Majors, minors + certificates

Bachelor of Arts in African American and African Diaspora Studies and Sociology (AAADSOCBA)Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Students on Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020 requirements.


The Interdepartmental Bachelor of Arts in African American and African Diaspora Studies and Sociology allows students to study society and human social interaction as organized in systems of social relationships, organizations, and institutions with focus on African Americans and the African Diaspora. Students how pursue this major will acquire strategies and critical thinking skills to work with diverse populations in a variety of career fields.

Major requirements

The major requires at least 40 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.

  1. African American and African Diaspora Studies Courses. 18 credit hours, of which at least 12 credit hours must be at the 300–499 level, including:
    1. Introductory course. One (1) course from the .
      • Required for the major. The culture of blacks in America viewed from a broad interdisciplinary approach, employing resources from history, literature, folklore, religion, sociology, and political science. (3 credit hours.)
    2. African American History. One (1) course from the .
      • History of blacks in the United States. Slavery, abolitionism, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction to 1900. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 355 or HIST-A 355. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: AAAD-A 355. 1900 to the present. Migration north, NAACP, Harlem Renaissance, postwar freedom movement. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 356 or HIST-A 356. (3 credit hours.)
    3. African American Literature. One (1) course from the .
      • African American writing before World War II, with emphasis on critical reactions and analyses. Includes slave narratives, autobiographies, rhetoric, fiction, and poetry. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: AAAD-A 379. The black experience in America as it has been reflected since World War II in the works of outstanding African American writers: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. (3 credit hours.)
    4. History, Culture, and Social Issues. Six (6) credit hours from the .
      • P: Groups student; and residence in Atkins Living Learning Center. Examines the impact of African American history and culture on the nation as a whole and on the international community. (1 credit hour.)
      • Exploration of the development of racism and racial ideologies in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America from colonial times to the present. Emphasizes the interaction among cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping patterns of conflict and collaboration, domination and resistance. (3 credit hours.)
      • A comparative perspective on American race relations, specifically the similarities and differences of the struggles against Jim Crow in America and against apartheid in South Africa. In both places, the late twentieth century witnessed a revolt against the legal and philosophical framework of white supremacy. (3 credit hours.)
      • A comparative study of the cultural, historical, and socioeconomic life patterns of African Americans and Diaspora-based Africans in the United States. (3 credit hours.)
      • The course will explore black participation in the formal structures of American government and in the processes by which these structures are accessed. Black participation in local, state, and federal government arenas will be focused upon, and the political benefits to the black community of these involvements will be assessed. (3 credit hours.)
      • Interdisciplinary examination of salient aspects of black women's history, identity, and experience, including policies, cultural assumptions, and knowledge systems that affect black women's lives. While the primary focus is North America, the lives of black women in other cultural settings within the African Diaspora are also examined. (3 credit hours.)
      • Communicative experiences of black Americans, including black dialect, language and ethnicity, interracial communication, recurring themes, spokespersons in black dialogue, and sociohistorical aspects of black language and communication. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 238 or CMCL-C 238. (3 credit hours.)
      • An interdisciplinary study of how members of four minority groups—Native Americans, Asian Americans, blacks, and Hispanics—combine their struggle for social justice with their desire to maintain their own concepts of identity. (3 credit hours.)
      • The church's role as a black social institution from slavery to the present, its religious attitudes as expressed in songs and sermons, and its political activities as exemplified in the minister-politician. (3 credit hours.)
      • A seminar, primarily designed for sophomores and juniors, directed toward critical analysis of selected topics germane to the future socioeconomic and political position of African Americans. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the historical participation and contributions of African Americans in sport. Students study African American sports pioneers and the social conditions affecting their participation. Period studied includes pre-slavery to the civil rights era (1500 to 1960s). (3 credit hours.)
      • The impact of African American sports heroes, famous teams, and annual sporting events on the shaping of African American culture and the combating of American racism. (3 credit hours.)
      • African American culture in the United States viewed in terms of history (antebellum to present) and social change (rural to urban). Use of oral traditions and life histories to explore aspects of black culture and history. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 292, AAAD-A 392, or FOLK-F 354. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: 3 credit hours of literature. The common and divergent experiences of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and African travelers to the "City of Light," from eighteenth-century New Orleans Creoles to twenty-first-century youth of African descent, as seen through literature, performance, film, and other arts. Issues of colonization, expatriation, immigration, exile, the Harlem Renaissance and "negritude," race and diaspora, transnationalism. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 304 or CMLT-C 363. (3 credit hours.)
