Jul 14, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025 
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025

African American and African Studies, B.A.

Universal Curriculum Requirements

To be awarded a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, students are required to complete universal curriculum requirements in addition to the program requirements provided below. The school universal curriculum requirements can be found on the school Degree Programs page .

Requirements for Major

The African American and African Studies interdisciplinary major comprises nine courses (29 credits) taken within a program approved by the student’s AAS advisor. These courses may include classes taken before declaration of the major. In order to declare a major, a student must have taken, or be enrolled in the following:

Course Distribution

The major requires a distribution of courses in the following areas and levels, all to be selected from the list of approved courses posted on the Woodson Institute’s website:

  1. AAS 1010 and AAS 1020, with a minimum grade of C in each course;
  2. One course concerning race and politics;
  3. One course in the humanities (art history, drama, English, French, media studies, music, philosophy, religious studies);
  4. One course in the social sciences or history, in addition to AAS 1010 and AAS 1020 (American studies, anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, politics, psychology, sociology, studies in women and gender);
  5. Three electives selected from a list of approved courses;
  6. One course about Africa, which may be fulfilled by requirements (3), (4) or (5) above or (8) below;
  7. Three courses at or above the 3000 level, which may be fulfilled by requirements (2-6); and
  8. One 4000-level seminar requiring an 18-20 research paper, which may count toward requirement (6) above if applicable.

Each semester the Carter G. Woodson Institute publishes a list of courses that satisfy the above requirements. Students should speak with an advisor or with the Director of Undergraduate Programs 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 or social sciences. Up to three courses (11 credits) in another departmental major or minor may count toward an AAS major, if the courses are among those listed on the Woodson Institute’s website at http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/woodson/courses/index.html. Up to six transfer credits from relevant study abroad may be counted toward the major, with the advance written permission of the AAS Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Exceptions to any of these requirements are made only upon written petition to the Director of Undergraduate Programs. No petitions are accepted after a student completes the seventh semester.

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. 

 Entry into the program

  1. Students are eligible to apply if they have achieved a GPA of 3.4 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 AAS Director the Distinguished Majors Program by filling out a one-page application form and attaching a one-to-two page proposal with a bibliography. A copy should also be submitted to the AAS Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Requirements for completion of the program

  1. Satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Record with an overall GPA of at least 3.4.
  2. Fulfillment of the requirements for the normal AAS major.
  3. Completion of the following courses during the fourth year:

Independent Study

AAS 4993 allows students to work on an individual research project that culminates in a 20-page research paper. Students wishing to pursue this opportunity should obtain an AAS Independent Study Form at the Woodson Institute, which explains the procedure and requirements. Students must propose a topic to an appropriate faculty member and review the Independent Study Form with the supervisor. After obtaining the supervisor’s signature on this form and on a course action form, the student should submit both forms to the AAS Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Programs 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.