African American and African Studies Learning Objectives


The department seeks, through interdisciplinary study, to create an intellectual environment that allows students to develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills.  These skills are developed through study within the department’s curriculum as well as by extensive one-on-one mentoring with African American and African Studies faculty. 

Students will develop analytical and critical thinking skills about Africans and people of African descent living throughout the diaspora. 

The department stresses advanced knowledge about the emerging and established interdisciplinary scholarship about peoples of African descent around the world that is continually shaping the field.

Graduates of the department are expected to develop an awareness of intersections of critical race theory, gender, class, and sexuality and the ways these factors influence the lives of communities living throughout the African diaspora.  Graduates of the department are expected to understand the history, scope, and experiences of the diaspora of African peoples.

The Department of African American and African Studies actively seeks to make students aware of issues of social justice that shape the communities in which they live and work, as well as communities throughout society.

Students are expected to be able to apply the methodology and analytical approaches of the humanities, social sciences, behavioral sciences, and the arts to a rigorous study of experiences throughout the African diaspora.

Students will learn to recognize the distinctions between African cultural institutions and the cultural institutions of Africa throughout the diaspora.

Students will compare and contrast the history and cultures of Africans with the history and cultures of diasporic communities throughout the world. 

Students will understand the connection between reading, writing, and oral communication to present their ideas.

Students will benefit from substantial preparation in the program to be able to develop fundamental and advanced research methodologies to allow them to explore significant research questions with intellectual rigor.

The department seeks to provide its student body with substantive knowledge of the varied experiences of black people in the United States and abroad and to facilitate understanding and diversity.

Graduates should be well-prepared for post-baccalaureate work in African and African American Studies and related fields.

Students should be able to value the importance of diversity in the twenty-first century, recognize the importance of critical thinking, appreciate the relevance of community service and service learning, and understand the significant contributions of African and African descended peoples throughout the world.

The department actively seeks to provide the residents of the state of New Jersey and beyond with a high standard of education that is relevant to the realities of a diverse and dynamic world.