Jul 18, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2009-2010 
Undergraduate Record 2009-2010 [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, sociology);
  5. One course about Africa, which may fulfill requirements (3) or (4) above;
  6. Four courses above the 300 level, which may fulfill requirements (2-5);
  7. One 400-level seminar requiring a research paper, which may count toward requirement (6) above.

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 in African-American and African Studies

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.

Requirements for Minor in African Studies

A minor in African Studies  consists of six courses (totaling 20 credits) taken from at least two  departments. There are no pre-requisites. To complete the minor, students  must 1) take HIAF 201 and 202 and earn a C or better in both courses; 2)  select twelve more credits approved by the African Studies faculty advisor;  and 3) earn a minimum GPA of 2.000 in all courses counted toward the minor.  Courses counted toward the minor may not be counted toward the student’s  major.  Up to six credits of approved study abroad credits may apply to the  minor.

Independent Study

AAS 401 allows students to work on an individual research projects. Students wishing to pursue this opportunity 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

The Distinguished Majors Program in African-American and African Studies affords qualified students the opportunity to do advanced research, and to receive, at graduation, the honor of “Distinction” or “High Distinction.”  Third-year students with a superior academic record are encouraged to apply. 

 graduation with distinction.

Entry into the program

  1. Students are eligible to apply if they have achieved an average of 3.40 in all coursework prior to application for the program.
  2. The applicant must obtain the agreement of a thesis supervisor.  The supervisor may be any faculty member who offers courses that count toward the AAS major.  The thesis supervisor must agree to direct the thesis research, and the applicant must submit the name one appropriate secondary reader.
  3. Application should be made to the director of the Undergraduate Program by filling out a one-page application form and attaching a two-to-three page proposal with a bibliography.

Requirements for completion of the program

  1. Satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Record with an overall GPA of at leats 3.40.
  2. Fulfillment of the distribution requirements for the normal AAS major.
  3. Like the AAS major, the DMP comprises a minimum of 29 credits. DMP participants must complete at least six credits of course work at or above the 400-level, in addition to the six credits specific to preparation of the thesis, outlined in #4, below.
  4. Participants  register for three credits of AAS 451 (Directed Research) in the first semester. In the second semester, students register for AAS 452 (Thesis).
  5. Participants must write a thesis of about 8,000 words or 40 pages.

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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