African & African-American Studies
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA and a BGS in African American Studies, as well as a graduate certificate and a MA. Within the major, there are four concentration options; African, African-American, combined African and African American, and Haitian. The department will introduce you to African and African-American history, culture and life in general. Although Africa and Afro-America are the major areas of study, due attention is paid to the Caribbean and Latin America. The interdisciplinary major, with its opportunity for fieldwork in Africa or in the African Diaspora, also encourages students to engage in independent study to maximize their academic and research potential. In addition to academic interests, our program will prove useful for professionals whose careers take them to these geographic and cultural areas.
Sample of Related Skills
- Think critically about the interpretation of the African and African American experience throughout history
- Analyze and discuss African, African-American, Caribbean and Latin American issues as they relate to African-descended peoples
- Appreciate the interconnectedness and the interdependence of the human family
- Appreciate a diversified, multicultural, multiethnic society
- Understand African and African-American histories, cultures, and societies in general
Popular Career Paths
Law: The law profession gives you the flexibility to work in several different areas including corporate law, civil law, and public interest law. This career field usually requires more education and certification.
Politics: This is a very broad career path that offers many different avenues to the profession including public policy, elected or appointed leadership position, lobbying groups, and government affairs. Communication skills are very important in this career path.
Education: This is also a broad career path with many possibilities including being a professor, teacher, researcher, and Student Affairs professional where utilizing your strengths to be able to send your message across clearly is very important.
Social Services: This is considered a helping profession where you help individuals or a group of people overcome challenges in all aspects of their lives whether that be personally or professionally.
Writing: This offers you the ability to use your communication skills to provide entertainment or knowledge which can include a newspaper, blog, book, magazine, or website.
Business: The skills acquired within this major offer many different options within the business world. You can help a company in several different ways including human resources, marketing, sales, consulting, and management.
Explore More Career Paths
- African Studies Association - An association that provides information on publications, annual meetings, and awards and prizes for various scholarly contributions.
- The Black Collegian - A career related website dedicated for students of color
- The National Association for Ethnic Studies - A professional association that offers a job board, publications, and bulletin board for people in Ethnic studies
- Partnership for Public Service - This office has a Public Service Fellows program for current students and recent graduates to help with their mission
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies
Mental Health Institutions
Peace Corps& AmeriCorps
Political Interest Groups
View specific employers by state.
- Identify areas of interest in African & African American Studies so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in African and African American Studies, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. List of practice questions: General Interview (pdf).
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: Sample Resume (pdf).
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest: Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board, The University Daily Kansan, Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law), African Students Association, Association of Black Social Work Students, and KU Society of Professional Journalists.
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Association for the Study of African American Life and History - Offers many resources including a job posting link as well as a community board that offers news and events
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Several internships are available in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office which have links where you can apply directly from the site
- Internships USA - Lists of internships by industry including Washington Internships in Law and Policy, The Human Rights Internship Book, Congressional Internship Book, Internships in International Affairs, The Media Internship Book, and The Museum Internship Book
- National Association of African American Studies - Links that lead to publications within the field as well as job postings
- National Association of Black Journalists - Many student services offered that include internship and scholarship opportunities
- Smithsonian Institution - The Smithsonian Institute offers many internships and fellowships that offers students the opportunity to explore their interests within the career field