Minor in African Studies

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Dr. Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo

African Studies Program

Humanities Building, Room 280
Phone: (415) 405-2694
Interim Coordinator: Burcu Ellis

Program Scope

The African Studies Minor is a multidisciplinary program in African history, politics, economics, and cultures, designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the issues facing African communities, societies, and nation-states in the past as well as the present. Courses from multiple departments and programs are incorporated into the African Studies Minor, offering different disciplinary bases for the examination and analysis of African contributions to world civilizations. It enables students to integrate and apply knowledge in the evolution of African societies from being the cradle of humanity to providing labor for the use of other civilizations and through colonial and post-colonial linkages, technological expansion, and economic liberalization. Students will examine African accomplishments, mores, traditions, cultures, and civilizations to finish the minor with a greater degree of understanding of, and tolerance for, cultural differences and ethnic pluralism as well as the problems inherent in the process of social change in Africa and the African Diaspora.

Students who select this minor are presented with different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Common to all these perspectives is the critical examination of social change, modernization, development, and globalization. It is hoped that students will be provided the tools to enable them to build their own frames of reference, syntheses of concepts, data, and theories, to enrich their social attitudes and cultural values concerning Africa, and to appreciate its richness and its unity in diversity.

Career Outlook

Students will be encouraged to take advantage of the African Studies Minor to apply their knowledge, understanding, and interest in things African to their career goals including teaching, journalism, business, and international endeavors in the public sector, non-governmental agencies, and multilateral institutions.


Antwi Akom (2004), Professor in Africana Studies. Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania.

Sophie Clavier (2003), Professor in International Relations, Dean of Graduate Studies. Ph.D. La Sorbonne, France.

Trevor R. Getz (2002), Professor in History. Ph.D. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

African Studies Minor – 24 units minimum

Students interested in this minor should see one of the African Studies faculty to choose the courses most appropriate to them. (Note: No more than 6 units may be taken on a CR/NC basis; no more than 9 units may be transferred from other campuses.) All students completing the minor are required to demonstrate intermediate-level competency in a relevant language other than English. For specific information on how to meet the requirement, students should consult with the coordinator of the minor program.

The African Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses that contain material and perspectives which reach across the normal disciplinary divisions of the University, plus 15 units of upper-division courses taken from the following list, on advisement.

A minimum of 6 upper-division units are required to complete the minor.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Core Requirements (9-10 units)

Select one from each of the following areas:9-10
Classical Africa
AFRS 305Ancient Egypt3
CLAR 500Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
Africa: Tradition and Transition
AFRS 302Black Diaspora3
HIST 367
Modern Africa
AFRS 3013
HIST 368Modern Africa3
HUM 360Styles of African Cultural Expression3
I R/PLSI 321Development and Foreign Policy: Africa4

Electives (15 units)

Units selected on advisement with at least one course from each group and no duplication of courses that were taken as part of the core curriculum

Behavioral and Social Sciences
ECON 620Economic Development3
HIST 367
HIST 368Modern Africa3
I R/PLSI 321Development and Foreign Policy: Africa4
I R/GEOG 428International Political Economy of Food and Hunger4
I R 5204
I R 540Rich and Poor Nations: Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism4
Ethnic Studies
AFRS 300From Africa to Olmec America: Ancient African Prehistory and History3
AFRS 3013
AFRS 302Black Diaspora3
AFRS 305Ancient Egypt3
AFRS 411African and African American Literature3
Humanities and Arts
CLAR 500Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
CLAR 502Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature3

Language Requirement

All students completing the African Studies Minor are required to demonstrate intermediate-level competency in a language (other than English), relevant to the area. This requirement may be met by completing the university entrance requirement of two years of high school language study, one year of successful college-level language study, or by demonstration of equivalent competency.