A. Required Courses (12) honors (14)
- AAAS 10 Introduction to African American
- AAAS 11 Introduction to African Studies (Ordinarily the two introductory courses must be completed by the end of the junior year.)
- An 18th or 19th history course that engages substantially the history of slavery
- Seven additional half courses in African American or diaspora studies. At least one must be in the humanities and one in the social sciences. In picking these five half-courses students should declare a focus. Some 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).
- Sophomore Tutorial: AAAS 97
- Junior Tutorial: AAAS 98, a half-course individual tutorial that focuses on an African American or diaspora studies topic.
C. Requirements for Honors Eligibility: Thesis (2 courses)
- One year of AAAS 99. Senior Thesis Workshop is required.
D. Other Information
1. Pass/Fail: No course used for the concentration may be taken Pass/Fail, with the exception of AAAS 99.
2. Students can take AAAS 10/11, 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 AAAS 97 concurrently with AAAS 10/11, for example. Concentrators may be permitted to substitute for AAAS 10/11, if they declare late.
Requirements for Joint Concentration (Honors only): 8 courses (32 credits), including thesis
- AAAS 10: Introduction to African American Studies.
- A course in 18th or 19th Century African American history that engages substantially 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.)
- Two courses in African American or diaspora studies, one in the humanities and one in the social sciences.
- Sophomore Tutorial: AAAS 97: Race, Class, and Colonialism in Africa and the Americas. (Restricted to concentrators and others by permission of the instructor.)
- Junior Tutorial: AAAS 98 or junior tutorial equivalent in primary concentration if African and African American Studies is the allied concentration.
- Senior year: One year of AAAS 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.
- Thesis: Required. Thesis must be related to both fields. Both departments will participate in evaluating the thesis.
- Pass/Fail: No course used for the concentration may be taken Pass/Fail, with the exception of AAAS 99.
- Students can take AAAS 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 AAAS 97 concurrently with AAAS 10, for example. Concentrators may be permitted to substitute for AAAS 10, if they declare late.
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
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.
How to find out more
For more information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Graduate and Undergraduate Program Officer, or visit our department at Barker Center.
Undergraduate Program Coordinator