MAJOR: AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA STUDIES
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Majors in the African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) department join world-class UT faculty, staff, and students in conversations about race, gender, sexuality, class, and the concept of global Blackness. Coursework in our department seeks to answer the questions "What does it mean to be Black?" and "What does it matter?" in such diverse, interdisciplinary areas as law, anthropology, art, government, education, policy, health, identity, literature, sports, music ... the list goes on!

The AADS Department is the premier Black Studies department in the state of Texas, and the first to have a Ph.D. program. Students interested in pre-med, pre-law, and pre-grad school options will find that an AFR major can conform to any future career and academic plans. With a combination of service and academics, the AADS department ensures a unique education. Majors get the chance to give back to the Black community with hands-on experience through a community internship course, in which students directly support an Austin-area organization associated with social justice for Black people. The department also provides faculty-led study abroad programs to Nicaragua, Brazil, and San Francisco where students can engage with global Blackness.

The African and African Diaspora Studies Department is dedicated to the study of the intellectual, political, artistic, and social experiences of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, including the United States. In this endeavor, it works in concert with The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and The Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare an African and African Diaspora Studies major must first meet with the AFR advisor. There is no formal application process. For more information, visit the student affairs page on how to declare a major.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

AFR majors are required to take AFR 303: Introduction to African and African Diaspora Studies, AFR 375: Community Internship, and AFR 376: Senior Seminar. A major is then required to take four upper-division courses in one of the following specializations:

  • Critical Black Studies;
  • Black Education, Psychology, and Mental Health;
  • Black Popular Culture: Music, Art, Literature, and Sports;
  • Blacks in Government, Law, and Policy;
  • African and African Diasporic Cultures and Languages
Students then take five more courses that focus on capitalism, white supremacy, and Black resistance, Black feminism and queer theories, history and theory of Black studies, urban studies: economics, health, and education, migration and diaspora, and expressive culture.

Visit the African and African Diaspora Studies degree plan to view all required courses for the African and African Diaspora Studies major in the College of Liberal Arts.

For additional information, view degree requirements and course descriptions.

Specializations

An AFR major can choose to specialize in one of the following tracks:

  • Critical Black Studies;
  • Black Education, Psychology, and Mental Health;
  • Black Popular Culture: Music, Art, Literature, and Sports;
  • Blacks in Government, Law, and Policy;
  • African and African Diaspora Cultures and Languages

Personality

Students in the African and African Diaspora Studies major are diverse. They are socially conscious, critical thinkers who contribute to progressive political thought and can articulate cultural expression. The AADS Department encourages our students to be progressive global leaders.