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Academic Program Guide

African American Studies

College: Social Sciences and Public Policy
Degree: B.S. or B.A.
Specialized Admission: No

Contact: Dr. Patrick Mason
Address: 211 Bellamy Building, FSU Tallahassee, FL 32306-21
Phone: (850) 644-4418

Description of Major

*Please Note: Face-to-face/in-person instruction of this program is available ONLY at the main campus in Tallahassee, FL. This program is NOT available via Online/Distance Learning.*

African American Studies is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary approach to the study of racial and ethnic identity, human relations, and cultural dynamics. The curriculum provides an intellectually powerful analysis of social outcomes, cultural phenomena and paradigms, institutional behaviors, global trends, and public discourse. The curriculum also focuses on economic and social policy issues.

In addition to common coursework, students in this major select one of the three following specialty areas: Social Sciences, or Literature and Arts, or Philosophy, History, and Religion.

Prerequisite Coursework

There are no State-wide Common Program Prerequisites. However, each specialty area within this major may have prerequisite courses that must be completed that may not be used to meet major requirements.

Note: State-wide Common Prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the "Common Prerequisites Manual." This is available from the "College Students" section of


Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major:
Students must complete at least 52 semester hours of credit with a minimum FSU GPA of 2.00 and most of the required General Education requirements met, including freshman English Composition and mathematics, or an A.A. Degree.

Major Program of Studies at FSU: (36 hours)
Students should consult with a program advisor regarding current courses approved to meet the history and concentration requirements.

1. Core Course Requirements
Completion of fifteen (15) hours in African American Studies core courses.

A. Three required courses: (9 hours)
• AFA 2000 Introduction to the African American Experience
• AFA 3101 Theory and Dynamics of Racism and Oppression
• AFA 3930 Research Methods and Scholarly Writing in Africana Studies (Special Topic)

B. One of the following experiential courses: (3 hours)
• AFA 3330 Black Families in America or
• AFA 4240 Africana Diasporic Experience (Special Topic)

C. One of the following research/service learning courses: (3 hours)
• AFA 3930 Senior Capstone Thesis (Special Topic) or
• AFA 3930 Practicum/Internship (Special Topic)

2. History Requirement
Completion of six (6) hours in African and/or African American history courses.
• AMH 2091 African American Experience in the United States
• AMH 2096 Black Women in America
• AMH 2097 Nationality, Race, and Ethnicity in America
• AMH 4173 Post–Civil War America, 1865–1890
• AMH 4571 Black America to 1877
• AMH 4572 Black America Since 1877
• AMH 4684 Women and Children in the Civil Rights Movement
• HIS 4930 Special Topics in History (Black History through Film)
• LAH 4470 History of the Caribbean
• LAH 4723 Race and Class in Colonial Latin America

3. Specialty Area. Complete 15 hours in one of the following specialty areas: Social Sciences, Literature and Arts, or Philosophy, History, and Religion. Each area includes coursework comprised of required and supplementary courses chosen from approved lists.

Language requirement: (0 to 12 credits)
Students choosing to complete a BA degree are required to demonstrate proficiency in French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Arabic through the intermediate (2XXX) level.

Digital Literacy: (3 hours)
CGS 2060 (3) or CGS 2100 (3) or other University-approved course.

Oral Communication Competency: (0-3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary:
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education *36
Prerequisite courses vary
Major Coursework 36
Minor Coursework 0
Foreign Language 0-12
Digital Literacy 3
Oral Competency 3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*Note: Only 6 credit hours may count for both General Education and major requirements.


Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors.


1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information

Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: Archivist, Documentary Producer, Curator, Social Worker, Editor, Teacher, Publisher, Librarian, Public Relations Specialist, Free-lance Writer, Manufacturer's representative, Human Resource Specialist, Lobbyist and other positions for which a bachelor’s degree is required.

View African American Studies Academic Map