African Studies Track

Concentrators Requirements

Required courses (12)

  1. AAAS 11   Introduction to African Studies
  2. AAAS 10   Introduction to African American Studies (Ordinarily the two introductory courses must be completed by the end of the junior year.)
  3. Two courses in an African language
  4. One course in pre-20th century African history.
  5. Five courses in African Studies with at least one course in social sciences, one in humanities. In selecting these three half-courses, students should declare a focus. Some students will declare a disciplinary focus or more general focus in the humanities or social sciences; others will choose an area focus or thematic methodological or comparative focus (e.g., comparative literary or historical analysis, comparative economic and political development)

B. Tutorials

  1. Sophomore Tutorial: AAAS 97.
  2. 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)

  1. One year of AAAS 99 Senior Thesis Workshop is required.

Joint Concentrators Requirements

8 courses (32 credits), including thesis

A. Required courses:

  1. AAAS 11: Introduction to African Studies.
  2. A course in African history. (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 of an African language. Students who intend to conduct thesis research in Africa are encouraged to continue African language instruction beyond the first year.

B. Tutorials:

  1. Sophomore Tutorial: AAAS 97: Race, Class, and Colonialism in Africa and the Americas. (Restricted to concentrators and others by permission of instructor.)
  2. Junior Tutorial: AAAS 98a or junior tutorial equivalent in primary concentration if African and African American Studies is the allied concentration.
  3. 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.

C. Thesis:

  1. Required. Thesis must be related to both fields. Both departments will participate in evaluating the thesis.

D. Other information:

  1. Same as Concentrators Requirements

Advising and Resources

Advising and Resources


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.