African-American Studies (Minor)

Program Type: Minor
Program Level: Undergraduate
Department: Minors

A Minor in African American Studies

The University of South Carolina Upstate’s minor in African American Studies provides an opportunity for students interrogate the African American experience from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The eighteen credit hour curriculum takes students on an intellectual journey exploring the major ideas of leading African American thinkers, the historical and cultural dynamics of the African American experience, and the literary voices of African American writers, all while helping students build valuable critical thinking and communication skills relevant for the 21st century workforce.

Why Minor in African American Studies

In the context of a global 21st century, and a society pivoting to brace the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a minor in African American Studies offers students the chance to expand their cultural competencies and develop a niche demographic expertise within their majors.  The interdisciplinary nature of the minor will enhance students’ problem solving skills as they study a range of methodological approaches to answering questions about the African American experience.  In addition to its contemporary workforce relevance, pursuing a minor in African American Studies also provides students an opportunity to connect with African American culture, and one of the many unique ethnic experiences contributing to the patchwork of a diverse American experience.   

The Value of Minoring in African American Studies

A Minor in African American Studies will empower you to…

  • Expand your range of cultural competencies
  • Develop a niche frame of expertise within your major
  • Solve problems using a range of methodological approaches
  • Build transferrable skills in socio-demographic analysis
  • The minor in African American Studies is an 18 credit hour program

    Six Credit Core Requirement

    • AFAM U201 – Introduction to African American Studies
    • AFAM U204 – African American Culture

    Three Credit History Elective Requirement

    • HIST U310 – African-American History to 1865 OR HIST U311 – African American History since 1860

    Three Credit Literature Elective Requirement

    • ENGL U391 – African American Literature OR U429 – Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

    Six Credit Elective Requirement (select any two courses)

    • AFAM U398 – Topics in African American Studies
    • ARTH U304 – Southern Folk Art
    • ARTH U310 – African Art
    • CRJU U380 – Special Populations in the Criminal Justice System
    • HIST U495 – Topics in African American History
    • JOUR U480 – Diversity in the Media
    • MUSC U310 – Jazz History
    • SOCY U333 – Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Potential career fields for students minoring in African American Studies:

    • Arts and Entertainment
    • Community and Public Relations
    • Community Organizing
    • Education
    • Journalism
    • Non-Profits
    • Politics
    • Public Administration
    • Public Policy
    • Michelle Obama, attorney and former First Lady of the United State (BA in Sociology with a minor in African-American Studies from Princeton University)
    • Jesse Wiliams, actor and award-winning activist (Double-major in African American Studies and Film and Media Arts from Temple University)
    • Mae Jemison, physician and NASA astronaut on the Endeavor in 1992 (BA in Afro-American Studies from Stanford University)
    • Aaron MacGruder, cartoonist, writer and creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip, "The Boondocks" (BA in African-American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park)
    • Richard W. Roberts, US District Court Judge for Washington DC (BA in Black Studies and Political Science from Vassar College)
    • Claudia Thomas, author and first black female orthopedic surgeon in the US (BA in Black Studies from Vassar College)