African and African Diaspora Studies examines cultures, societies and political economies of peoples of African origin and descent. This includes not just peoples of the African continent but everyone with African roots around the globe, often referred to as the African diaspora. The study of African and African Diaspora Studies is relevant to everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality or religion. You will find value in the program if you are interested in working within the U.S. or internationally in health services, education, journalism, social work, politics, law, business, the non-profit sector, trade, the arts and government agencies.

Through coursework in history, literature, political science, economics, and more, students will examine a variety of issues and themes through an African-centric lens. Along the way, they will be honing their skills in communication, information analysis, and research - all skills cited by employers as critically important in their hiring process.


The purpose of the minor is to expose students to a range of concepts, theories and phenomena that ground the discipline of African and African Diaspora Studies. Students are required to take 18 credits, 9 of which must be completed at or above the 300 level. Up to 6 credits at the 100 level may count toward the minor. Nine credits at the 300 level or above must be taken in residence at UWM. The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Cross-Listed Courses

The following courses offered by other departments may be used to satisfy the requirements of the undergraduate major or minor in African and African Diaspora Studies.

ENGLISH 381World Literatures Written in English: (African Fiction)3
ENGLISH 517Studies in African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 631Seminar in African-American Literature:3
FILM 301Film Art for Non-Majors (Radical Black Film)3
PORTUGS 225Understanding Brazil: (African Presence in Brazilian Culture and Literature)3

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact