The Major

Quote from student Jasmine Crenshaw: "Being a part of the African American Studies Program has taught me to think critically about how blackness is perceived and how to be satisfied with my own identity." African American Studies is a course of study that examines African life and culture, both on the African continent and in the US. Unlike most African American Studies programs in the humanities and social sciences, UAB's program lets you explore a much wider range of the African American experience in areas like medicine, nursing, public health, dentistry, business, and engineering. You will learn important skills like critical thinking, analytical reading, writing, quantitative literacy, and public speaking so that you are ready to critically engage, incorporate, and represent issues and perspectives regarding race and African Americans.

Students graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies must complete all core curriculum courses required by UAB and 39 hours of required courses and electives.

Program Requirements

All program requirements and courses are outlined in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog. The major requirements consist of 12 credit hours of required courses, 3 hours of Research Methods or Writing, 6 hours from History, 6 hours of approved English courses, and 9 hours of approved elective courses.

All African American Studies majors must take:


Examination of seven core areas of African American Studies: History, Religion, Social Organization, Politics, Economics, Creative Production, and Psychology. Emphasizes major thematical theoretical and critical discourses of Black Studies, and its emergence as a political/social movement and discipline. Relates the latter to the complexity and diversity of contemporary movements such as Civil Rights, Free Speech, Black Power, and Afro-centricism. Majors and minors in African American Studies should complete this course before enrolling in any higher level AAS course. 3 hours.

This courses examines and explores theory, research, and practice related to the study of psycho-social experiences from the worldview of Africans in America. 3 hours. Prerequisites: AAS 200 [Minimum Grade: C]

African aesthetics, African cosmology, and qualities of African spirituality. 3 hours.

Critical health issues affecting Black communities globally including HIV, AIDS, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease/hypertension, malaria. 3 hours.

The course will provide an opportunity for students to reflect upon and to use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed in previous African American Studies coursework. This course or AAS 495 is required of all AAS majors. AAS 493 is ideally taken in the final undergraduate semester. Prerequisite: 9 hours of AAS coursework at the 400 level and permission of the Program Director. 3 hours.

Course Catalog

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for African American Studies majors are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Ready to Apply?

All the information you need to apply can be found on UAB's Undergraduate Admissions Hub.