African American Studies / Undergraduate Study

African American Studies BA

Learning Outcomes

The African American Studies major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Critical understanding of key historical moments in the field
  • Critical engagement with humanistic and social-scientific approaches to the study of the African American experience
  • Ability to perform research and use critical writing skills
  • Critical understanding of the concepts of race and racism, and their relationship to other identities such as class, gender, and sexual orientation
  • Knowledge of key African American aesthetic, literary, musical, and other cultural traditions
  • Knowledge of key social-scientific theories that explain and describe the African American experience

Preparation for the Major

Required: Two courses from African American Studies M5, 6, M10A.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the African American Studies major with 90 or more units must complete as many of the following introductory courses as possible prior to admission to UCLA: one African American Studies or civilizations of Africa course or equivalent.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Required: Twelve upper-division courses as follows: (1) two history and/or literature courses selected from African American Studies M104A through M104D, M150D, M158A through M158E, M179A, (2) two upper-division breadth courses from any of the following departments or programs: American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, or Gender Studies, and (3) a concentration of five courses in one of the following tracks and three courses in the other: (a) humanities — African American Studies M102, M103A, M103B, M103E, M104A through M104E, M107, M109, M110A, M110B, M111, CM112A, CM135A, CM135B, M150D, M158A through M158E, M179A, 188A, 188B, C191, and (b) social sciences — African American Studies M114C, M118, M120, M144, M150D, M154C, M158A through M158E, M159P, M164, M165, M167, M172, M173, M178, M179A, M182A, M182B, M182C, M183A, M183B, M183C, 188A, 188B, C191, M194A, M194B.

No more than 8 graded units of African American Studies 195, 197, 198, and 199 may be applied toward the major.

Students are encouraged to engage in a culminating activity, such as an internship, independent study, honors thesis, service learning course, Center for American Politics and Public Policy program, University of California Center Sacramento program, Education Abroad Program, or other African American studies-related project or performance course.

Honors Program

African American Studies majors with grade-point averages of 3.5 or better are eligible for the honors option that requires the completion of a senior thesis under the guidance of an African American Studies faculty member. Students must take African American Studies 198 (independent study course) with an approved professor who oversees the thesis requirement. For more information, contact the student affairs officer in the department.