Africana Studies Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Africana Studies

Africana Studies is a multicultural, interdisciplinary, and transnational intellectual paradigm 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.  Through examining aspects of black life in the world, it leads to a better understanding of critical issues affecting people of Africa and African descent in all societies where they live.  The central goal of Africana Studies is therefore 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, 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 as to what career path you follow.  As with any degree, your pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance your chances at 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 interest in Africana and the world as a whole

-Want to expand your knowledge on multicultural, intercultural, international, and interdisciplinary studies

-Are interested in historical, sociological, comparative, and literary scholarship

-Have inclination in social change, social movements, and social justice

-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 24 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.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The Africana Studies Program’s Summer Studies programs in Ghana and other places are strongly recommended.

Highlights of Africana Studies

The Hodges Library has an excellent collection of Africana Studies materials such as 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 theory, methodology, knowledge and experience.  During each academic year, there are numerous lectures and enrichment activities associated with Africana Studies.

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 web site ( or the Ready for the World web site ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities.
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office web site ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

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.

Sample Curriculum

Following this four-year plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years.  Milestone courses have been identified as the minimum courses that must be completed.

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Foreign Language 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 6-8
Social Science 3
General Electives 0-1
Milestone courses: English 101, Quantitative Reasoning (3 hrs) and and social science (3 hrs)
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Non U.S. History 6
Natural Science 3
Foreign Language or General Electives 6
Arts and Humanities 6
Social Sciences 6
Africana Studies Major 3
Milestone courses: English 102, elementary foreign language proficiency, Africana Studies (3 hrs), natural science (3-4 hrs)
Junior Year Credit Hours
Arts and Humanities 3
Upper Division Distribution 6
Africana Studies Major (300-level or above) 12
Communicating Orally 3
Communication Through Writing 3
Social Science 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
General Electives 6
Africana Studies Major (300 level or above) 6
Africana Studies 432 (or equivalent) 3
Upper Division Electives 15

For More Information

Professor Asafa Jalata

Interim 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.