An Africana Studies minor makes an aspiring graduate student a more attractive candidate. Educational institutions have become more aware that they must prepare students to function in institutions and organizations – including law enforcement and other government agencies – that serve a multiracial, multiethnic society. Consequently, over the last two decades there has been a proliferation of ethnic studies graduate programs, particularly in the area of African American studies, at major American universities. Fellowship opportunities for students interested in pursuing MA or PhD degrees in such fields have also grown. Faculty and admissions officers of graduate programs in traditional disciplines such as sociology, psychology, political science and law are also interested in admitting students who are prepared to conduct research on or to provide services to diverse populations.
There are masters and doctoral programs in African and African American at major universities like Temple University, Howard University, Cornell University, Yale University, The University of California at Los Angeles, The University of California at Berkeley, Ohio State University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, New York University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Harvard University and many others.
There is a demand for educators who are equipped to teach ethnic studies courses as more schools and colleges require some multiculturalism or cultural pluralism studies. Universities, foundations, think tanks and other institutions that conduct social science research are also interested in hiring individuals with knowledge of specific ethnic or racial populations. Opportunities for those who are dedicated to the study of African American life, culture, politics and history are rapidly expanding.
An aspiring law student with a minor in Africana studies will be a better prepared and more attractive candidate to law school admissions officers. Many John Jay students are interested in pursuing careers in law. Because much of the African American experience involves a legal and social struggle for equality, students who minor in Africana Studies are exposed to important legal issues in most Africana Studies classes and will be better prepared for law school. Nowhere are racial issues more apparent than in law, law enforcement and the administration of justice. Lawyers, legal educators and law enforcement professionals must understand the important role that race has played and continues to play in the shaping of American institutions. Moreover, all legal professionals must have some understanding of how issues of race and racism are implicated in how our public institutions function. A major concern in law, public service and government is ensuring that citizens perceive public institutions to be fair and democratic in the ways they relate to different types of people. Because there is a long history in the United States of legal institutions treating people differently or unfairly because of race, an understanding and sensitivity to issues of race and racism is important for those students who want to pursue careers in public interest law, public service law or civil rights law.
Six Africana Studies courses (18 credits) of your choosing constitute an Africana Studies minor. Independent study and study abroad credits can be included. When you minor in Africana Studies, you can focus on the African experience or on the African Diaspora in the United States, the Americas, or the Caribbean. As an Africana Studies minor you will receive individualized guidance. Every student who minors in Africana Studies is assigned a faculty advisor. You will benefit from the Africana Studies faculty’s strong commitment to students.
Contact the Department of Africana Studies at 212-237-8764, Room 322N, for further information.