Jan 23, 2021  
Undergraduate Record 2005-2006 
Undergraduate Record 2005-2006 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

African-American and African Studies

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Requirements for Major

The African-American and African studies interdisciplinary major comprises 9 courses (29 credits) taken within a program approved by any member of the AAS steering committee, who acts as the student’s advisor. These courses may include classes taken before declaration of the major. In order to declare a major, a student must have taken AAS 101 and 102, and earned a grade of C or better in each course. Students must have an average of 2.000 in the major for it to be considered complete.

Course Distribution

The major requires a distribution of courses in the following areas and levels, all to be selected from the AAS Course Offering Directory:

  1. AAS 101 and 102;
  2. one course concerning race and politics in the U.S.;
  3. one course in the humanities (art history, drama, English, French, music, philosophy, religious studies);
  4. one course in the social sciences or history, in addition to AAS 101, 102 (anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, politics, psychology, Slavic, sociology);
  5. one course about Africa, which may fulfill requirements (3) or (4) above;four courses above the 300 level, which may fulfill requirements (2-5);
  6. one 400-level seminar requiring a research paper, which may count toward requirement (6) above.
  7. Each semester the Carter G. Woodson Institute publishes a list of courses that satisfy the above requirements. Students should speak with an advisor if they have any questions about how to distribute these courses.

Students frequently find that African-American and African studies works well as a double-major with another discipline in the humanities and social sciences. Up to 11 credits in another departmental major may count toward an AAS major, if the courses are among those listed in the AAS Course Offering Directory. Up to 6 transfer credits from relevant study abroad may be counted toward the major, with the advance written permission of the director of the major. Up to 3 credits of an appropriate language course may be counted toward the major.

Exceptions to any of these requirements is made only upon written petition to the director of the AAS major. No petitions are accepted after a student completes the seventh semester.

Requirements for Minor

A Minor in African-American and African Studies consists of completion of AAS 101 and 102 with a grade of C or better in each course; twelve credits beyond AAS 101 and 102, chosen from the AAS Course Offering Directory; and an average of 2.000 in all courses counted under this requirement.

Independent Study

AAS 401 allows students to work on an individual research project. Students wishing to pursue this should obtain an informational sheet at the Woodson Institute that explains the procedure and requirements. Students must propose a topic to an appropriate faculty member, submit a written proposal for approval, prepare an extensive annotated bibliography on relevant readings comparable to the reading list of a regular upper-level course, and complete a research paper of at least 20 pages.

Distinguished Majors Program in African-American and African Studies

Third-year students with superior academic performance are encourage to apply for the AAS Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in which they conduct research and write a thesis demonstrating originality and independent study of high quality. Participants are eligible for graduation with distinction. The requirements for admission to the DMP are:

  1. satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Record with a GPA of at least 3.400 in all university courses;
  2. permission of an advisor. This person may be any faculty member who teaches courses listed in the AAS Course Offering Directory, willing to supervise the thesis. Permission should be sought no later than the second semester of the third year. The supervisor’s written approval of the topic must be secured by the students and filed at the Woodson Institute;
  3. fulfillment of the distribution requirements for the major (see requirements 1-5 for the major above). Like the AAS major, the DMP comprises 29 credits. DMP participants must complete at least six credits of course work above the 400 level, in addition to the six credits specific to preparation of the thesis, outlined below.

Once the advisor has been secured, students should seek two additional faculty members who agree to read the thesis. The students register for three credits of AAS 451 (Directed Research) in the first semester of the fourth year. In this course, the students conduct research for, and write the first draft of their thesis. In the second semester, students register for AAS 452 (Thesis) and revise the draft based on the committee’s recommendations, producing a finished thesis of about 8,000 words or 40 pages, which must be approved by the committee and deposited at the Woodson Institute. The thesis committee makes a recommendation to the AAS Steering Committee for final approval of the thesis. Students who would like assistance in initiating this program should see their advisor.

Additional Information

For more information, contact Scot French, Director of the Undergraduate Program in AAS, at the Carter G. Woodson Institute, University of Virginia, 108 Minor Hall, P.O. Box 400162, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4162; (434) 924-3109; www.virginia.edu/woodson.

Course Descriptions

The African-American and African Studies (AAS) courses in any given term comprise those offered by the Woodson Institute with an AAS number, and those offered in other departments that have an AAS-related content.

Supporting Courses

The AAS program’s Course Offering Directory, produced each term, lists the courses grounds-wide that fulfill the AAS major requirements for the coming term. Below is a listing of those courses which appear most consistently, but students should check the most recent AAS Directory, available at the Woodson Institute, for complete and updated information.

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