Department of African American and African Studies

At a Glance

Over the course of its 40 year history, the Woodson Institute has advanced the field of Black Studies and supported undergraduate students at UVA as a program in African American and African Studies. In 2017, the Woodson acheived departmental status to formalize its position as an academic department. As a department, the Woodson is commited to training the next generation of thinkers as well as the general public about issues of race, social justice, and inequality. The core of this work is the African American and African Studies major and minor, which exposes students to critical inquiry and discussion about the lives and expereinces of people in the African diaspora. Global in context, rigorous in content, the department's teaching emphasizes intellectual intersections, cross-cultural connections, and real-world applications. 

Our majors in African American and African Studies have taken their education to pursue a wide range of careers in law, K-12 education and higher education, medicine, non-profit sector, business and consulting. As you plan your academic and professional career, review the programs and opportunities offered at the Woodson Institute. 


Major in African American and African Studies

Visit our undergraduate program page for more information about the department, its teaching vision, and how to major/minor in Africana Studies. 

Distinguished Majors Program

Advanced students in Africana studies may wish to apply for the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) which culminates in a thesis project supervised by an academic advisor. 

Study Abroad

In partnership with the The department runs a flagship study abroad program to Ghana in partnership with the University of Ghana and W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture


In addition to the minor in African studies, which was created in 2007, the Department offers Swahili language classes and hosts an annual Africa Day event with local schools.