Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in African American studies?

Students earning a degree in African American studies (AFAM) will receive a foundation of critical thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills. Career options are limitless with a liberal arts foundation, and many AFAM majors continue on to graduate studies in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, 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 the public sector. These jobs are often located in central cities and urban institutions and can involve cultural or intergroup relations as well as international affairs. In the context of metro Detroit, African American studies graduates will be better prepared to deal with the complexity and diversity of the city's political and demographic realities as they assume important leadership roles.

Transferable skills

An African American studies degree offers skills in:

  • Critical thinking
  • Awareness of intercultural conflicts and perspectives
  • Ability to relate societal and cultural issues to others
  • Understanding of popular culture and trends

Careers insights

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Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

Notable people with an African American studies degree

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.