The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia

African American and African Studies Major

Requirements for an AAS Major

To fulfill the requirements of the African American and African Studies (AAS) interdisciplinary major, students must complete nine courses (totaling 29 credit hours) or contact the Director of Undergraduate Programs (DUP), Njelle Hamilton.

The African-American and African Studies interdisciplinary major comprises 9 courses (a minimum of 29 credit hours) that are selected from the list of AAS courses, approved by an AAS faculty advisor, and satisfy the following requirements:

All majors must complete AAS 1010 and AAS 1020 and receive with a grade of C or above in both courses.  Additionally, all students must complete seven additional courses (totaling 21 credit hours).  The basic requirements for these seven courses are as follows: 

  • All seven courses must either be in the department (with the course prefix AAS) or be on the list of AAS-approved courses offered in other departments.  The department lists the courses in other departments that can count toward the major on its website at:
  • Three of these courses must be at the 3000 level or above, which may fulfill requirements 2-5 above
  • One of these courses must focus on Africa
  • One of these courses must be a seminar (minimum 3 credits) at or above the 4000 level and must include a 20-page research paper

The seven courses must be distributed as follows:

  • One course (3 credits) must focus on race and politics in the U.S. (either an AAS course or a course on the list of AAS-approved courses)
  • One course (3 credits) must be in the humanities (either an AAS course in the humanities or a course selected from the list of AAS-approved courses in the following departments: Art History, Drama, English, French, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies)
  • One course (3 credits) must be in social sciences or history (either an AAS course in social science or history or a course selected from the list of AAS-approved courses in the following departments: American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Linguistics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Women, Gender & Sexuality)
  • Three courses (9 credits) of electives (any AAS courses or AAS-approved courses in other departments
  • One 4000-level seminar (3 credits) that requires a 20-page research paper


Other Requirements

  • No more than 6 transfer credits from relevant study abroad may be counted toward the AAS major. Students wishing to apply courses taken abroad to the major must receive advance written permission of from the AAS Director of Undergraduate Programs
  • Double majors can apply no more than 11 credits in another major toward the AAS major. All of these courses must be on the list of AAS-approved courses
  • AAS 4993 (Independent Study) does not meet the 4000-level seminar requirement. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to qualify to enroll in AAS 4993; students may petition the AAS Curriculum Committee to make exceptions by submitting a petition form found on the AAS website, but exceptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances. Only one independent study can count toward the AAS major and it must count as an elective.
  • All majors must maintain a major GPA of 2.0 or higher (which includes all courses taken toward the major)



Declaring the Major

 To declare the major, a student must be enrolled in or have completed (with a grade of C or above) either AAS 1010 or AAS 1020

The procedures for declaring a major in AAS are as follows:

  • Pick up a Declaration of Major form in Monroe Hall.
  • Make an appointment with the DUP, Njelle Hamilton
  • Bring the Declaration form and major worksheet (pdf) to your appointment.
  • Be prepared to discuss the courses you have taken, or plan to take, to fulfill the AAS requirements.


Major Requirement Worksheet (pdf)

“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at”