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Africana Studies (B.A.)

Website:  School of Humanities and Global Studies (HGS):

About the Major

The Africana Studies Major prepares students to become informed and positive participants in the world community by developing a global perspective on Africa and its Diaspora. Building on Ramapo College’s tradition of interdisciplinary inquiry, the Program strives to imbue students with an analysis about Africa and its Diaspora far beyond that of a foundational knowledge base.  Our goals are to give students an affirmative and transformative experience through learning about Africa’s people and Diasporic contributions to world culture with their arts, labor, resources, and civil and human rights ideologies.

To accomplish these goals we rely on an extraordinary diverse faculty in a number of disciplines throughout all of the Schools at Ramapo College. Our faculty is united by a commitment to prepare our students to be global citizens who can facilitate positive change in Africa and its Diaspora.  The Faculty believes that preparation for this kind of global citizenship must be accomplished by developing our students’ critical thinking skills, oral competence, writing ability, technological and ecological literacy.

Since many of our courses double-count, students are encouraged to double-major and/or minor to increase their career options and opportunities. Thus, an Africana Studies Major with a major or minor in such disciplines as Literature, Business, International Studies, Music, History, or Communications Arts is welcomed.

What can you do with a B.A. in Africana Studies Degree? Jobs, Business Opportunities, Graduate School:

This region in particular provides current job opportunities and an immense future growth of opportunities for an Africana Studies Major because it’s near New York City, which is a global and international hub.  An Africana Studies Major can get a job in the emerging global financial business industry, with international relief agencies, with federal or state diplomatic services, with the Central Intelligence Agency, with United Nation agencies, with religious foreign missions, in international education.  Also, they will get jobs in the traditional jobs of teaching education.  For example, in the State Legislation of New Jersey in 2002 they passed the Amistad Act Law chapter 16A of title 52, requiring all New Jersey schools teach the history of African Americans.  There are also many options for those who want to pursue a Masters as well as a Ph.D. if so desired.  In the past as well as currently other traditional jobs in news media, popular magazines, entertainment, politics, social work, etc. have been successfully held by college graduates with this major and there is solid research on this topic.  (See “What Can You do with a Black Studies Major and Minor” by Robert Fikes, Librarian San Diego State University 2004)

The Africana Studies Major leads to the B.A. degree-and is offered through the School of Humanities and Global Studies.  A minor is also available.

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Teach students the major historical and contemporary themes and actors related to Africa and its Diaspora.

Outcome 1: Describe the major historical and contemporary themes and actors related to Africa and its Diaspora.

Outcome 2: Explain how Africa and/or its Diaspora shaped world history and shapes the modern world.

Goal 2: Teach students how to conduct research and write effectively.

Outcome 3:  Write clearly and effectively.

Outcome 4:  Deliver clear and effective oral presentation.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Studies in the Arts and Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.  Within the Africana Studies Major, students are required to take Introduction to African Studies, African American Social and Political Thought, and a third Writing Intensive course selected in consultation with the advisor.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  5. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. Courses fulfilling the requirements for the primary or second major may count towards the requirements of the minor, but may not exceed one-half of the credits required in the minor. A School core does not need to be completed for a minor.  Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.