A unique facet of the AAST program is its commitment to scholarship on and service to Alabama African American communities, particularly the concerns of African-descended communities from Holt and the west side of Tuscaloosa to the Black Belt areas of Marion, Uniontown, Greensboro, Tuskegee, Selma, and Gee's Bend. The program places emphasis on developing students' understanding of interdisciplinary research and its centrality in African American Studies.

Office: 104 Manly Hall

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to complete internships in a variety of settings. Students should contact the program office for more information. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in a research methods course and to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham offer a joint degree in African American studies. Students earning the bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in African American studies must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Code and Title Hours
Major Courses
Select five courses of the following:15
Intro African Amer Study
Intro African Amer Study
The Black Church
Education Of Southern Blacks
19th Century Black History
19th Century Black History
20th Century Black History
Social Inequality
Black Intellectual Thought
Black Feminism
Special Topics
Special Topics
AAST Independent Study
Special Topics
Credit Hours Subtotal: 15
Select six courses of AAST electives or other approved electives18
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Total Hours33


Students may petition the Department of Gender and Race Studies to substitute any of the following courses when the focus and title is on African American or racial topics:

Code and Title Hours
AMS 300Special Topics3
AMS 321African American Folk Art3
AMS 340Women in the South3
AMS 341African American Art3
AMS 402Special Topics3
AMS 405Directed Study1-3
AMS 492American Topic Seminar3
ARH 481Topics 20th Century Art3
CJ 303Race, Ethnicity, and Crime3
COM 395Special Topics3
COM 413Communication & Diversity3
COM 415African American Rhetoric3
COM 467Seminar in Public Address3
COM 495Special Topics3-6
EN 249African American Literature I3
EN 311Special Topics In Literature3
EN 350Topics in African American Lit3
EN 488Adv Stdy African American Lit3
GY 344Geography Of Africa3
HY 300Special Studies in History3
HY 400Special Studies in History1
PSC 364African Amer & Polit Sys3
REL 237Self Society & Religions3
REL 480Seminar Rel and Conflict3
SW 351Oppression & Soc Injustice3

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the major must be earned on The University of Alabama (UA) or The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campuses.

Ancillary Courses

This major does not require ancillary courses.

Required Minor

This major requires the completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

A minimum of 18 hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the major must be completed, nine hours of which must be at the 400 level. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, College, major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and to be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, College and University requirements.


Unless otherwise stated, the prerequisite for 300- and 400-level courses is junior standing or higher or permission of the instructor.

The major's interdisciplinary structure gives students the unique opportunity to meet the expectations of graduate admissions committees and prospective employers by demonstrating specialized knowledge in a field of study and general training in a broad liberal arts curriculum. An African American Studies major is an ideal major or second major for those who desire to attend graduate school and professional programs in the following areas: law, education, English, economics, business management, social work, sports management, publishing, public health, sociology, film studies, psychology, city planning, public administration, political science, history, art, ethnic studies, public relations, communications, and the foreign service advanced degrees. American Studies majors teach in secondary schools, junior colleges, and universities and work for historical commissions, arts alliances, museums, libraries, and the private sector.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Recent graduates have accepted jobs in both city and federal government; they work in secondary education, journalism, public relations and advertising, business, have become successful artists, and have gone on to attend prestigious graduate school programs in a range of fields. 

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Jobs held by alumni include attorney, teacher, journalist, retail manager, public relations and advertising executive, fiction writer, poet, performance artist, television and film actor, website developer and social media consultant, social worker, guidance counselor, corporate executive, and professional musician.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center