Why Minor in African American Studies?

panel seated at a table
Student Development Initiative

A minor complements your major area of study by demonstrating that you possess a range of interests and abilities, have developed critical thinking skills necessary for problem solving, and are capable of interacting with people across various backgrounds and points of view. These skills suggest that you are highly-skilled and possess a strong work ethic. They are precisely what employers and graduate admissions committees are looking for in potential applicants.

The African American Studies (AAST) program is an inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary study of the history, culture, and socioeconomic well-being of African Americans. Knowledge and research methods drawn from multiple fields of study enhances our understanding of African Americans’ unique heritage and social circumstances, as well as permits a deeper comprehension of the history and culture of our nation as a whole. A minor in African American Studies enhances a student’s ability to engage in critical reasoning and analytical thought, with a premium placed on oral and written communication skills.

Michelle Obama, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Mae Jemison, Greg Carr, Angela Bassett

Notable People who Minored in African American Studies

Students that minor in African American Studies go to build successful careers in business and technology, education, medicine and health, news and media, politics, government, and many other areas. Some well-known people that minored in African American Studies include, clockwise from upper left:

  • Attorney and Former First Lady Michelle Obama (Princeton University)
  • Dr. Henry Louis Gates (Yale University), Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
  • Dr. Greg Carr, Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University; Adjunct Faculty at the Howard School of Law
  • Angela Bassett (Yale University), Award Winning Actor
  • Dr. Mae Jemison (Stanford University), the first African American woman in space