Degree Requirements

General Requirements for the Minor

General university degree requirements stipulate that 1) three units of the minor be taken in residence at Puget Sound; 2) students earn a GPA of 2.0 in courses taken for the minor; and 3) all courses taken for a minor must be taken for graded credit. Any exceptions to these stipulations are indicated in the minor degree requirements listed below.

Requirements for the Minor

A minor in African American Studies requires AFAM 101 and four other units, two of which must be at the 300-level or above.

  1. Humanistic perspectives: 2 units, one of which is AFAM 101
    • Always applicable to African American Studies Minor
      • AFAM 101, Introduction to African American Studies
      • AFAM 205, African-American Literature
      • AFAM/REL 265, Thinking Ethically
      • AFAM 355, African-American Women in American History
      • AFAM 375, The Harlem Renaissance
      • COMM 291, Film Culture
      • COMM 347B, African American Public Discourse
      • COMM 370, Communication and Diversity
      • ENGL 482, Topics in African American Literature
      • HIST 254, African American Voices - A Survey of Afraican American History
      • MUS 221, Jazz History
    • Applicable to African American Studies Minor when the course emphasizes African American literature
      • ENGL 340, Literary Genre: Poetry
      • ENGL 341, Literary Genre: Drama
      • ENGL 342, Literary Genre: Prose (Fiction)
      • ENGL 343, Literary Genre: Non-Fiction
      • ENGL 360, Major Authors
      • ENGL 485, Literature and Gender
  2. Social-scientific perspectives: 2 units
    • AFAM/REL 304, Capital and Captivity
    • CONN 325, The Experience of Prejudice
    • CONN 335, Race and Ethnic Relations
    • PG 304, Race in the American Political Imagination
    • PG 311, Politics of Detention
    • PG 314, U.S. Public Policy
    • PG 315, Law and Society
    • PG 316, Civil Liberties
    • PG 319, Local Politics
    • PG 325, African Politics
    • PG 346, Race in the American Political Imagination
    • PSYC 281, Social Psychology
    • SOAN 213, Urban Sociology: Cities, Regions, and Peoples
  3. Race in Context: 1 unit

    Courses in this grouping may have no obvious racial content, but those that don't invite students to see the materials of the course from an African American perspective. A 300-or a 400-level course in this area may function as a capstone course for the minor. The student will negotiate an extra project to which the African American Studies committee and the instructor of the course must agree. This extra project may involve a regularly scheduled paper or other submission that the student agrees to expand or enhance to meet the expectations of the committee, consistent with the time and flexibility available to the instructor. This extra project may instead involve an additional paper or submission to be graded by the instructor. Negotiation of the capstone project must occur before the student begins the course. Students present their projects, or portions thereof, at an annual gathering sponsored by the African American Studies program.

    • AFAM 346, African Americans and American Law
    • AFAM 360, The Art and Politics of the Civil Rights Era
    • AFAM 401, Narratives of Race
    • COMM 322, Television Culture
    • CONN 302, Ethics and the Other
    • ECON 218, American Economic History
    • ECON 241, Urban Economics
    • ENGL 447, Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 449, Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 481, Asian American Literature
    • HIST 152, American Experiences I: Origins to 1877
    • HIST 153, American Experiences II: 1877 - Present
    • HIST 280, Colonial Latin America
    • HIST 281, Modern Latin America
    • HIST 351, Early American Biography and Autobiography
    • HIST 359, The United States in the 1960s
    • HIST 371, American Intellectual History to 1865
    • PG 313, American Constitutional Law
    • SOAN 103, Social Problems
    • SOAN 305, Heritage Languages and Language Policies


  1. Students and/or instructors may propose substitute courses to the director and advisory committee, but approval of such courses should be obtained before the course is taken.
  2. A student may apply only two courses taken to fulfill requirements of a major toward the minor in African American Studies. Applying African American Studies courses to satisfying core curriculum requirements is not restricted. All students interested in pursuing a minor in African American Studies should begin by discussing their plans with their advisors, appropriate members of the advisory committee, or the director.