African and African American Studies
Berea College Draper building

African and African American Studies

African and African American Studies

Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in African and African American Studies (AFR). A minor is also available. The department’s central mission is to offer students a deeper understanding of the intellectual, political, and cultural contributions of people of primarily African descent. The interdisciplinary approach of African and African American Studies provides students with the opportunities to engage in critical thinking across a spectrum of fields, including history, psychology, environmental and agricultural science, gender and sexuality studies, peace and social justice studies, transnational migration, political science, economics, health, media and technology, art, literature, music, theater, and other forms of expressive culture.

Opportunities & Internships

AFR majors have the opportunity assist in faculty-led research as well as conduct their own research using a variety of student grants. Independent research and outstanding capstone projects are honored at the end of each year.

AFR students are granted internships that match a wide range of intellectual and career interests – from history to political science to the arts. Among other experiences, students have interned at the Lexington Neighborhood Youth Council, the home of Carter G. Woodson (operated by the National Parks Service), and the Heir Property Information Project supporting African American family land retention.

AFR students also gain educational enrichment, professional development, and networking opportunities through conferences, learning excursions, study abroad, and other interactive experiences. Beyond exclusive encounters with speakers in AFR’s Hieroglyph series students also get one-on-one career guidance from African & African American Studies graduates across multiple institutions. Other professional development and enrichment experiences include trips to the Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration Symposium, the Carter G. Woodson Center’s Civil Rights Tour, and participation in the Southwestern Black Leadership Conference. 

Berea College is a member school of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP). SHECP supports poverty studies through integrated internship programs. Berea AFR majors have completed SHECP internships sending them to regions around the country.

Careers & Outcomes

African and African American Studies graduates begin their careers or continue their education in a broad range of fields including:

  • Public Health
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Faculty and Higher Education Administration
  • Social Work
  • Politics
  • Law
  • Psychology
  • Art and Museum Practice
  • Communications and Media Strategy