Race, Religion, Gender, and Multidisciplinary Studies

African American Studies (AAS) Program

Understanding and Navigating a Diverse World

Western Illinois University has been offering courses in African American Studies for over 50 years as part of its effort to provide a rigorous curriculum rooted in Black cultural, political, economic, literary, social, psychological, educational and historical reality, one that delves into the complex history and current state of concepts such as race, racism, justice, equity, and diversity.

A well-established academic field since the early 1900s, developed by scholars such as Carter G. Woodson and W.E.B. DuBois, African American Studies is intended to “fill in the missing pages of world history” (in the words of Arthur Schomburg). As attention to diversity and inclusion becomes a central component of many careers and community activities, African American Studies students will be well-positioned to take on leadership roles in their careers, make significant contributions to community organizations, and work towards the transformation of civic and political life.

Students may complete an 18-credit Minor in African American Studies, or – for those wishing to study this field in more depth –pursue the African American Studies Option in LAS. Students in the AAS Option take 33 credit hours in AAS courses, as well as 12 hours of LAS credits, including an experiential learning course and a senior capstone focusing on topics directly relevant to their program.

Learn more about the AAS Option .

View the specific minor requirements and course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog .