Minor Requirements

Students in the Class of 2026 and beyond, who opt to pursue a minor in African American Studies (AAS) will gain access to an extraordinary bibliography that prepares them to think about race and power in sophisticated ways, expanding and deepening their understanding of race in the United States and in the world. Students are trained in the methods, themes and ideas that inform interdisciplinary scholarship, with a particular focus on race and racial inequality.  Earning a minor is straightforward and allows students to experience an enriching course of study that complements any Princeton major.

Students may apply for formal admission to the minor once they have taken and achieved satisfactory standing in one AAS core survey course, but students are strongly encouraged to declare the minor by the end of their sophomore year so that projected coursework may be sequenced in conjunction with their junior independent work and other plans (e.g., study abroad). The final deadline for students to declare the minor is the end of the spring term of the junior year.

The steps to complete the minor are as follows:

  1. Students must complete two AAS core survey courses. These courses serve as an introduction to the methods and areas of interdisciplinary study in the field. They are the cornerstone of the AAS minor, and thus there are no replacements for or exemptions from this requirement.
    • AAS 244 Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art
    • AAS 245 Introduction to 20th Century African American Art
    • AAS 253 Introduction to African American Literature to 1910 or AAS 353 African American Literature: Origins to 1910
    • AAS 254 Introduction to African American Literature since the Harlem Renaissance or AAS 359 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to the Present
    • AAS 267 Introduction to African American History to 1863 or AAS 366 African American History to 1863
    • AAS 268 Introduction to African American History since Emancipation or AAS 367 African American Studies Since Emancipation
  2.  Students must take three additional courses in AAS, cross-listed by AAS, or from our approved cognates list (which may be accessed on the department’s website), for a total of five courses. At least one of these five courses must be situated in the Global Race and Ethnicity (GRE) subfield.
  3. Students who have completed the program of study by graduation will compose a 700-word reflection essay describing how the AAS minor has informed their independent work in their major. The reflection may touch on the Junior Paper, the Senior Thesis, or both. The essay will be due during reading period of the graduating semester. The AAS Curriculum Committee, which is chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, will review, and assess the essays, thereby approving the completion of the program of study.


Additional Information

  • Students may count a course taken for their major toward the minor if the course is cross-listed with AAS or has been approved as a cognate by the AAS Director of Undergraduate Studies before the course is taken.
  • PDF only courses can count toward the minor if the course is primary-listed with AAS, cross-listed with AAS, or has been approved as a creative or practice-based cognate by the AAS Director of Undergraduate Studies before the course is taken. Only one PDF course may count toward the minor.
  • Students must receive passing grades in all five courses in order to complete the program of study for the minor.


AAS Minor Registration

When you are ready to announce your intention to earn the minor, please complete the AAS Undergraduate Minor Registration 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.