Certificate Requirements

Students who opt to pursue a certificate in African American Studies (AAS) gain access to an extraordinary bibliography that prepares them to think about difference in sophisticated ways. When you are ready to announce your intention to earn the certificate, please complete the AAS Undergraduate Certificate Form.

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


Earning a Certificate in African American Studies

  1. Students must complete two AAS core survey courses from the list below. The core survey courses orient students to African American Studies, and prepare certificate students for independent work by grounding them in the field.  Students sometimes ask to fulfill the core survey requirement with a substitute course, as courses across campus and in other universities have overlapping content, but the Department of African American Studies has designed the survey courses as cornerstones of the undergraduate program, and therefore there are no replacements or exemptions from the core survey course requirement. Please note that the Department cannot offer all six survey courses each year; availability varies, and usually the Department offers at least four core survey courses per year.  To be eligible for Department funding, certificate students must complete both core survey courses by the end of their junior year.
    • AAS 244 Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art
    • AAS 245 Introduction to 20th Century African American Art
    • AAS 353 African American Literature: Origins to 1910
    • AAS 359 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present
    • AAS 366 African American History to 1863
    • AAS 367 African American History Since Emancipation
  2. Students must take three additional elective courses in AAS, cross-listed by AAS, or from our approved cognates list, and at least one of these must be in the Global Race and Ethnicity sub-field.

Additionally, students are encouraged to make African Americans and/or African American Studies central to their senior thesis topic. PDF courses cannot be counted toward your certificate requirements (not including P/D/F Only courses).

During semesters of online instruction due to the pandemic, students may count P/D/F courses toward the certificate requirements.


Approved Cognates

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.


AAS Certificate Registration

Ready to declare as an AAS Certificate student? Simply follow the requirements and fill out the form linked above.

View Registration Form