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  Academic Programs / Liberal Arts

African American Studies


Dr. Nathaniel Norment, Chairperson
810 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-8491
nnorme01@temple.edu

Dr. Sonja Peterson-Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Studies
829 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-1996
sonja.peterson-lewi@temple.edu

808 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-8491
afam@temple.edu
www.temple.edu/aas/

The mission of the Department of African American Studies (AAS) is to provide an intellectual arena in which students learn critically to examine, analyze, and interpret the experiences, traditions, and dynamics of peoples of African descent so as to be prepared to take roles of effective agency, participation, and leadership in the intellectual, research, and social activist domains of professional and community life. The department’s guiding philosophy is African-centered in that we believe that mindful awareness of the social, cultural, and historical experiences of African peoples must inform and guide all viable research, analysis, interpretation, and action directed toward people of African descent.

The curriculum stresses the skills necessary to think critically, write clearly, argue persuasively, and solve problems effectively. Students are exposed to theory and research in a variety of subject areas and are encouraged to engage in active research and service beyond the classroom. Past AAS alumni have entered careers in primary and secondary education and administration, social work and administration, research design, law enforcement, city government, and have also worked with museums and other cultural and artistic institutions. Others have entered graduate studies in a variety of areas, including law, the health-related professions, public administration, and the social sciences.

The department offers three internal awards for graduating seniors—two privately-sponsored awards for outstanding academic performance and one departmental award for outstanding service. The Department of African American Studies supervises the Temple in Ghana program, which allows students to study for six weeks during the summer at the University of Ghana in Accra.

Requirements for the Major

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
African American Studies 1296 Introduction to African American Studies 3 WI
African American Studies 3215 Languages & Cultures of West Africa 3  
African American Studies 2201 African Civilization 3  
African American Studies 3268 Critical Readings in African American History 3  
African American Studies 22551 Introduction to Research Methods
(offered during Fall semester only1)
3  
African American Studies 40961 Senior Seminar
(offered during Spring semester only)
3 WI*
         
African American Studies Electives Select four (4) additional courses as outlined below2. 12  
African American Studies Elective One additional elective numbered 2000-4999 3  
         
Total     33  
         
* Indicates Writing Capstone.    

Note 1: Students must take AAS 2255: Introduction to Research Methods and AAS 4096: Senior Capstone Seminar in sequence because students must complete in AAS 4096 the research that they will design in AAS 2255.  Thus, complete AAS 2255 in the fall, the only term in which it is offered, and then immediately enroll in AAS 4096 for the spring term, the only semester in which it is offered.  The department does not accept other research courses as substitutes for AAS 2255.

Note 2: Of the four electives, students must choose at least TWO Cultural Aesthetic courses (AAS 1124, 1125, 1152, 1158, 1165, 1252, 2131, 2134, 2208, 2934, 3176, 3271, 4115, and 4146--at least one of these must be literature-based), plus at least TWO Socio-Behavioral courses (AAS 1253, 1271, 2151, 2211, 2218, 2248, 2251, 3257, 3296, 4221, 4248, and 4389).

Note 3: All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses. The specific writing-intensive courses required for this major are listed above and are identified by "WI" in the RCI column.

 

Distinction in Major

African American Studies majors may graduate with a distinction in major if they have earned a GPA of 3.3.

Requirements for the Minor and Suggested Order of Completion

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
African American Studies 1296 Introduction to African American Studies 3 WI
African American Studies 3215 Languages & Cultures of West Africa 3  
African American Studies 2201 African Civilization 3  
African American Studies 3268 Critical Readings in African American History 3  
African American Studies 2255 Introduction to Research Methods
(offered during Fall semester only)
3  
  Electives Select two (2) additional courses, one of which must be above the 2000-level.** 6  
Total     21  
         
**Make these selections based on the content areas in which you desire greater familiarity (e.g., AAS literature, AAS social issues, AAS psychology, etc.). One of these two upper-level courses may be an AAS-related course outside the department; however, students must seek written approval from the AAS undergraduate director prior to enrolling in outside courses that they want to apply toward the AAS minor. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in external courses that they wish to apply toward the AAS minor.
The department does not accept other research courses as substitutes for AAS 2255.
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