What is African American Studies?


The African American Studies Program examines African life and culture, both on the African continent and Diaspora. The African presence in the Americas dates over 400 years. Today, over 30 million African Americans live in the United States that account for more than 12 percent of the population. Our program explores and critically engages the wealth of African experiences in America and abroad from many perspectives.

You will have the opportunity to explore disciplines from social behavioral and cultural aesthetic approaches. Unlike most other programs, the UAB program expands the subjects you can explore into the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, business, and engineering.
Welcome to the African American Studies Program at UAB. The program was established almost 20 years ago. From the beginning, we have been committed to the multidisciplinary study of diasporic African and African American cultures.

One of the strengths of the African American Studies Program is the number of unique opportunities students can take advantage of. These include:

  • internships at UAB as well as in the Birmingham community and institutions like the Civil Rights Institute and the Birmingham Museum of Art;
  • collaborations with faculty from other disciplines; and
  • the chance to build on the achievements of the past 20 years.

For our undergraduates, we offer a major, a minor, and the possibility of a double major. Many of our students choose to double major in African American Studies and a variety of different disciplines, including Biology, Sociology, History, English, and Criminal Justice.

As we embark on a new era in African American Studies at UAB, we are optimistic about its future. Our first priority is to increase the number of students through recruitment on campus, in community colleges, and in local high schools. We are committed to enhancing the undergraduate experience by restructuring the curriculum, expanding course offerings, promoting internships and study away opportunities, and initiating more honors and research experiences.

If you are interested in pursuing a major or minor or just learning more about the African American Studies Program, please feel free to contact us.

Now is a great time to be a part of this journey!
Kathryn Morgan.
Kathryn sig
Director, African American Studies Program