      • This course is an interdisciplinary and comparative study of historical, cultural, and political issues related to Africa and the African Diaspora (the Americas and Europe). Emphasis will also be on team teaching using IUB faculty. Course will be of interest to students in all university departments and schools. (3 credit hours.)
      • Comparative colloquium that explores the recent literature on racial connections between "the local" and "the global" in contemporary American experience. Through immersion in the new "transnational" critiques of the United States, students analyze texts that describe African, Asian, European, indigenous, and Latino sensibilities about culture, homelands, belonging, and exclusion. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines several aspects of the classical, indigenous, and modern political/social bondage. (3 credit hours.)
      • A research seminar, primarily designed for juniors and seniors, directed toward critical analysis of selected topics germane to the future socioeconomic and political position of African Americans. Reading and discussion of relevant texts, studies, and articles. Includes theory construction, research design, and data collection. (3 credit hours.)
      • Legal evolution of civil rights and analysis of specific relevant legal decisions that stimulated social change (the role of slavery, racial segregation, inequality of educational opportunity, and voting laws). (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the history, development, and manifestation of feminist consciousness among African American women. The course is particularly concerned with how black women's lived experience defines that consciousness, and the differing impact it has among various groups of black women, and in their larger social, political, and cultural communities. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the process, patterns, and paradoxes of the incorporation of individuals and groups identified and/or perceived as "immigrants" from a comparative-interdisciplinary perspective. Focuses on persons from "sending" countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia to the United States. Also examines developments in other labor-importing, postindustrial countries such as France and England in relation to the people who settle there. (3 credit hours.)
      • Consequences of the black diaspora in North America; shifting views of blacks toward their native continent; analysis of current geographic, economic, and political relationships. (3 credit hours.)
      • Advanced study and analysis of selected issues and problems within the African American and African Diaspora experience utilizing interdisciplinary interpretation through analytical reasoning and philosophical discussions. Varied topics primarily in the areas of history, politics, sociology, anthropology, and economics. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Advanced study and analysis of selected issues and problems within the African American and African Diaspora experience utilizing interdisciplinary interpretations through analytical reasoning and philosophical discussions. Varied topics primarily in the areas of dance, music, film, theatre and drama, and literature. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the fight for civil rights by protest organizations such as Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and Congress of Racial Equality; the emergence of black leaders such as King, Farmer, and Malcolm X; the challenge posed by Black Power advocates in the Black Panthers and Black Muslims; and the changes in American society made by the black revolution. (3 credit hours.)
      • An examination of the historical roles, structures, the impact of black protest strategies, and the origins of black movements to assess their impact on communities in Africa and in the diaspora. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the influence of race, gender, and class from a perspective of power and culture. Use of interdisciplinary sources, including essays, fiction, art, and social science research to examine how different social groups vie for representation, self-definition, and power in different social and cultural settings. (3 credit hours.)
      • Histories, theories, policies, and citizen, state, corporate, nonprofit sector models of transforming past and present societies divided by race, ethnicity, gender, class, caste, tribe, and religion through restorative and distributive justice movements and policies such as civil rights, affirmative action, reparations, and reconciliation tribunals. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the economic, social, cultural and political development of black families residing primarily in rural areas of southern US prior to 1970. Primary attention given to institutional development, race relations, population, and migration. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey study of national, cultural, and cross-cultural persuasion in theory and practice. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 427 or CMCL-C 427. (3 credit hours.)
      • Focuses on crime reporting in America, addressing the question of whether or not the media distort the picture of crime. In particular, this course explores the mass media treatment of African Americans in the coverage of crime. (3 credit hours.)
      • Education of black Americans and its relationship to the African American experience. Trends and patterns in the education of black Americans as they relate to the notions of education "for whom and for what." (3 credit hours.)
      • Contemporary racial problems in American society with regard to law and constitutional principles of basic freedoms and associated conflicts. Effects of societal norms and impact of racism. (3 credit hours.)
