Fulfilling the Research Requirement - Honors Guidelines

Undertaking a research project using the tools that you have learned through your interdisciplinary coursework is an important part of achieving a degree in African American Studies. The African American Studies Program requires all of its majors to undertake at least one substantial research project under faculty supervision before graduation. Students may satisfy the research requirement in one of three ways: 

  1. Seminars: Students may enroll in a 300-level African American Studies seminar and arrange with the instructor to write a research paper related to the course that will meet the research requirement. Research requirement papers must be at minimum 15 pages in length, and typically range from 20-25 pages in length. These research papers must be written in courses cross-listed with African American Studies except under exceptional circumstances. 
  2. Senior Essay: A Senior Essay is a one-semester independent research project undertaken under the supervision of a faculty member. Students who plan to write an Essay must make the arrangements with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the Essay. This is usually done in the Spring semester of their Junior year. During Drop/Add in their senior year, the student will enroll in AFAM 401 (if the Essay is to be completed in the Fall semester) or AFAM 402 (if the Essay is to completed in the Spring semester).  Senior Essays are substantial research papers of at least 30-40 pages in length.
  3. Honors Thesis: An Honors thesis is a year-long independent research project undertaken during a student's Senior year.  In order to eligible to apply to write an Honors thesis, students must have a B+ average in their AFAM courses.  Those eligible students who wish to write a thesis must apply to the Program by February 1st of their Junior year. More information is available at Thesis Guidelines.

* Note: Any work submitted to fulfill the research requirement, whether thesis, essay, or seminar paper, must receive a grade of B- or better. Once a student has completed the research requirement, he or she should fill out the research requirement form on their Major Certification Form in their Portal.