Majors and Minors

Why Africana Studies?

Students talking in small groups during a black political thought class

Students interested in the African diaspora, including the African American experience, studying the continent of Africa, or Africana people around the globe are welcome in Africana Studies. Our students come from across the university and often pair our major or minor with other courses of study.

The department is known for its award-winning faculty, outstanding mentorship, interesting courses, innovative pedagogy, and opportunities for undergraduate research. We work with each of our students to create a unique and personal course of study within the parameters of the discipline. 

What will I learn?

The Department of Africana Studies stands at the center of the study of the African American experience, Africa, and the African Diaspora—the global dispersion of peoples of African descent. Using an interdisciplinary approach to coursework and research, the department introduces students to a wide range of historical and contemporary perspectives, promoting a critical engagement with the whole of human culture.

Professor Forjwuor standing at the front of the class next to a screen displaying a power point slide with some text

Our courses focus on race, politics, theology, education, and history related to the Africana world, and our faculty of dedicated teacher-scholars approach these topics from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Our students develop a multifaceted understanding of the Africana experience that prepares them for undergraduate research and internship opportunities in a wide array of fields.

Our strong partnerships across the University can help Africana studies students connect with the financial and academic resources they need to support their endeavors, whether that means access to community engagement opportunities, guidance in crafting a research proposal, funding for international fieldwork or immersive summer language study, grants to defray internship expenses, or help developing competitive applications for prestigious fellowships.

Africana studies majors and minors at Notre Dame hone their research, communications, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills while developing a keen cultural understanding and interdisciplinary perspective that prepares them thrive as leaders in their families, churches, communities, and careers.

What can I do with Africana Studies?

Our alumni are flourishing in top graduate and professional schools, elite service organizations, and jobs in government service, human resources, education, public policy, marketing, sales, scientific research, health care, and consulting. Learn more about how 96% of Africana Studies alumni have found success within 6 months of graduation.

Lauren Pate

“Africana Studies taught me about so many black historical figures and events that so many American history classes did not cover. My Africana Studies classes allowed me to interact with a diversity of opinion and people and really "made" my Notre Dame experience. The professors create a safe space for discussions concerning current events and link history to the present. Some examples of what we discussed include: intersectionality, the commodification of black bodies in sports, and even Beyonce’s approach to feminism.”

— Lauren Pate ’16, Marketing and Communications Program Manager, NAACP

Questions? Want to get started in Africana Studies?

Please contact:

Professor Bernard Forjwuor
Director of Undergraduate Studies