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Majors in the African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) department join world-class UT faculty, staff, and students in conversations about race, gender, sexuality, class, and the concept of global Blackness. Coursework in our department seeks to answer the questions "What does it mean to be Black?" and "What does it matter?" in such diverse, interdisciplinary areas as law, anthropology, art, government, education, policy, health, identity, literature, sports, music ... the list goes on!

The AADS Department is the premier Black Studies department in the state of Texas, and the first to have a Ph.D. program. Students interested in pre-med, pre-law, and pre-grad school options will find that an AFR major can conform to any future career and academic plans. With a combination of service and academics, the AADS department ensures a unique education. Majors get the chance to give back to the Black community with hands-on experience through a community internship course, in which students directly support an Austin-area organization associated with social justice for Black people. The department also provides faculty-led study abroad programs to Nicaragua, Brazil, and San Francisco where students can engage with global Blackness.

The African and African Diaspora Studies Department is dedicated to the study of the intellectual, political, artistic, and social experiences of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, including the United States. In this endeavor, it works in concert with The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and The Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis.

Declare This Major

Undergraduate students currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare an African and African Diaspora Studies Major must first visit the AADS Advising Office and meet with an advisor. There is no formal application process.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • AFR 303: Introduction to Black Studies
  • AFR 375: Community Internship
  • AFR 376: Senior Seminar
  • Three upper-division courses in one of the following specializations:
    • Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Theories
    • Performance, Music, Art, and Literature
    • Language, History, and Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Law, Education, Health, and Policy
  • Two additional AFR courses (upper or lower division)
  • The completion of a Minor in any one other field of study. Specific minor requirements can be found on the College of Liberal Arts Student Affairs website.

  • For additional information, view degree requirements and course descriptions.


    An AADS major can choose to specialize in one of the following tracks:

    • Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Theories
    • Performance, Music, Art, and Literature
    • Language, History, and Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Law, Education, Health, and Policy

What can I do with this major?

Wondering how you'd turn this major into a career? Remember: your major does not always determine your career path. Career counseling and assessments at the Vick Center can help you explore.

Major ≠ Career

Graduates with this major pursue many different careers, depending on their interests and experiences. Make yourself more marketable by complementing this major with part-time work, volunteering, internships, a certificate program, or graduate school.

Experience + Degree = Career

The Career Service Offices in your college can help you with internships and jobs. They work closely with employers to help students prepare for career opportunities. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.


Students in the African and African Diaspora Studies Major are diverse, socially conscious, critical thinkers who are passionate about political thought, artistic work, and can articulate cultural complexities. They have goals to be progressive global leaders and are interested in interdisciplinary approaches to societal questions.