McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


← Back to Program List

Africana Studies

Majors in Africana studies use a variety of approaches to explore and better understand the experiences of African, African American, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-European populations in a global context. This interdisciplinary major employs analytical tools from fields such as sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology, politics and history to explore important social issues facing people of African descent, from continental Africa and throughout the African Diasporas.

In this major, students acquire effective skills in developing an interdisciplinary cultural and social approach to the field; an ability to combine an intersectional theoretical approach with an applied research focus; critical thinking, written and oral communication skills; and knowledge of Africana people of the Diasporas.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s), Research


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus

Freshman Class Profile for this Major

3.044 - 3.660 (4 pt. scale)
21.0 - 26.0
980 - 1180


Africana Studies
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


3418 French Hall-West
PO Box 210370
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0370
Edward Wallace
Phone: 513-556-0355

Student Success Factors

People who are successful in Africana studies possess strong verbal and writing skills, making them excellent communicators. They work well with adults, children and the elderly. Many enjoy travel, finding firsthand experience necessary to learn more about the cultures of the Diaspora. Africana studies majors have versatile personalities and are able to adapt to many different circumstances.

Career Possibilities

Graduates of this major pursue many different careers. A few examples include:


  • Banker
  • Community organizer
  • Foreign service
  • Law
  • Museum worker
  • Philanthropy
  • Public official
  • Social worker
  • Teacher
  • University student services
  • Writer

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

To a great extent, majors in Africana studies at the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) design their own programs, and each student is encouraged to develop an area of concentration within the major. Areas of concentration aim to provide students with a body of information and skills reflecting their personal interests, career plans and/or graduate school aspirations. After meeting with the undergraduate director, all students in Africana studies are assigned a faculty advisor in the department.


Flexible degree requirements within A&S allow for and highly encourage students to pursue multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.


  • Asian studies
  • Communication
  • French
  • History
  • International affairs
  • Latin American studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Women's, gender, and sexuality studies

Minor Details

The Department of Africana Studies offers a minor in Africana studies for undergraduates enrolled in any college of the university. Students minoring in Africana studies must complete required courses offered by the Department of Africana Studies and from approved courses offered in other academic areas. The minor is intended for students who want to develop a specialty in Africana studies that will complement their existing areas of study.


Is the minor for you?

A minor in Africana studies will provide students the unique opportunity to explore and learn about the cultural, social and historical experiences of people of African origin. Africana studies is inherently interdisciplinary and global in perspective. Students who minor in Africana studies must complete coursework offered by the Department of Africana Studies and from approved courses offered by other academic units throughout the university. A minor in Africana studies is a perfect complement to any major and is designed to attract students who seek intensive studies on the diverse cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.


Career opportunities

Not only can the minor in Africana studies benefit students preparing for graduate programs in liberal arts disciplines, the minor can be used in conjunction with a traditional major to prepare for many professions. With the growing emphasis on multi-cultural education in the United States, a minor in Africana studies is an added advantage to students interested in teaching careers. Students preparing for careers in business might apply the minor to marketing careers where skills of working with diverse populations are in increasing demand. Students entering social service positions where knowledge of an African American clientele is a must might find the minor useful in supplementing their pre-professional or technical training. Africana studies courses take a global perspective. All students might benefit from a minor that stresses global issues.


File the Application to Minor in Africana Studies form with the department. In addition, declare the minor with the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences [click here to declare online]


