Bachelors In

African American Studies Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.

Why We Love It

  • $46,610
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 21-1021 Child, family, and school social workers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

With a bachelor of arts in African American studies, you’ll be prepared to work as an educator, advocate, or activist. In school, you’ll study the culture, history, and literature of African Americans, and learn how societal and historical influences have shaped that culture both locally and internationally. Shape your future career by focusing your studies on humanities, social sciences, or education.

What is a Degree in African American Studies?

In a bachelor of arts in African American studies program, students study the history, culture, and literature of Africans and African Americans. As a multidisciplinary program, students focus on forming a diverse understanding of issues in the African American community, as well as the cultural and historical factors, movements, and ideas that shaped the culture. Students study the history of Americans whose descendants were African, and learn about important leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama.

Graduates from African American studies programs are prepared to move into careers as educators, teaching students about African Americans; as social workers, advocating for children and families in the African American community; or as activists, promoting and advocating for equal rights and the eradication of racism. Graduates may teach at the elementary, middle, and high school levels by choosing a program that leads to state licensure, or they can pursue graduate degrees to teach in college.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in African American Studies?

  • African American History and Culture
  • Art of Africa, America, and Oceania
  • Social Problems
  • African American Literature
  • African American Political Thought
  • Issues in African American Philosophy
  • History of Jazz
  • African American Psychology

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in African American Studies?

Individuals with bachelor of arts degrees in African American studies have a bright future because their degrees qualify them for a variety of jobs in multiple industries. Many find work as educators and equal opportunity employment roles in businesses across the U.S., and there is always demand for qualified educators to teach new students about the history and culture of the African American community. With additional degrees, graduates can work as lawyers, researchers, counselors, or professors.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in African American Studies will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

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Best Jobs for African American Studies Degrees

Graduates from bachelor’s degree programs in African American studies move on to work in many industries, including education, law, social work, business, and urban planning. They work as teachers, in human resources departments, as civil rights lawyers, and as activists and educators for equal rights nonprofits and other organizations. Some also take jobs as politicians or work in government agencies.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your African American Studies degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

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Find a Program that Provides Teaching Licensure

If your goal in majoring in African American studies is to become a teacher at an elementary, middle, or high school, make sure to find a program that provides a teaching license as part of the curriculum. If your program does not result in a teaching license, you’ll have to go back to school for one year to earn a teaching license in order to qualify to teach in public schools and some private schools.

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