    5. Senior Seminar in AAADS. One (1) course from the .
      • P: African American and African Diaspora Studies major; and senior standing. Lecture/discussions on African American studies as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry and scholarship. Students will develop individual or group projects that synthesize their experiences as majors by demonstrating the interrelated nature of the department's concentration areas. (3 credit hours.)
    6. Note. Majors are strongly encouraged to take AAAD-A 363 Research on Contemporary African American Problems I when it is taught
  2. Sociology Courses. 21 credit hours, of which at least 12 credit hours must be at the 300–499 level, including:
    1. Introductory course. One (1) course from the .
      • Introduction to the concepts and methods of sociology with an emphasis on understanding of contemporary American society. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the sociological study of economic action. Provides an overview of the sociological perspective of the economy on all levels—from the actions of individuals in economic situations, to organizational behavior, to the dynamics of markets and global capitalism. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to theoretical and empirical studies of social change. Explores issues such as modernization; rationalization; demographic, economic, and religious causes of change; and reform and revolution. (3 credit hours.)
      • Personality and its development; relationship to culture and communication and to social settings; deviant types. Credit not given for both SOC-H 230 and SOC-S 230. (3 credit hours.)
    2. Charts, Graphs, and Tables. One (1) course from the .
      • Introduces sociology by developing students' skills as consumers and producers of charts, graphs, and tables. Data displays are used to illustrate social trends in crime, divorce, and the economy; to assess political programs; and to test social science theories. Students will learn how to find information on the World Wide Web and in government documents; how to read, interpret, and evaluate the accuracy of graphical information, and how to present social trends and comparisons in interesting visual formats. (3 credit hours.)
    3. Social Inequality. One (1) course from the .
      • Why are income, wealth, and status distributed unequally? Is social inequality good for society? Explores the economic basis of social class, education, and culture; social mobility; social inequality in comparative and historical perspective. (3 credit hours.)
    4. Race and Ethnic Relations. One (1) course from the .
      • Relations between racial and ethnic minority and majority groups; psychological, cultural, and structural theories of prejudice and discrimination; comparative analysis of diverse systems of intergroup relations. (3 credit hours.)
    5. Electives at the 300–499 level. Three (3) additional courses in Sociology at the 300–499 level
      • Analysis of the internal structure of firms and other complex organizations, and their power in society. Considers how organizations are shaped by the state, suppliers, competitors, and clients; investigates how organizational structure shapes attitudes of managers and workers. Other topics include technology and organizational culture, organizational birth, death, and adaptation processes. (3 credit hours.)
      • Population composition, fertility, mortality, natural increase, migration; historical growth and change of populations; population theories and policies; techniques in manipulation and use of population data; and the spatial organization of populations. (3 credit hours.)
      • Multinational corporations, new information technologies, and international trade have made the world increasingly interdependent. This course considers how business, technology, disease, war, and other phenomena must be seen in a global context as affecting national sovereignty, economic development, and inequality in resources and power between countries. (3 credit hours.)
      • Sociological definitions of community; theories of community and community organization; social, political, and economic factors that contribute to community organization and disorganization; alternative models of community development and planning. (3 credit hours.)
      • Interrelations of politics and society, with emphasis on formation of political power, its structure, and its change in different types of social systems and cultural-historical settings. (3 credit hours.)
      • The role of educational institutions in modern industrialized societies, with emphasis on the functions of such institutions for the selection, socialization, and certification of individuals for adult social roles. Also covers recent educational reform movements and the implications of current social policies on education. (3 credit hours.)
      • Considers the functions and dysfunctions of religion generally, its economic and cultural patterns, religious group evolutions (cults, churches, sects, denominations), leadership deviance, and conversion/faith maintenance. (3 credit hours.)
      • Sociological perspective on work roles within such organizations as factory, office, school, government, and welfare agencies; career and occupational mobility in work life; formal and informal organizations within work organizations; labor and management conflict and cooperation; problems of modern industrial workers; and how work has changed over time. (3 credit hours.)
      • Exploration of the diversity of family forms, norms and meanings over time and across social contexts. Considers the interrelationship between families and other social institutions; investigates family formation and processes of social reproduction within families as they are shaped by race, class, gender and sexual orientation; examines stability and change in families in response to shifting social and cultural contexts. (3 credit hours.)
      • Nature, functioning, and maintenance of systems of social stratification in local communities and societies. Correlates and consequences of social class position and vertical mobility. (3 credit hours.)
