The Major (27 points)

A minimum of twenty-seven (27) points is required for the completion of the major. The number of points allocated per course is indicated in the Columbia University Bulletin.

Core Requirements
All majors must complete to satisfaction the core required courses. The core requirements are:
(1) African-American Studies  - "Introduction to African-American Studies" - 4 Points
(2) African/African Diaspora Course (Governed Elective)" - 4 Points
(3) African-American Studies  - "Black Intellectuals" - 4 Points
(4) Major Debates in African-American Studies - 4 Points
(5) Senior Seminar - 4 Points
(6) Designated Area of Study Course (DAS) - 4 Points
(7) DAS or Thesis Seminar - 3 Points

Governed Electives
A "governed electives" category from at least three different departments, providing an interdisciplinary background in the field of African-American Studies. (Note: you cannot count one of your governed electives within your designated area of study).

Designated Area of Study
A Designated Area of Study, preferably within a distinct discipline (for example, history, politics, sociology, literature, anthropology, psychology, etc.). Students may also select courses within a particular geographical area or region or an interdisciplinary field of study.

  • Any of the departmental disciplines (history, political science; sociology, anthropology, literature, art history; psychology, religion, music, etc.)
  • Any of the pertinent area studies (African Studies; Caribbean/Latin American; Gender Studies; etc.)

Please note that the major/concentrator is not allowed to “create” or “make up” a designated area of study without the direct approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and that such approval must be sought before the student has embarked on the course of designated area of study, and that such approval will be granted only in very rare and exceptional cases. For example, there conceivably could be a candidate for inclusion a Designated Area of Study which the student has called “Community Development and Empowerment in the African Diaspora,” which draws from courses in Political Science, Sociology, History, the School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA), etc., but only with DUS permission. Under no circumstances should the major/concentrator hope to take a series of courses only later to “create” a Designated Area of Study around these courses.