Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

African American Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Political, Religious and Societal Perspectives
Program description
The Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that provides students with knowledge of human cultures and intellectual and practical skills to engage complexity, diversity and change. The degree program fosters students’ personal and social responsibility and, through applied learning experiences, empowers students to negotiate and to solve the complex problems of the 21st century. The Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies requires the completion of 120 credits with at least 30 credits in African American Studies courses. At least 15 of the 30 credits in African American Studies must be in upper-level courses. Students also are required to establish an area of study by taking either a minimum of four courses in a single cooperating department or in one of the following multidisciplinary concentrations: artistic, historical and literary perspectives; political, religious and societal perspectives; or social and behavioral perspectives. At least one of the four courses taken in a single cooperating department must have an Africana focus, and at least one of the four courses must be an upper-level course. A cooperating department or program is defined as one that regularly offers at least one course with an Africana focus per year, which includes: Anthropology, Dance, English, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Geography, History, Mass Communications, Music history, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Theatre. When non-Africana-focused courses are used to meet the concentration requirement, they must be selected in consultation with the African American studies adviser.
Career opportunities
An undergraduate degree in African American Studies is good preparation for graduate study in
African American studies, as well as other areas such as business, education, history, international relations, law, political science, psychology, public administration, public health, and social work. Career opportunities with a B.A. in African American Studies include employment in just about any industry from public and private schools to nonprofit organizations. The perspective fostered by an humanities degree in combination with excellent verbal and written communication skills are an asset for any career in the private or public sector. Part-time and summer jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are critical to gaining the experience and skills that employers seek.
Change of major requirements
Email granthamao@vcu.edu to schedule advising appointment to discuss the major.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Budget Analyst
  • City and Regional Planning Aid
  • Fundraiser  
  • High School Teacher
  • Historical Interpreter
  • Human Resource Generalist
  • Paralegal and Legal Assistant
  • Social and Human Services Assistant
  • Social Science Research Assistants
  • Staff and Legislative Assistant
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of African American Studies
Building/room location:
816 W. Franklin Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1371
Email:
newmanad@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112 and 200, AFAM 111.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year as well as HIST 300.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and the AFAM Study Abroad website, and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility)

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Take AFAM 211, fall semester if possible.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join an AFAM student organization
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café!
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities. There are study abroad scholarships available for AFAM majors.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration via African-American Studies department and Career Services programming.
  • Create a draft resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore career interests.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Complete AFAM 311. Take AFAM 399 or approved methods course in the spring. Remember, you can only take 9 credits in topics courses (AFAM 491).
  • If in a perspectives concentration, continue to be aware of the perspectives elective requirements when selecting courses.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Resource Center.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Commit to understanding intersectional social identities by volunteering and working on issues outside of your comfort zone.
  • Take an international perspectives AFAM course that focuses on Africa or the Caribbean Join a cultural organization.
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Consider completing an independent study or internship (AFAM 492 or 493) that would serve as a career skill and career-building opportunity.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Take AFAM 411 in the fall semester to prepare for spring capstone course. Students MUST complete the capstone (AFAM 499). 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization that relates to African American studies.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Challenge yourself through an Outdoor Adventure Program trip or activity.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

African American Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Social and Behavioral Perspectives | Political, Religious and Societal Perspectives | Artistic, Historical and Literary Perspectives
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112 and 200, AFAM 111.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year as well as HIST 300.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility)
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Take AFAM 211, fall semester if possible.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join an AFAM student organization
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities. There are study abroad scholarships available for AFAM majors.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Complete AFAM 311. Take AFAM 399 or approved methods course in the spring. Remember, you can only take 9 credits in topics courses (AFAM 491).
  • If in a perspectives concentration, continue to be aware of the perspectives elective requirements when selecting courses.
  • Commit to understanding intersectional social identities by volunteering and working on issues outside of your comfort zone.
  • Take an international perspectives AFAM course that focuses on Africa or the Caribbean Join a cultural organization.
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Consider completing an independent study or internship (AFAM 492 or 493) that would serve as a career skill and career-building opportunity.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Take AFAM 411 in the fall semester to prepare for spring capstone course. Students MUST complete the capstone (AFAM 499). 
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services