The African & African American Studies Certificate is an interdisciplinary undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificate that compliments the already existing minor and major concentrations of study in the AAAS program.  As such, it too affords students an opportunity to gain “a working knowledge of the history of African Americans in the United States, the cultural continuities in philosophy, religion and the arts linking African Americans to the African continent, as well as the critical social, political, and developmental issues facing African communities on the Continent and throughout the Diaspora.”

Information about the AAAS Certificate

Course of Study

This course of study better prepares students to enter a wide spectrum of professional arenas, (including law, social work, K-12 education, civic leadership, and academics), while also preparing them to work and live in an ever more diverse world.  The interdisciplinary approach of the AAAS Certificate provides students with analytical frameworks for understanding how social, cultural, legal, and political factors influence the lives of African and African American individuals, families, and communities. This program of study also examines a broad range of diversity issues to understand the ways that African and African Diaspora experiences intersect with ideas about race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender identity, and culture in people’s lives.


Program Admission

Admission to the African/African American Studies Certificate is open to the following:

  • Current UM-Dearborn students pursuing undergraduate studies with a GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Any person holding a college degree with an interest in applying knowledge of African and African American populations and issues to their employment, research, and/or community work.

Transfer students may petition to transfer in 3 of the 12 required credits. Petitions will be evaluated by the AAAS Certificate Steering Committee.


12 credit hours required.

Required Course:

AAAS 300     Introduction to AAAS     3 Credit Hours

This gateway course in the African and African American Studies Program introduces students to the intellectual debates, historical perspectives and cultural issues central to the field of African and African American Studies.

See list of all required courses and program notes.

Program Goals and Objectives

Students who complete the Certificate in African/African American Studies should expect to achieve the following:

  1. Knowledge about the history and current issues facing African and African American individuals, families, and communities;
  2. Knowledge about modes of resistance and community responses to these issues;
  3. Familiarity with the major concepts and methods in the field of African Diaspora studies; 
  4. Ability to analyze the ways that African American identity intersect with race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, religion, disability, and nationality in peoples’ lives; 
  5. Ability to apply theory to practice through research, creative production, practicum experience, and/or advocacy.
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