A certificate in African studies is also offered. Students may want to enroll in the certificate program to enhance their major. Students are required to take courses from the Department of Africana Studies and/or from other colleges on campus.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Africana Studies Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    A&S College Core Requirements
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Freshman Seminar (if admitted freshman year), 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Sequence, DC, 10 - 12
    • XXXXxxxx, Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Course, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, MATH or STAT Course, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Courses (two different disciplines), SS, 6
    • XXXXxxxx, Natural Science (NS) Courses, NS, 6
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) Course, HU, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) or Fine Arts (FA) Course, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspectives (HP) Course, HP, 3
    • HISTxxxx, HIST Course, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Social & Ethical Issues (SE) or Technology & Innovation (TI) Course (may double count), 0 - 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Interdisciplinary Course, 3
    Africana Studies Major Requirements
    • AFST1001, Introduction To Africana Studies, DC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Courses from one or more concentrations - Social, Culture or History (see groups below), 15
    • AFST3020, Community Engagement and Service Learning (The "It Takes a Village" Program), 3
    • AFST3025, African American Social and Political Thought, 3
    • AFST3040, Research Methods in Africana Studies, 3
    • AFST4097, Senior Seminar in Africana Studies, 3
    • AFSTxxxx, AFST Electives, 6
    Free Electives
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Electives, 27 - 32
    • AFST2032, Black Popular Culture, DC, 3
    • AFST2042, Religion in African American Literature, 3
    • AFST2063, African Literature I : Fiction, HU, 3
    • AFST2064, African Literature II: Drama, HU, 3
    • AFST2082, African American Poetry, HU, 3
    • AFST2083, African American Literature Survey I, HU, 3
    • AFST2084, African American Literature Survey II, DC, HU, 3
    • AFST3030, West and Central African Art, 3
    • AFST3060, Literature of the African Diaspora, 3
    • AFST3063, African Literature, 3
    • AFST3066, Cultures of Africa, 3
    • AFST2012, Black Male Issues: American Racism and the Black Athlete , 3
    • AFST2030, Introduction to Black Women's Studies, DC, SS, 3
    • AFST2035, Sociology of the Black Community , SS, 3
    • AFST2038, The Black Male in US Society, SS, 3
    • AFST2050, Race, Gender, and Social Inequality in America, SS, 3
    • AFST2095, Sociology of the Black Family, DC, SS, 3
    • AFST3015, Black Women in US Society, DC, SS, 3
    • AFST3033, Black Popular Culture: Sociology, 3
    • AFST3034, Black Male Issues in US Society, 3
    • AFST3035, Black Health Care, 3
    • AFST3044, Interracialism, 3
    • AFST3050, Urban Social Issues, 3
    • AFST3053, Africana Demography, 3
    • AFST3059, Black Feminism, 3
    • AFST3069, Sociology of W. E. B. Du Bois, 3
    • AFST3086, Black Politics, 3
    • AFST3095, Liberation Psychology, 3
    • AFST4014, Politics in Post-colonial Africa, 3
    • AFST4016, Pan-Africanism and the Politics of Unity, 3
    • AFST4021, Comparative Black Feminisms, 3
    • AFST4030, African American Adolescence, 3
    • AFST4048, Media & Identity, 3
    • AFST2013, African American History before 1861, DC, HP, 3
    • AFST2014, African American History 1861-present, DC, HP, 3
    • AFST2060, African History I:Human Origin, African Civilizations and the Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, SE, HP, 3
    • AFST2061, African History II: The Rise of Globalization and Africa, 1860 to Present, HP, 3
    • AFST2080, West African History and Civilizations, HP, 3
    • AFST2081, Colonialism, Nationalism and Post-Colonial West African States, DC, HP, 3
    • AFST3008, Women in African History, 3
    • AFST3010, Twentieth Century Black Internationalism: Globalizing the African American Experience, 3
    • AFST3011, W. E. B. Du Bois: The African American Experience in America (1868-1963) Seminar, 3
    • AFST3031, African American Women's History, 3
    • AFST3062, History of South Africa, SE, HP, 3
    • AFST4090, Topics in African History, 3
    • AFSTxxxx, Must be in discipline: AFST, 6
    • AFST2xxx, 2000 level course(s) or above, 15

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-extensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

Internship Program - Senior majors can choose to enhance their coursework with work experience. An internship is an unpaid work experience that allows majors to use their curriculum-based knowledge in Africana studies to prepare for employment and/or graduate school after graduation. Designed to provide a learning experience that takes place in a setting outside the university, the unpaid internship gives majors academic credit for practical experience. A variety of locations offer opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge learned within Africana studies. For example, some students might investigate internship opportunities in community organizations such as the NAACP, the Urban League, Cincinnati Neighborhood Community Councils, advocacy groups, the United Way and similar fraternal and religious organizations. Other majors may pursue internships in public sector settings such as the Cincinnati Public Schools, and various agencies of city government. Still other majors might investigate internships in private sector settings such as local corporations and black-owned and operated businesses.


Teaching Practicum - Upon invitation of the faculty, senior majors may earn academic credits by serving as teaching assistants. Students work closely with faculty members who teach lower division core courses. This is a training situation for senior majors interested in pedagogical issues in Africana studies. Students will serve as teaching assistants in African Diaspora cultures, African and African American history, literature and sociology.


Angelene Jamison-Hall Scholarship in Africana Studies - The department invites its majors to apply for two $500 scholarships to be awarded in the autumn of any given academic year.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.


Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Cincinnati is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, a non-governmental organization granting peer-reviewed accreditation and membership in the Higher Learning Commission and North Central Association. UC also belongs to the International Human Rights Education Consortium (IHREC), but there is no agency that provides separate accreditation to human rights programs.