General Requirements for the Major or Minor

General university degree requirements stipulate that 1) at least four units of the major or 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 major or the minor; and 3) all courses taken for a major or minor must be taken for graded credit. Any exceptions to these stipulations are indicated in the major and minor degree requirements listed below.

Requirements for the Major

A major in African American Studies consists of 9 units:

  1. AFAM 101
  2. AFAM 398 (formerly 201)
  3. AFAM 399
  4. Four elective units, including two depth and two breadth courses, selected and approved through advising from the courses listed below. At least three of the four must be taken at the upper-division level (courses numbered 300 or higher).
  5. Capstone sequence: AFAM 401 and 402

Requirements for the Minor

A minor in African American Studies consists of 5 units:

  1. AFAM 101.
  2. Three elective units meeting the following conditions: (i) at least two must be taken outside the student’s major; (ii) at least one must be a depth course from the list below; (iii) at least one must be a breadth course from the list below; and (iv) at least one must be an upper-division course (i.e., numbered 300 or higher).
  3. Capstone: AFAM 401.

Notes for the major and minor

  1. Students may apply up to two approved courses of study abroad credit toward their African American Studies major or minor.
  2. Majors and minors may satisfy no more than two university core requirements from African American Studies offerings.
  3. When a course both supports their African American Studies major and fulfills a major or minor requirement in another field, a student may count no more than two units from that major or minor toward their African American Studies major.
  4. Students majoring or minoring in African American Studies must earn a grade of C- or higher in all courses which are taken in fulfillment of a major or minor requirement.
  5. The African American Studies program reserves the option of determining, on an individual basis, a time limit on the applicability of courses to the major or minor.

Depth Electives

Depth courses provide students with specialized knowledge in African American experiences, opportunities for sustained and deep thinking about a topic in African American Studies, and specifically highlight how African American Studies acquires, organizes, and defines knowledge. Students will acquire new methodological or theoretical tools to understand and situate African American experiences and their import. A course will meet the depth criteria if: (1) course topics are central to African American experiences; (2) these topics are considered across the course; and (3) the course introduces methodological or theoretical tools rooted in African American Studies. Courses that currently count toward the depth elective are:

  • AFAM 205 Survey of African American Literature
  • AFAM 305 Black Fictions and Feminisms
  • AFAM 215 On the Real: Black Popular Culture is Art
  • AFAM 310 African Diaspora Experience
  • AFAM 346 African Americans and American Law
  • AFAM 355 African American Women in American History
  • AFAM 360 The Art and Politics of the Civil Rights Era
  • AFAM/COMM 370 Communication and Diversity
  • AFAM 375 The Harlem Renaissance
  • AFAM 400 The 1619 Project
  • AFAM 495 Independent Study
  • COMM 347 African American Public Discourse
  • CONN 335 Race and Multiculturalism in the American Context
  • CONN 390 Black Business Leadership: Past and Present
  • ENGL 332 Genre: Poetry*
  • ENGL 335 Genre: Drama*
  • ENGL 338 Genre: Popular Literature*
  • ENGL 339 Genre: Print Media*
  • ENGL 363 African American Literature
  • ENGL 381 Major Authors*
  • HIST 254 African American Voices: A Survey of African American History
  • HIST 291 Modern Africa
  • HIST 293 Early Africa to 1807
  • MUS 221 Jazz History
  • PG 304 Race and American Politics
  • PG 346 Race in the American Political Imagination
  • PHIL 389 Race and Philosophy
  • REL 307 Prisons, Gender, and Education

* Applicable when the course emphasizes African American literature.

Breadth Electives

Breadth courses multiply points of application of specialized knowledge and expertise which students gain from African American Studies, allowing them access to different methodological and theoretical modes of treating topics and interrogating course material across disciplines, and varied platforms for building their capacity for critical and recursive intellectual engagement. A course will meet the breadth criteria if the syllabus or conversation with the instructor indicates that (1) topics show a distinct relationship to African American studies; (2) topics allow application of methods and theories from AFAM studies; and (3) the course expands lenses and extends contexts on topics instructive to African American experiences. Courses that currently count toward the breadth elective are:

  • AFAM/REL 265 Thinking Ethically: What is Justice?
  • AFAM 304 Capital and Captivity
  • AFAM/ENVR 301 Environmental Racism
  • AFAM 320 Race, Power, and Privilege
  • ARTH 302 The Art of Mexico and Mesoamerica
  • COMM 321 Film Criticism
  • COMM 322 Television Culture
  • COMM 373 Critical Cultural Theory
  • CONN 325 Homelessness and Race
  • ECON 218 American Economic History
  • ECON 241 Urban Economics
  • ENGL 362 Native American Literature
  • ENGL 364 Asian-American Literature
  • ENGL 365 Gender and Sexualities
  • ENGL 366 Critical Whiteness Studies
  • GQS 201 Introduction to Gender, Queer, and Feminist Studies
  • HIST 280 Colonial Latin America
  • HIST 281 Modern Latin America
  • HIST 360 Frontiers of Native America
  • HIST 381 Film and History: Latin America
  • HIST 382 Comparative Revolution in Twentieth Century Latin America
  • HIST 383 Borderlands: La Frontera: The U.S.-Mexico Border
  • HIST 384 Transnational Latin America
  • HIST 391 Nelson Mandela and 20th Century South Africa
  • HIST 392 Men and Women in Colonial Africa
  • HIS 393 Missions and Christianity in Africa
  • LAS 100 Introduction to Latin American Studies
  • LAS 387 Art and Revolution in Latin America
  • LTS 200 Latina/o America: A Critical Introduction to Latina/o Studies
  • LTS 300 Latina/o Literatures
  • MUS 222 Music of the World’s Peoples
  • PG 303 Diversity in Post-Industrial Democracies
  • PG 311 Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and the War on Terror
  • PG 315 Law and Society
  • PG 316 Civil Liberties
  • PG 325 African Politics
  • PSYC 225 Social Psychology
  • PSYC 265 Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC 373 Perceiving Self and Other
  • REL 302 Ethics and the Other
  • SOAN 103 Social Problems
  • SOAN 213 City and Society
  • SOAN 230 Indigenous Peoples: Alternative Political Economies
  • SOAN 301 Power and Inequality
  • SOAN 305 Heritage Languages and Language Policies
  • SOAN 335 Third World Perspectives
  • SOAN 350 Border Crossings: Transnational Migration and Diaspora Studies
  • SPAN 212 Latin American Culture and Civilization
  • SPAN 301 Literature of the Americas
  • SPAN 306 Latin American Film
  • SPAN 311 Migration Narratives
  • SPAN 402 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Latin America
  • SPAN 405 Seminar in Twentieth and/or Twenty-First Century Latin America (only if significant African American Studies content)
  • THTR 250 World Theatre I: African Diaspora
  • Note that the following first-year seminars have relevance but cannot count toward the major or minor:
  • SSI1/SSI2 115 Imaging Blackness
  • SSI1 121 Multiracial Identities
  • SSI1/SSI2 135 Hurricane Katrina and the History of New Orleans