African American Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the history, politics and cultural production of persons of African descent. Courses in the major consider the United States, Africa, and the global dispersal of persons of African descent, including the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. The department has strong links to community organizations and social movements in Chicago, across the United States, and internationally. Students are encouraged to use their training to address “real world” problems and conflicts. African American Studies offers a liberal arts education that develops skills in critical thinking, research methods, theory building, analysis, and written and oral expression.

An African American Studies major is excellent preparation for any field of public service (including health care, social work, and education) policy and government, the arts, and media, as well as advanced graduate and professional work in fields ranging from the law to history, literature, and sociology.


All incoming and continuing majors and minors are encouraged to schedule an advising session with Yvette Vasquez (, the academic advisor for African American Studies, Anthropology, Gender and Women's Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Social Justice. She can assist with planning when to take courses and more.

Specific questions concerning courses, independent studies, filing for graduation, and other questions regarding advanced coursework may still be directed to Briana Hanny (

Please click here for the Fall 2017 onward catalogue. Refer to this catalogue if you began your program in Fall 2017 or later. 

Please click here for the pre-Fall 2017 catalogue. Refer to this catalogue if you began your program prior to Fall 2017.