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Afroamerican and African Studies Major

Effective Winter 2024

Exclusions:

A major in Afroamerican and African Studies is not open to students with a minor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Advising

A team of DAAS faculty and staff is available to advise students. Students can make an appointment with an advisor through our department website, contact an advisor by email (daasadvising@umich.edu), or drop by the department during advising hours to meet with an advisor.

Students are also encouraged to relax or study in the Lemuel Johnson Center (room 5511) and to attend DAAS community events where our advisors are often present.

DAAS majors who want to declare the Honors subplan must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's Student Services Coordinator.

Prerequisites

None.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 28
  1. Complete two of the following three gateway courses:
    • AAS 200 (Introduction to African Studies)
    • AAS 201 (Introduction to African American Studies)
    • AAS 202 (Introduction to African Diasporic Studies) 

  2. Complete two 300-level comparative or global courses that compare different geographical regions, historical periods, political contexts, or cultural contexts.  Choose from: AAS 303, 304, 309, 322, 323, 324, 346, 354, 359, 362, 365, 366, 381, 384. 

  3. Complete four AAS electives chosen in consultation with a DAAS advisor or faculty.  In selecting electives, students may find it helpful to organize their curriculum according to one of the following themes: Environmental Studies; Expressive Arts; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Global Political Economies; Health; Law, Politics, and Social Justice; Migrations and Humanitarianism; Popular Culture and New Media; or Religion and Spiritual Practice. See the DAAS website for a comprehensive list of AAS courses organized by theme.

    Two of these electives must be at the 300- or 400-level

  4. Students who declare a major in Afroamerican and African studies must complete at least one AAS ULWR course. This course can be used to fulfill other requirements in the major, and can also be used to fulfill the college ULWR if the student receives a C- or better. Additionally, DAAS Honors students may use their Honors Thesis to meet this requirement (see Honors section below for details)

  5. Complete the DAAS-In-Action course, AAS 498.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the AAS subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

AAS majors who want to pursue Honors can do so through an independent study process that leads to an Honors Capstone. Students interested in this opportunity should contact the department no later than the end of their junior year. Students wishing to pursue Honors must achieve a 3.4 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the courses used for their major by the end of the second semester of their senior year.

The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies seeks to optimize the experience of DAAS students who want to pursue Honors. College Honors students may also be able to use their capstone thesis to meet the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

DAAS Honors requirements:

1. Complete one of the following three (3) upper-level seminars as a topic prospectus for Honors Capstone:

  • AAS 498: DAAS-In-Action
  • AAS 600: Proseminar: Interdisciplinary Approaches to African Studies
  • AAS 601: Proseminar: Interdisciplinary Approaches to African American and Diaspora Studies

2. Complete one independent study course with a faculty mentor the semester following the completion of the upper-level seminar topic prospectus.

3. Complete a Senior Honors Capstone (thesis or project in consultation with a faculty mentor).

Afroamerican and African Studies (Major) (Fall 2020 - Fall 2023)

Effective Fall 2020

Exclusions:

A major in Afroamerican and African Studies is not open to students with a minor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Advising

A team of DAAS faculty and staff is available to advise students. Students can make an appointment with an advisor through our department website, contact an advisor by email (daasadvising@umich.edu), or drop by the department during advising hours to meet with an advisor.

Students are also encouraged to relax or study in the Lemuel Johnson Center (room 5511) and to attend DAAS community events where our advisors are often present.

Prerequisites

None.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 28
  1. Complete two of the following three gateway courses:
    • AAS 200 (Introduction to African Studies)
    • AAS 201 (Introduction to African American Studies)
    • AAS 202 (Introduction to African Diasporic Studies) 

  2. Complete two 300-level comparative or global courses that compare different geographical regions, historical periods, political contexts, or cultural contexts.  Choose from: AAS 303, 304, 309, 322, 323, 324, 346, 354, 359, 362, 365, 366, 381, 384. 

  3. Complete four AAS electives chosen in consultation with a DAAS advisor or faculty.  In selecting electives, students may find it helpful to organize their curriculum according to one of the following themes: Environmental Studies; Expressive Arts; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Global Political Economies; Health; Law, Politics, and Social Justice; Migrations and Humanitarianism; Popular Culture and New Media; or Religion and Spiritual Practice. See the DAAS website for a comprehensive list of AAS courses organized by theme.

    Two of these electives must be at the 300- or 400-level

  4. Students who declare a major in Afroamerican and African studies must complete at least one AAS ULWR course. This course can be used to fulfill other requirements in the major, and can also be used to fulfill the college ULWR if the student receives a C- or better.. Additionally, DAAS Honors students may use their Honors Thesis to meet this requirement (see Honors section below for details)

  5. Complete the DAAS-In-Action course, AAS 498.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the AAS subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

AAS majors who want to declare the Honors subplan can do so through an independent study process that leads to an Honors thesis.  Students wishing to pursue Honors must have a 3.4 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in AAS courses. Students interested in this opportunity should contact the department no later than the end of their junior year.