      • Issues such as development and structure of the scientific community; normative structure of science; cooperation, competition, and communication among scientists; scientists' productivity, careers, and rewards; development of scientific specialties; and relationship between science and society. (3 credit hours.)
      • Analysis of deviance in relation to formal and informal social processes. Emphasis on deviance and respectability as functions of social reactions, characteristics of rules, and power and conflict. (3 credit hours.)
      • Sociological examination of diversity in several dimensions of human sexuality: sexual definitions, incidence of various behaviors, intensity of sexual response, sexual object choice, and other modes of sexual expression. (3 credit hours.)
      • Social factors in mental illness: incidence and prevalence by social and cultural categories; variations in societal reaction; social organization of treatment institutions. (3 credit hours.)
      • A study of the patterns of crime, strategies for control, and theories of crime causation. (3 credit hours.)
      • Social origins of social bases of legal decision-making, and social consequences of the application of law. (3 credit hours.)
      • Using theoretical models of women and deviance, this course examines gender norms and roles in crime, detective fiction, mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, lesbianism, rape, and abortion. (3 credit hours.)
      • Sociological perspectives on gender in contemporary societies. Examination of norms regarding gender and how these norms influence and are influenced by individual behavior, group interaction, and social institutions. Topics to be discussed may include family, education, work, media, and other social institutions. (3 credit hours.)
      • The mass media (print, radio, and television) have come to play an increasingly important role in society. This course explores the effects of the mass media on public opinion, crime and violence, social integration, and values. Mass media messages and audiences will also be considered. (3 credit hours.)
      • Sociological theory, with focus on content, form, and historical development. Relationships between theories, data, and sociological explanation. (3 credit hours.)
      • This course takes a sociological approach to examining the communities, cultures, and identities of Asians in the United States. It situates Asian American experiences within broader social and historical contexts in order to address questions about who is viewed as American and how Asian Americans establish and maintain their ethnic identities. (3 credit hours.)
      • Analysis of childhood as a structural form and children as social agents who contribute to societal reproduction and change. Considers the relation of childhood to other social institutions and children's contributions to society historically and cross-culturally. Examines how social policies in education, family, and work affect children's lives. (3 credit hours.)
      • Study of selected sociological issues with an emphasis on cross-cultural analysis. Specific topics announced each semester; examples include work, family, childhood, religion, and education. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the sociological aspects of health, illness, patienthood, medical professionals, and health care systems. What factors create inequalities in health and in medical treatment? Expands understanding of health and illness and of conventional medical and insurance practices, and explores ways to improve health care in America. (3 credit hours.)
      • Specific topics announced each semester; examples include environmental affairs, urban problems, poverty, and population problems. May be repeated four times for credit with a different topic. (3 credit hours.)
      • Designed for all students, this course is particularly relevant for those planning a career in health care. Explores current events and social problems, such as the re-emergence of childhood infectious diseases. Uses these examples to discuss sociological topics on the new Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). (3 credit hours.)
      • The logic of scientific work in sociology; theory construction; major research designs, including experiments, sample surveys, and ethnographic field studies. Methods of sampling; measurement of variables; and descriptive statistics. Commonly used rates and indices in social research; using software to produce graphical displays and descriptive statistics. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduces the logic of statistical inference. Students will learn how to use sample data to reach conclusions about a population of interest by calculating confidence intervals and significance tests. Estimating the effects of multiple independent variables using cross-tabulations and/or regression. Credit given for only one of ANTH-A 306, CJUS-K 300, ECON-E 370 or ECON-S 370, MATH-K 300 or MATH-K 310, POLS-Y 395, PSY-K 300 or PSY-K 310, STAT-K 310 or STAT-S 300 or STAT-S 301, SOC-S 371, or SPEA-K 300. (3 credit hours.)
      • Specific topics announced each semester, e.g., social stratification, formal organizations, urban social organization, education, religion, politics, demography, social power, social conflict, social change, comparative social systems. May be repeated three times for credit with a different topic. (3 credit hours.)
      • Major theories of gender inequality; historical and cross-cultural variations in systems of gender inequality; social economic, political, and cultural processes perpetuating gender inequality in U.S. society; interrelationships between racial, class, and sex inequality; strategies for social change. (3 credit hours.)
