UMass Boston

Africana Studies BA

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Prepare for a Career Relevant to the Development of the African World Community

As a student of the Africana Studies BA program at UMass Boston, you will delve into the experiences, cultures, and histories of people of African descent. With a strong emphasis on critical thinking and interdisciplinary study, this program prepares you to understand and navigate complex social, political, and cultural issues in today's global society. 

In this program, you will:

  • Learn about and understand the experiences, cultures, and histories of people of African descent and the African diaspora, including its history, cultures, social structures, and political movements
  • Hone your critical thinking and analytical skills through analyzing complex social, political, and cultural issues from multiple perspectives
  • Develop effective communication and advocacy skills, including the ability to defend positions on issues related to the African diaspora, both in writing and in oral presentations

Career Possibilities

Educate the next generation of Africana Studies students as a professor. Make a significant impact in your community as an advocate, or start your own non-profit. Or, leverage your knowledge of the African diaspora and its cultures to create innovative products, services, or marketing strategies that cater to diverse markets. Whatever your goals, UMass Boston is here to support you.

Become a(n):

  • Entrepreneur
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Artist/ Curator
  • Community Advocate
  • Educator

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student 

Apply as a Transfer Student

Deadline & Cost

Early action deadline: November 1; Regular Decision Deadline: March 1

Financing Your Education

Become a Beacon and pursue your passion in UMass Boston’s diverse, supportive environment. Many students across our 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs receive financial aid—providing access to an education that’s exceptional and affordable. Click below to learn more about financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process 

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to Bursar@umb.edu.

Curriculum

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the university catalog for Africana Studies Major BA.

Introductory Course (3 Credits)

AFRSTY 111 - African-American History II 3 Credit(s)

Electives (27 Credits)

Take nine electives from courses offered through Africana Studies and approved courses from other departments. Students in the major must specialize in the area of humanities, history, or social science. At least five of the electives taken must be in the student’s area of specialization and at least one course must be taken in the other two areas.

At least three courses must be at the 300-level or higher. No more than three courses from other departments may be applied toward this requirement.

Specialization Areas

History Specialization

Students in the history area must take, as one of their ten major courses, one of the following methods courses: 

  • HIST 481 - Research & Methods: Senior Research Methods in History 3 Credit(s)

Social Science Specialization

Students in the social science area must take, as two of their ten major courses, a theory course and a methods course in one of the social sciences. Courses on the following list are approved for this requirement; students wishing to use other courses to meet the requirement should first seek the approval of the department chairperson.

Methods Courses

  • SOCIOL 202 - Methods of Sociological Research 3 Credit(s)

Theory Courses

  • ECON 201 - Microeconomic Theory 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 201 - Sociological Theory 3 Credit(s)

Classification of Courses

Courses are classified as follows (please note that the same course may belong to more than one area):

A. Courses in history

AFRSTY 101 - Introduction to Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 110 - African-American History I 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 108 - African-American Social Movements 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 111 - African-American History II 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 225 - The Origins of Caribbean Civilizations 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 230 - African-American Women’s History 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 250 - The Civil Rights Movement 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 310 - Modern Caribbean Society 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 480 - Topics in Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)

B. Courses in the humanities

AFRSTY 100 - Introduction to African-American Literature 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 101 - Introduction to Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 110 - African-American History I 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 111 - African-American History II 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 230 - African-American Women’s History 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 260L - African-American Folklore 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 270 - The Black Image on Stage and Screen 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 301 - African-American Intellectual Thought 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 440 - Post-Colonial Literature: Africa and the Caribbean 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 480 - Topics in Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)

C. Courses in the social sciences

AFRSTY 101 - Introduction to Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 108 - African-American Social Movements 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 250 - The Civil Rights Movement 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 301 - African-American Intellectual Thought 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 320 - Problems in Urban Education 3 Credit(s)
AFRSTY 480 - Topics in Africana Studies 3 Credit(s)

Note

AFRSTY 480 - Topics in Africana Studies, AFRSTY 489 - Senior Capstone Seminar, and AFRSTY 498 - Africana Studies Honors Seminar I may be used as applicable in any of the three areas of specialization.

Graduate Criteria

Degree Requirements

If this is the student’s only or primary major, the degree requirements below must be completed for graduation. See graduation requirements for more information.

University Requirements

College of Liberal Arts Requirements for Bachelor of Arts

Major Requirements

Complete 30 credits of from ten courses including one introductory course and nine electives. Students within the major must choose an area of specialization in history, humanities, or social sciences.

Pass/Fail: No more than one course taken pass/fail may be applied toward the major.
Residency: At least six courses for the major must be completed at UMass Boston.

Related Minors

Africana Studies Minor

Minor Requirements:
Complete 18 credits from six courses including two introductory courses and four electives.

Pass/fail: No more than one course taken pass/fail may be applied toward the minor.
Residency: At least four courses applied toward the minor must be completed at UMass Boston.

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Africana Studies Department

Learn more about UMass Boston's Africana Studies department, our research, and our faculty.

Explore the Department of Africana Studies
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College of Liberal Arts

Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Liberal Arts.

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