What Can I Do With My African-American Studies Major?

Overview

African American Studies examines the experiences and contributions of people of the African diaspora in the United States and globally. By studying the intellectual, historical, cultural, economic, political, literary, scientific, and social structures and practices of African Americans, the major provides the tools to theorize solutions to social issues rooted in longstanding and persistent racial divides.

In doing so, students develop the ability to bridge the gap between the classroom and community, particularly the diverse communities of Washington, D.C. and beyond. African American Studies offers important insights into the future of university education because the organization of the inter-discipline trains and requires students to integrate knowledge from different fields of study in order to solve problems. The integrative aspect of the inter-discipline teaches students how to apply what they know in unfamiliar contexts. In addition, African American Studies has always drawn from the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. The incorporation of the arts alongside the humanities and sciences prepares students to think imaginatively and innovatively as well as critically. These skills prepare students for a wide range of career and education options.

Skills

Research

  • Gathering and interpreting data
  • Original analysis
  • Defining problems
  • Understanding social context
  • Applying theoretical approaches to research problems

Critical Thinking

  • Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
  • Avoiding simplistic conclusions
  • Reading critically
  • Thinking independently
  • Recognizing unnoticed patterns and structures
  • Understanding components of complex problems

Communication

  • Writing effectively
  • Articulating ideas/theories
  • Creating persuasive arguments
  • Analytical writing
  • Assessing conflicting viewpoints
  • Public speaking

Social & Cultural Relations

  • Understanding and appreciating human relationships along gendered, classed, and racial lines
  • Identifying cultural/social forces
  • Understanding diversity

Sample Internship Opportunities

Relevant Websites & Publications

Professional Organizations

For more information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Cawley Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, visit the website of Georgetown University's African American Studies Program