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Africana Studies Major Guide for 2015-2016

What is Africana Studies?

Africana Studies is a multicultural, interdisciplinary, and transnational intellectual program that anchors its scholarship on local, national, regional, and global levels.  It conceives of the Africana world as extending from Africa to North America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe, and promotes creative and critical thinking skills through rigorous research, teaching, service, and publication on the cultures, arts, institutions, histories, political economies, and philosophies of the Africana world.  The central goal of Africana Studies is to provide students with a comprehensive interdisciplinary education and critical level of knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the Africana experience in its multiple dimensions.  Specifically, courses in Africana Studies seek to broaden students’ perspectives, encourage analytical skills, and develop basic skills.

The Africana Studies Program exposes students to the contributions of scholars representing a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and intellectual perspectives.  It brings together a faculty that focuses on critical, international, and interdisciplinary scholarship and shares interest in the Africana and related issues.  The program draws faculty from the social sciences and humanities disciplines, including history, anthropology, modern foreign languages and literatures, sociology, political science, religious studies, folklore, English, education, geography, and music.

Career Opportunities in Africana Studies

There are job opportunities in business, government, education, human services, and administration for Africana Studies majors and minors.  Many Africana Studies majors and minors go on to graduate and professional schools that better prepare them in various disciplines and professions, including law, medicine, business, nursing, social work, and education.  Furthermore, Africana Studies courses also benefit students who go on to graduate work in politics, theology, international relations, history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and other fields.

Salary Trends in Africana Studies

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel you in limitless directions.  Majors are not always deciding factors in what career path you follow.  As with any degree, your pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance your chances of obtaining desired employment and further guide where you fall on the salary continuum.

High School Preparation

A major or a minor in Africana Studies might be right for you if you:

-Have an interest in Africana Studies and the world as a whole
-Want to expand your knowledge of multicultural, intercultural, international, and interdisciplinary studies
-Are interested in historical, sociological, comparative, and literary scholarship
-Are interested in social justice and human rights

How to Major in Africana Studies

The pre-requisites and requirements for both the major and minor can be found in the UTK catalog.  The undergraduate catalog can be found at this link:

Requirements for Africana Studies


A major in Africana Studies consists of 30 hours from the Africana Studies curriculum.  Africana Studies 201-202 are required courses. At least 15 hours must be upper-division credits.  Majors are required to take Africana Studies 432 or an equivalent course, preferably in the senior year.  A combined maximum of 6 hours in Africana Studies 492 and 493 can be applied toward the Africana Studies concentration.


A minor in Africana Studies consists of 15 hours, at least 9 of which must be upper-division credits.  Africana Studies 201-202 are required courses.  A combined maximum of three hours in Africana Studies 492 and 493 can be applied to a minor.

Highlights of Africana Studies

The Hodges Library has an excellent collection of journals, books, videos and films.  The Africana Studies faculty and affiliated professors from the social sciences and humanities disciplines, including history, sociology, art, English, anthropology, political science, music, and education bring to the classroom a variety of theories and methodologies, knowledge and experience.  During each academic year, there are numerous lectures and enrichment activities associated with Africana Studies.

International Opportunities

The Africana Studies Program’s Summer Studies programs in South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda are strongly recommended.  For more information, contact the Programs Abroad Office and see and

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

“Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website ( or the Ready for the World website ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors. In addition, UTK offers students opportunities for international internships.

Students are highly encouraged to begin planning early in their academic career and to consult with an academic advisor about the best time to study abroad as well as what courses to take abroad. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. For first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, please visit the undergraduate catalog.

For More Information

Dr. Dawn Duke
Chair of Africana Studies


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

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