critical thinking skills necessary in a society in which higher education plays such a crucial role. At the same time our students are encouraged to refine and develop their individual interests that stem from the extensive understanding of the field the department’s offerings provide.
The Department of Transnational Studies is housed in 1004 Clemens Hall and has three dedicated seminar rooms. The department holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classes and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.
The African & African-American Studies program has core faculty within the Department of Transnational Studies who have distinguished themselves as scholars and teachers. Faculty have been fellows at prestigious scholarly centers such as the Rockefeller Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. This faculty is joined by renowned affiliated faculty from throughout the university and western New York.
Our faculty have published monographs and articles, edited major journals and served on prestigious scholarly boards in the United States and abroad. They have been awarded distinguished teaching awards. Many faculty serve on the boards of directors of local agencies.
Please visit the African-American Studies department website for additional information about our faculty.
Career choices include, but are not limited to:
- Broadcast journalist
- Business manager
- Foreign news correspondent
- Freelance writer
- Government official
- Health specialist
- Human services worker
- Immigration official
- Intelligence agent
- International civil servant
- Law enforcement officer
- Mass media critic
- Museum curator
Work settings include, but are not limited to:
- Erie County government
- Federal and New York State government service
- Health related professions
- Immigration services
- Local law enforcement
- Film industry
- News organizations
- Nongovernmental Organization (NGOs)
- Prisons/ correctional service
- Professional sports
- Social services agencies
The Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Transnational Studies, who is a member of the department's full-time teaching faculty, is available to meet with students throughout the semester. As we cannot provide advisement through emails, please contact the department's undergraduate studies secretary to find out the director's office hours. Students interested in doing a major or a minor in the African & African-American Studies program are encouraged to speak with the director to discuss their interests in the program, as well as to plan course sequencing to meet all criteria.
NOTE: advisement for general education and other university requirements for the African & African American Studies degree is provided by advisers in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement & Services.
Advanced Placement Credit: Students who have advanced placement credit in African & African-American Studies may substitute those courses for comparable AAS courses.
Please contact the undergraduate secretary to schedule an appointment with our director of undergraduate studies.
Undergraduate secretary: Kathryn Cartwright
Main office: 1004 Clemens Hall