Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies

African American studies is the systematic study of the historical, cultural, intellectual and social development of people of African descent, the societies of which they are a part and their contribution to world civilization. Its principal geographic domains are the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, the African continent and increasingly western Europe where large communities reside.

Through critical analysis and thought-provoking discussions, Wayne State students will gain insights into the ongoing struggles for racial justice and equality. Our curriculum encourages students to examine the intersectionality of race with other identities and social factors, fostering a broader understanding of American society and its complexities.

This field features a diversity of approaches as well as intellectual and practical interests and draws upon the humanistic, social and behavioral sciences to make up its interdisciplinary framework. Students can obtain a bachelor's with either a major or a Minor in African American Studies.

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Career outlook

About the program

The major in African American studies prepares students for a wide range of professional and career opportunities. Majors can continue on to graduate studies in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences or pursue professional programs in law, medicine, business and journalism. Graduates who enter the job market are prepared for careers in human services and public health, education, public relations, community development, urban planning and general jobs in the public sector, in central cities and urban institutions or for jobs that involve cultural or intergroup relations as well as international affairs. African American studies graduates will be better prepared to deal with the complexity and diversity of metropolitan Detroit's political and demographic realities, as graduates assume important leadership roles. This applies to all major metropolitan areas in the principal geographic domains described above.

Honors program

The honors curriculum is designed to challenge highly motivated students to achieve excellence in African American studies. Students are encouraged to develop active interests in probing the outstanding research and scholarship related to the global black experience.

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Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.