Africana Studies offers students the opportunity to confront and critically analyze distinctive Black intellectual and social-cultural traditions, and political-economic and historical structures. Situated in Miami, Florida, we are uniquely positioned in and between the US South and the Global South. Therefore, our translocal perspective finds blackness and Black people everywhere in the world. As the university’s center for Africana Studies, the Program reaches beyond undergraduate study-- inviting a wide variety of local and international graduate students, artists, scholars, and community advocates into our intellectual community.

Africana Studies’ interdisciplinary structure offers students an opportunity to satisfy the increasingly rigorous expectations of graduate and professional school admissions committees and prospective employers, offering a broad liberal arts perspective that complements specialized knowledge of a field. Our curriculum and programmatic efforts uniquely help to prepare students to understand and effectively work toward social justice. We encourage all students, regardless of major, to enroll in Africana classes. Africana Studies can be taken either as a primary major, as one of two majors, or a minor. 

Educational Objectives

  1. To help students research, acquire, and disseminate information about the historical and social experiences of Africans and people of African descent on all sides of the Atlantic basin, but with special emphasis on the United States.
  2. To facilitate students’ understanding of the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, globalized society of our time.
  3. To help students think critically about the global black experience.
  4. To prepare students for graduate work and professional careers.

Departmental Honors

Carter G. Woodson Award - Best all-round student who combines intellectual excellence and community service.

Advanced Writing Requirement 

To satisfy the College of Arts & Sciences writing requirement in the discipline, students majoring in Africana Studies should take at least one English course or one History course related to Africana Studies and is listed as an advanced writing course, and any Africana Studies course with the Writing Credit designation. 

Curriculum Requirements

Major Requirements
All Africana Studies majors are required to take the following core courses:
AAS 150Introduction to Africana Studies3
AAS 490Senior Seminar in Africana Studies3
or AAS 502 Service Learning in Africana Studies
HIS 201History of Africa I (to 1800)3
One literature course is required. Select from the following:3
African-American Literature
Modern African Literature and Film
Comparative Literature of the Black World
Caribbean Literature
Select two courses in African Diaspora Studies:6
Black Miami Studies
Caribbean Cultures
Cuban Art, Art History, and the Creation of the Modern Cuban Subject
Reimagining Modernity: Haitian Art and Art History
Geography and Development in South America
The African Diaspora in South Florida
African-American History to 1877
African-American History, 1877-PRESENT
Africa in Cuba/Cuba in Africa: Slave Trade to Cuban Internationalist Missions in Africa.
Modern Caribbean History
History of Cuba
Modern Brazil
Hip-Hop History, Culture, and Globalization
Choose the remaining four courses from the list below or the Africana Studies degree audit: 1
Special Topics
Special Topics in Africana History
Special Topics in Africana Literary Cultural Studies
Service Learning in Africana Studies
Advanced Topics in Africana Studies
Issues in Health Disparities
African Studies Taught in French.
Global Human Rights
Latin American Political Economy
Geography and Development in Africa
Gender, Race, and Class
Elementary Haitian Creole I
Elementary Haitian Creole II
History of Africa, II (since 1800)
West Africa since 1000 A.D.
The Civil Rights Movement
The Evolution of Jazz
African-American Gospel Music
African-American Song Traditions
Introduction to Cuban Music
Caribbean Religion
Islam and the United States: The Politics of Race, Media, and Terrorism
Race and Ethnic Relations
The Black Ghetto in Urban Society
The Black Athlete in White America
General Education Requirements
Written Communication Skills:
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
WRS 106First-Year Writing II3
or ENG 106 Writing About Literature and Culture
Quantitative Skills:
MTH 108Precalculus Mathematics II3
Areas of Knowledge:
Arts and Humanities Cognate (9 credits fulfilled through the major)
People and Society Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Additional Requirements
UMX 100The University of Miami Experience0
Language Requirement3
Minor Requirement15
Total Credit Hours120

Twelve of the 30 credit hours must be completed at the 300 level or above. This list is likely to change over time and other courses may be considered by the Director of the program. 


A grade of C- or better with an overall GPA of 2.0 is required in each course taken for the major.

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
MTH 108 Precalculus Mathematics II 3
Language (first course) 3
People & Society or Arts and Humanities cognate (first course) 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
WRS 106 First-Year Writing II 3
Language (second course) 3
STEM cognate (first course) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
AAS 150 Introduction to Africana Studies 3
HIS 201 History of Africa I (to 1800) 3
People & Society or Arts and Humaities cognate (second course) 3
Minor (first course) 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
ENG 260 African-American Literature 3
Minor (second course) 3
STEM cognate (second course) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
African Diaspora Studies requirement (first course) 3
Minor (third course) 3
STEM cognate (third course) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
African Diaspora Studies requirement (second course) 3
Minor (fourth course) 3
Natural Science course (if needed) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
People & Society or Arts and Humanities cognate (third course) 3
Minor (fifth course) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
AAS 490 Senior Seminar in Africana Studies 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify critical events and historical periods and analyze their implications for the social, political, economic, environmental, or cultural life of Africans or diasporic communities. 
  • Students will be able to analyze literature, visual culture, music, social, and political institutions critically.
  • Students will be able to use analytical approaches that are interdisciplinary or discipline specific.
  • Students will be able to conduct primary or secondary research using appropriate methods for the humanities, social sciences, or the arts.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate clear writing and formulate persuasive arguments in the form of research papers, essays, or oral presentations.