African American Studies

Major Requirements

Students must take one of the three AFAM core courses (AFAM 202, 203, or 204) and earn a grade of B- or better in one of the three core courses in order to be admitted to the major.  However, students who have not taken one of the three core courses (AFAM 202, 203, or 204) and earned at least a B- average in one of them prior to declaring the major, but who are enrolled in one of those courses in the spring semester of their sophomore year, may be admitted to the major provisionally pending completion of the course and earning a grade of B- or better in it.

African American Studies majors must complete 11 semester courses. Seven of these courses must be cross-listed with African American Studies (the three required core courses, the required junior colloquium, and the three elective courses). The four courses for the disciplinary or thematic concentration do not have to be cross-listed, though they should be in a related field. All courses must be letter-graded. One research tutorial can be counted toward the eleven required courses, as can two courses taken away from Wesleyan. You can count one group tutorial towards your major. Student forum courses cannot be counted towards the major. Your major program must include the following:  

  Required Core Courses (3 courses)

Students are required to take and successfully complete all three of the core courses.

Students may not substitute or transfer any other courses to meet these requirements.

AFAM 202: Introduction to African American Literature

AFAM 203: Early African American History

AFAM 204: Modern African American History

  AFAM Elective Courses (3 courses)

   Majors must complete one elective course in the following three required disciplinary areas:

A.  Literature and Literary Theory

B.  Social and Behavioral Sciences (any AFAM SBS course except history)

C.  The arts (art, art history, dance, film, creative writing, music, theater)

The three elective courses must be 200-level or higher. Two of the three electives must be outside the field of concentration. Normally, these courses should be cross-listed with African American Studies, although courses not formally cross-listed with African American Studies can be used as an elective with the approval of a student's advisor.

            Junior Colloquium (AFAM 301): Required of all majors. Should be taken in the first semester
           of the junior year.

            Field of Concentration (4 Courses)

Each major must take four courses for their concentration. Concentrations may be conceived either disciplinarily, with the four courses coming from a single department, or thematically, with the courses selected from different disciplines but designed around a specific topic. Concentration courses do not necessarily have to be cross-listed with AFAM. One 100-level course can count in the concentration. None of the four courses taken in the field of concentration can count toward the AFAM core courses or the AFAM elective courses. Students should design their concentrations in consultation with their advisor.

  Research Requirement

Majors are required to undertake one substantial research or artistic project under faculty supervision. This may take the form of an Honors thesis or a senior essay done through an individual tutorial, or or a research paper of at least 15 pages in length done in a 300-level AFAM seminar. Any work done to fulfill the research requirement must receive a grade of B- or better.


Last updated: March 07, 2012.

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