Major Requirements

Program Components

Africana Studies is the study of Africans and African descended peoples. It offers a multidisciplinary, integrative hermeneutics to investigate, educate, promote and value the contributions and experiences of Africans and African descended peoples worldwide.

The department’s vision is to impart innovative, creative, solidly-grounded knowledge and understandings of Africans and the African Diasporas.


  1. Students will have knowledge of the national, global roles and cultural contributions and experiences of Africans and people of African descent.
  2. Students will have knowledge of oral traditions, literature, art and aesthetics, expressions and conceptualizations of spiritualism within the African purview.
  3. Students will have knowledge of social, political and economic history of Blacks and the evolution of black nationalism.

The department attracts students of all ethnic backgrounds. Both minority and non-minority students benefit from exposure to academic materials and perspectives not otherwise available to them.

All the department’s courses satisfy Harpur College writing requirements. A single, double or cross-disciplinary major (BA program) and minor in Africana Studies are available.

Major Requirements

For the major, 7 of 11 courses (44 credits) must be taken in the department from department faculty only. These courses should be in the 100-400-levels reflecting academic growth, progressive competence, and a course distribution that reflects the African and African Diaspora focus of the department. Of these, students should take:

  • A. Two generalist introductory courses
  • B. (i) One disciplinary introductory permanent course
  • B. (ii) One special topics introductory course
  • C. (i) AFRICA: Select two topic courses. Prerequisite: Students must have taken relevant 100-or 200•level Africana Studies courses
  • C. (ii) AFRICA DIASPORA: Select two topics courses. Prerequisite: Students must have taken relevant 100-or 200-level Africana Studies courses
  • D. AFST 490 Senior Seminar, and any two advanced 400-level courses
  • E.  At least seven of the eleven Africana courses should be in the 300-400 levels and these should follow the Distribution Requirement

General Requirement

Students must earn a grade of C or above in courses fulfilling the major requirement. No courses fulfilling the major requirement may be taken Pass/Fail. Only one independent study course may be counted in fulfillment of the requirements for the major and this must be by an Africana Studies faculty. Students must take 4 of 8 courses at Binghamton University for the major. Students may take cross-listed courses of non-Africana Studies faculty but only as electives. When appropriate, students can petition to have a different course count as fulfilling requirements for courses in Group A or B.

Independent Study

For information please download the Independent Study Form.

For more information visit the university bulletin