      • Change-oriented social and political collective action and consequences for groups and societies. Resource mobilization, historical and comparative analysis of contemporary movements and collective action. (3 credit hours.)
      • A sociological examination of a variety of forms of human sexuality from the perspectives of social constructionism and politics of sexuality. (3 credit hours.)
      • Specific topics announced each semester; e.g., socialization, personality development, small-group structures and processes, interpersonal relations, language and human behavior, attitude formation and change, collective behavior, public opinion. May be repeated three times for credit with a different topic. (3 credit hours.)
      • Topics may include logic of inquiry, model construction and formalization, research design, data collection, sampling, measurement, statistical analysis. (3 credit hours.)
      • Documenting what has been learned, assembling a portfolio, writing a resume and letters of application; getting ready for graduate school or the labor market, using the World Wide Web. (1 credit hour.)
      • P: Consent of honors thesis seminar instructor. Research and preparation of senior honors thesis. (1–12 credit hours.)
      • P: SOC-S 370 and SOC-S 498; and consent of director of undergraduate studies. (3 credit hours.)
      • P: Two sociology courses, including one at 200-level or above; and consent of the director of undergraduate studies. Three credit hours to count in the major or minor. Provides opportunities for students to receive credit for selected, career-related work in a cooperating institution, agency, or business. Research paper that relates work experience to materials learned in sociology courses is required. Evaluation by employer and the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Sociology. Limited to a total of 9 credit hours among the following courses: SOC-S 494, SOC-S 495, SOC-X 373, SOC-X 477, SOC-X 490, and SOC-Y 398. (1–3 credit hours.)
      • P: Consent of instructor and prior arrangement. Faculty-directed study of aspects of sociology based on field experience, in conjunction with directed readings and writing. Specifically, each intern is required to (1) keep a daily or weekly journal, which is given at regular intervals to the faculty sponsor; (2) give an oral report once the fieldwork is completed; and (3) depending on academic credit, write a journal or an analytic paper or both. Limited to a total of 9 credit hours among the following courses: SOC-S 494, SOC-S 495, SOC-X 373, SOC-X 477, SOC-X 490, and SOC-Y 398. (1–6 credit hours.)
      • P: Consent of instructor and prior arrangement, usually in conjunction with honors work. Limited to a total of 9 credit hours among the following courses: SOC-S 494, SOC-S 495, SOC-X 373, SOC-X 477, SOC-X 490, and SOC-Y 398. (1–6 credit hours.)
      • P: SOC-S 370 and SOC-S 371; or consent of instructor. . Participation in all aspects of a sociological research project, including conceptualization and design, data collection, analysis, and report writing. Credit given for only one of SOC-S 491 or SOC-X 498. (3 credit hours.)
      • P: SOC-S 491 or SOC-X 498; or consent of instructor. Credit given for only one of SOC-S 492 or SOC-X 499. (3 credit hours.)
  3. GPA, Minimum Grade, and Other Requirements. Each of the following:
    1. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
    2. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    3. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the major.
    4. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the major—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    5. Exceptions to major requirements may be made with the approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires at least 120 credit hours, to include the following:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences Credit Hours. At least 100 credit hours must come from College of Arts and Sciences disciplines. No more than 62 of these credit hours can come from the major.
  2. Upper Division Courses. At least 42 credit hours (of the 120) must be at the 300–499 level.
  3. College Residency. Following completion of the 60th credit hour toward degree, at least 36 credit hours of College of Arts and Sciences coursework must be completed through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
  4. College GPA. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.000 is required for all courses taken at Indiana University.
  5. CASE Requirements. The following College of Arts and Sciences Education (CASE) requirements must be completed:
    1. CASE Foundations
      1. English Composition: 1 course
      2. Mathematical Modeling: 1 course
    2. CASE Breadth of Inquiry
      1. Arts and Humanities: 4 courses
      2. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: 4 courses
      3. Social and Historical Studies: 4 courses
    3. CASE Culture Studies
      1. Diversity in the United States: 1 course
      2. Global Civilizations and Cultures: 1 course
    4. CASE Critical Approaches: 1 course
    5. CASE Foreign Language: Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level coursework
    6. CASE Intensive Writing: 1 course
    7. CASE Public Oral Communication: 1 course
  6. Major. Completion of the major as outlined in the Major Requirements section above.