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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 25, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Africana Studies, BA

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Africana Studies is the study, research, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. Using the tools of the social sciences and humanities, Africana Studies examines the structure, organization, problems, and perspectives of Blacks in Africa and the African Diaspora. Africana Studies also stresses analytical interpretations and policy prescriptions for social change in African American communities and in various African and Caribbean nations. The term Africana incorporates the three-tier interdisciplinary thrust of the department: African, African American, and Caribbean social sciences and humanities.

Africana Studies prepares social science majors for advanced graduate studies in international affairs, education, social work, social policy studies, and legal and professional training. In the humanities, preparation in the creative arts and literature gears students to practical development in such fields as communication, teaching, theater, and dance. Africana Studies occupies a central role in understanding modern American life and African and Caribbean linkages. As an interdisciplinary major, Africana Studies offers intellectual paradigms for the multicultural approach to historical, political, and economic reality. It is also critical and corrective of the inadequacies, omissions, and distortions of mainstream American education leading into the 21st century. Africana Studies is committed to producing liberally educated women and men with a lifetime dedication to working on African American, African, and Caribbean affairs. For more information on the major and the Department of Africana Studies, see the department’s Web site.

Students are urged to meet with the departmental advisor no later than the beginning of the junior year to confirm a plan of study. The Africana studies major requires a total of 30 credits to complete.

Elective courses

Students will complete the remaining 18 credits for the major with elective courses, described as follows.

  • A minimum of three courses (nine credits) will be taken in upper-level courses.
  • Courses cross-listed with the Department of Africana Studies can be used as electives for the major.
  • Courses from outside of the Department of Africana Studies that are not cross-listed will have to be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies before they can be used as electives for the major.

Upper-level electives

Additional information


AFRCNA 1768 - AFRICANA SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR  must be taken during the student’s last academic year as an undergraduate.

Writing course

Africana Studies majors must complete AFRCNA 1768 - AFRICANA SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR .


In order to qualify for honors in the Africana Studies major, a student will have to achieve a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.75 department GPA. The student seeking Honors will also be required to submit a faculty supervised research paper, portfolio, or report mentored by a department faculty member and approved by a committee of three faculty members, including the mentor.


A 2.0 grade point average in all Africana Studies courses is required for graduation.

Satisfactory/No Credit option

The department does not permit courses for the major to be taken on an S/NC basis.

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