Earning a Certificate in African American Studies

Earning a certificate in African American Studies is a straightforward and enriching course of study which complements, and complicates, any Princeton concentration. Students who opt to pursue a certificate in African American Studies gain access to an extraordinary bibliography that prepares them to think about race and difference in sophisticated ways. Certificate earners are required to complete 5 units of coursework, which include AAS 201; two survey courses; and two additional subfield courses. Additionally, certificate earners are encouraged to make African American people, literature, history, or related study and/or research in African American Studies central to their senior thesis topic.

When you are ready to announce your intention to earn the certificate, please complete the Certificate Form and either email or return a hard copy to the Department of African American Studies.

Professor Naomi Murakawa serves as the director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of African American Studies. Administrative questions should be directed to Jana Johnson.

Course Requirements for Completing the Certificate

Intro Course (1)

Students should first take the departmental survey course, AAS 201 Introduction to the Study of African American Cultural Practices

Upon successful completion, students notify the Department of their intention to complete the certificate.

Four more AAS courses are required to earn the certificate from this point.

Survey Courses (2) 

Certificate earners choose and complete two AAS survey courses of the following four: 

AAS 353 African American Literature: Origins to 1910
AAS 366 African American History to 1863
AAS 359 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present
AAS 367 African American History Since Emancipation

At least one survey course should be a pre-20th century course.

Subfield Courses (2)

Lastly, certificate earners take at least two additional courses in the African American Studies subfields.

African American Studies is organized into three subfields.

African American Culture and Life (AACL)
Global Race and Ethnicity (GRE)
Race and Public Policy (RPP)

The final two subfield courses may come from any AAS courses and/or approved cognates.


AAS Agreements and Approved Cognates

The Department of African American Studies participates in ‘AAS Agreements’ with several departments. Currently, the agreements extend to the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Religion and the Department of Sociology. The AAS Agreements make it possible for students to complete major requirements in the aforementioned departments while also completing coursework for the African American Studies certificate. For all eligible courses and cognates in each department, please see the full AAS Agreements. To get approval for cognate courses not already on our list, a student must submit the course syllabus for review to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Naomi Murakawa.


Latest in the AAS 21 Repertoire

Political Activism and Expression in Today's NBA
Adam Silver, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Craig Robinson, Steve Mills
The Souls of Black Folk (Audio and ePub)
W.E.B. Du Bois
Mike Brown’s Body: Meditations on War, Race and Democracy
Robin D.G. Kelley
'The Future of Race' Discussion on Charlie Rose
Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Upcoming Events

Hold: A Meditation on Black Aesthetics
Nov 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am - Feb 11, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
The Princeton & Slavery Project Symposium
Nov 17, 2017 - Nov 18, 2017
Screening of 'Rosenwald' (2015)
Nov 27, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
The Half-Life of Freedom: Jelani Cobb
Nov 28, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
Cinema Today — Film Blackness: Screening of various films by Frances Bodomo and Ja’Tovia Gary
Nov 29, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
Making History Visible: Faculty Roundtable on Art and Visualizing the American Nation
Dec 1, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
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African American Studies for the 21st Century

© 2017 The Trustees of Princeton University
  1. 'Rethinking Empire and Democracy' Reena N. Goldthree, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. 44:49
  2. 'The Formation of Religio-Racial Identity' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Judith Weisenfeld 47:32
  3. 'What Was African American Marriage?' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Tera Hunter 44:59
  4. 'Before Cornel West, After Cornel West' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Cornel West 52:46
  5. 'An Insistence on Not Being Discouraged' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chika Okeke-Agulu 55:19
  6. 'A Through Line for African American Studies' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry 44:07
  7. 'Activism and Risk in the Face of Trump' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Asanni York, Destiny Crockett 43:02
  8. 'Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Wallace Best 45:50
  9. 'Convergences and Dissonance' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Keeanga-Yamahatta Taylor, Naomi Murakawa, & Imani Perry 60:08