African American Studies Track

Concentrators Requirements

Basic Requirements: 12 courses (48 credits)

  1. Required courses:
    1. AFRAMER 10: Introduction to African American Studies. Students should take this course by the end of their junior year. (Students who transfer into the concentration after their sophomore year will be permitted to substitute for AFRAMER 10 a course in African and African American studies they have already taken, but only if they can demonstrate to the Director of Undergraduate Studies that they have established a basic familiarity with the materials covered in AFRAMER 10.)
    2. AFRAMER 11: Introduction to African Studies. Students should take this course by the end of their junior year. (Students who transfer into the concentration after their sophomore year will be permitted to substitute for AFRAMER 11 a course in African studies they have already taken, but only if they can demonstrate to the Director of Undergraduate Studies that they have established a basic familiarity with the material covered in AFRAMER 11.)
    3. A course in 18th- or 19th-century African American history that engages substantially with the history of slavery. (Students must select from a pre-approved list of courses available on the department’s website or petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies for a substitution.
    4. Seven additional courses in African American or diaspora studies, at least one of which must be in the humanities and one in the social sciences. (These courses need not be given in the department.) Some students will declare a disciplinary focus or a more general focus in humanities or social sciences; others will choose an area of focus in African American or Afro-Caribbean cultures; still others will elect a thematic, methodological, or comparative focus (e.g., comparative ethnic studies, comparative literary analysis, urban studies). These are not the only possibilities, but students should be prepared to make a coherent case for the course of electives they select.
  2. Tutorials:
    1. Sophomore Tutorial: AFRAMER 97: Race, Class, and Colonialism in Africa and the Americas. (Restricted to concentrators and others by permission of the instructor.)
    2. Junior Tutorial: AFRAMER 98, an individual course tutorial that focuses on an African American studies topic.
  3. Other information:
    1. Pass/fail: No course used for the concentration may be taken pass/fail, with the exception of AFRAMER 99.
    2. Teaching: Concentrators may be eligible to obtain certification to teach in middle or secondary schools in Massachusetts and states with which Massachusetts has reciprocity. See information about the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP) at https://utep.gse.harvard.edu.
    3. Students can take AFRAMER 10 and AFRAMER 97 in succeeding terms starting in their freshman or sophomore year, and then proceed to do individual tutorials in the junior year. Nevertheless, the tutorial program is designed to allow great flexibility; students who declare late may take AFRAMER 97 concurrently with AFRAMER 10, for example. Concentrators may be permitted to substitute for AFRAMER 10, if they declare late.

Requirements for Honors Eligibility: 12-14 courses (48-56 credits)

  1. Required courses: Same as Basic Requirements.
  2. Tutorials:
    1. Same as Basic Requirements.
    2. Senior year: One year of AFRAMER 99: Senior Thesis Workshop required.
  3. Thesis: Required for eligibility for high and highest honors. A student who has not written a thesis but has attained a GPA of at least 3.9 in twelve concentration courses may be recommended for honors (but not high or highest honors).
  4. Other information: Same as Basic Requirements.

 

As per the Harvard College Fields of Concentration Handbook 2022-2023

Joint Concentrators Requirements

Requirements for Joint Concentration (honors only): 8 courses (32 credits), including thesis

  1. Required courses:
    1. AFRAMER 10: Introduction to African American Studies.
    2. A course in 18th- or 19th-century African American history that engages substantially with the history of slavery. (Students must select from a pre-approved list of courses available on the department’s website or petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies for a substitution.)
    3. Two courses in African American or diaspora studies, one in the humanities and one in the social sciences.
  2. Tutorials:
    1. Sophomore Tutorial: AFRAMER 97: Race, Class, and Colonialism in Africa and the Americas. (Restricted to concentrators and others by permission of the instructor.)
    2. Junior Tutorial: AFRAMER 98 or junior tutorial equivalent in primary concentration if African and African American Studies is the allied concentration.
    3. Senior year: One year of AFRAMER 99 required, if African and African American Studies is the primary concentration. If African and African American Studies is the allied concentration, the student should register for the thesis tutorial in the primary concentration.
  3. Thesis:
    1. Required. Thesis must be related to both fields. Both departments will participate in evaluating the thesis.
  4. Other information:
    1. Pass/fail: No course used for the concentration may be taken pass/fail, except for AFRAMER 99.
    2. Students can take AFRAMER 10 and 97 in succeeding terms starting in their freshman or sophomore year, and then proceed to do individual tutorials in the junior year. Nevertheless, the tutorial program is designed to allow great flexibility: Students who declare late may take AFRAMER 97 concurrently with AFRAMER 10, for example. Concentrators may be permitted to substitute for AFRAMER 10, if they declare late.