College Honors students can also use their honors thesis to meet the ULWR.

Afroamerican and African Studies (Major) (Fall 2011 - Summer 2020)

Effective Fall 2011

Advising

The DAAS Advising Center (5511 Haven Hall) is staffed with faculty and staff eager to provide academic advising on the DAAS curriculum for any student interested in these fields of study, whether pursuing a major, a minor, or one course. Call (734) 764-5513 or drop by during the posted hours. The DAAS Advising Center also sponsors final exam study breaks, informational meetings on graduate study, and other such events.

For more information, please contact: daasadvising@umich.edu

Prerequisites

AAS 111: Introduction to Africa and Its Diaspora (4 credits).

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 34
  1. Two courses at the 200 level (6 credits total):
    • One Area Course. This course must focus on one of three major geographic areas of the African Diaspora: Africa, the Americas, or the Caribbean. The following courses best satisfy this requirement:
      • AAS 200: Introduction to African Studies
      • AAS 201: Introduction to African American Studies
      • AAS 202: Introduction to Caribbean Studies
    • One Cross-Area Course OR Second Area Course.
      If you choose to take a cross-area course, it must focus on at least two geographic areas of the African Diaspora. Those geographic areas include Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. AAS 211, "Dynamics of the Black Diaspora," satisfies this cross-area requirement.
      If you choose to take a second area course, it must focus exclusively on one geographic area of the African Diaspora not covered in your first area course.
  2. Eight courses at the 300 or 400 level (24 credits total):
    • Six Area Courses (focusing on one geographic area of the African Diaspora). All six of these courses must focus on the same geographic area: Africa, the Americas, or the Caribbean. The area that you choose as your focal point is your sub-major area. Among these six courses, you may include some cross-area courses if they include substantial coverage of your sub-major area.
    • One Cross-Area Course. This course must examine diasporic issues across at least two geographic areas of the African Diaspora. Those geographic areas include Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
    • One Second Area Course. This course must focus exclusively on one geographic area of the African Diaspora that is not your sub-major area.
  3. One Senior Seminar: AAS 495 (4 credits). This writing-intensive course offers a capstone experience for seniors. Students writing a DAAS Honors thesis must enroll in AAS 495-Honors, an advanced section of the course.

Suggested Specializations

In selecting courses for your sub-major, we recommend that you:

  1. Cluster your 300- and 400-level courses around a particular specialization Many AAS courses relate to one or more of the following specializations:
    • Health and Education
    • Expressive Cultures: Literature, Media, Arts, Religion, Languages
    • Gender and Sexuality
    • Globalization, Transnationalism, and Citizenship
    • Development, Politics, Law, and Environmental Studies
    • Urban Studies and Social Inequality
    For more information about specific courses that satisfy these specializations, please visit: https://lsa.umich.edu/daas/undergraduates/daas-course-offerings.html
  2. Include courses that represent different disciplines. For instance:
    • If you are especially interested in African anthropology, you would benefit from taking a course in African sociology or African literature.
    • If you are especially interested in African American film and visual art, you would benefit from taking a course in African American psychology, history, or communication and media studies.
    • If you are especially interested in Caribbean or Latin American Studies, you would benefit from taking courses offered by the Department of Romance Languages or the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. (In order to receive credit for courses offered by other programs or departments, you must seek permission from your DAAS advisor.)

For more information, please contact: daasadvising@umich.edu

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the AAS subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Students wishing to pursue DAAS Honors must have a 3.4 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in AAS courses. In addition to requirements set for the major, students seeking Honors need to:

  • Contact the DAAS Honors Coordinator to apply for the program by the first term of their junior year, and no later than the end of the second term of their junior year. As part of the application process students also select a Faculty Thesis Advisor, who should be a member of the DAAS faculty.
  • Take a special section of the Senior Seminar, AAS 495: Advanced research in Afroamerican & African Studies, in the Fall term of their senior year. The student's work in the Senior Seminar will focus on drafting a portion (approximately 25 pages) of the Honors thesis.
  • Take AAS 410: Supervised Reading and Research, in the Winter term of their senior year, when they will expand, revise, and complete the thesis. The student's faculty advisor will normally oversee this independent study. The finished Honors thesis should be 40 to 60 pages.
  • Submit their final thesis to the DAAS office by the end of March. All theses must have the final approval of the faculty advisor. All theses are also read by at least one and in many cases two additional members of the faculty who will offer feedback and assess the quality of the thesis. If the thesis meets the criteria of excellence for receiving Honors, it will be assigned one of the following rankings: "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors." The final determination of Honors ranking is made by the Honors Program Coordinator in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Seniors earning Honors are invited along with their guests and advisors to the DAAS Graduation Ceremony, at which the students present brief summaries of their theses and receive a special certificate of achievement.