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africana studiesAFRICANA STUDIES


The major in Africana Studies provides students with a thorough background in the historical, political, social, and economic conditions of people of African descent. The major is designed to explore issues within the black international communities of Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean World and Europe from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Particular attention is focused on political concepts, cultural developments, literary manifestations, and social theories. Because of this field's interdisciplinary approach, students are exposed to the critical contributions of scholars representing a variety of theoretical approaches and intellectual perspectives.

Is there any additional information you would like students to know about the Africana Studies Major?

The major in Africana Studies offers a number of specialized, comparative and interdisciplinary courses in the histories, cultures, economies, literatures, and philosophies of people of the global African diaspora. Some of the courses are specific to the department whereas others are cross-listed with other disciplines. A student who takes 39 credits successfully completes the Major requirement, acquires basic understanding of the discipline and is deemed ready for advanced studies in the same field or in other disciplines or for work in public service.

What skills will students gain that will prepare them for their future endeavors?

The interdisciplinary, comparative, specialized and comprehensive nature of the courses, not to mention diverse extracurricular activities and community service activities which the Department encourages, enable students majoring in Africana Studies to develop skills that are vital for success in their future endeavors. Some of the skills include comprehensive and critical thinking, communication skills, writing and rhetorical skills, didactic skills, and argumentative skills.

Skills acquired as such are transferrable and usable in a number of career fields including higher education/academia, government, business, advocacy, law, journalism, and social work.

What Internships or research opportunities are available through the department?

The Department of Africana Studies is working on offering a list of internship and research opportunities including those that enable students to do research and service through its Study Abroad program, scheduled to start this summer with a visit to Ghana, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, as well as visits to historic heritage sites in Long Island and New York.

Stony Brook Resources and Professional Associations

SBU Career
Africana Studies Organization (ASO)
African Student Union (ASU)
African Students in Engineering and the Sciences (ASEAS)
Student Clubs (

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Shimelis Gulema 
632-7473, S-251, Social and Behavioral Sciences Building 
Visit the website

The Career Center provides more thorough detailed information how majors and careers are related, click on  Majors to Careers.

"It is important to remember that these skills can be developed not only through course work,
but by doing internships, getting involved in campus activities and working part-time."

Career Center website

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