Concentration requirements for the Joint Concentration in History and African and African American Studies (African American Studies track): 14 courses (56 credits)

  1. AFRAMER 10: Introduction to African American Studies.
  2. Two courses in African American Studies: one in humanities, one in social sciences.
  3. One course in African American pre-20th-century history (if not available, consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies).
  4. Sophomore Tutorials: HIST 97 and AFRAMER 97.
  5. One History research seminar (ideally focused on African American History) and resulting in a research paper of at least 20 pages based on primary sources.
  6. AFRAMER 98.
  7. Senior Thesis Tutorial: HIST 99 or AFRAMER 99 (full year).
  8. Four courses in History and African and African American Studies. These must include:
    1. One pre-modern History course.
    2. Three African/African American history courses, of which one must be a modern African history course.

***Please also note the following information:

    1. Two types of courses count automatically toward African and African American Studies/History concentration requirements:
      1. Courses listed in the course catalog’s “History” section and historical courses in the catalog’s “African and African American Studies” section, as determined in consultation with the History Director of Undergraduate Studies.
      2. Courses taught in the General Education and/or Freshman Seminar programs by members of the History or African and African American Studies department faculty. Students wishing to count such courses toward their concentration requirements should consult the Undergraduate Office, as they may need to file a petition requiring approval by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students may also apply to do an independent study, or HIST 91R with a member of the department; HIST 91R can be used to fulfill one of the elective course requirements.
      3. The joint concentration also regularly accepts credit from Study Abroad toward concentration requirements. With the exception of certain Freshman Seminars taught by History or African and African American Studies faculty (see above), courses taken on pass/fail basis may not be counted for concentration credit.

 

As per the Harvard College Fields of Concentration Handbook 2022-2023

Subject Requirements

Please use this tool to find the most up to date classes of requirements for History, Humanities, or Social Science Courses for the 2022-2023 academic year. Please remember that any courses with a 20XX & 20X or above number are graduate level courses and will require the approval of the instructor.

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Advising and Resources

Advising and Resources

Advising

Beginning in the sophomore year, concentrators will work directly with their individual advisers and with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to create a plan of study that meets their academic interests. The Department requires that students develop a focus as part of their declaration of the concentration. This plan of study will take cognizance of disciplinary requirements and the option of study abroad, yet it will be flexible enough to accommodate students in pursuit of their own specific intellectual interests. At the end of the sophomore year, students are asked to submit a 1-2 page Concentration Focus Statement describing the main area(s) of study they wish to explore. The Director of Undergraduate Studies will meet with students, if they request, in order to assist them in the formulation of the statement of concentration focus.

For up-to-date information on advising in African and African American Studies, please see the Advising Programs Office website

Resources

The Franklin D. and Wendy F. Raines Library, in the Department of African and African American Studies, is located on the second floor of the Barker Center and contains a non-circulating collection of important books, academic and popular periodicals, and offprints, as well as an extensive audio and video collections. Past undergraduate theses are also available. An important resource for African Studies concentrators is the Center for African Studies, which offers summer travel grants to assist Harvard juniors with senior honors thesis research. Please see their website for more information. They can also guide you to resources in teaching, research, and advisory work on Africa in a number of departments, centers, and institutes at Harvard. Harvard's Office of International Programs has approved study abroad in eleven African countries. To plan their term in Africa, students should meet with the Director of the Office of International Programs.