Africana Studies

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  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Student support services

  • Student affairs
  • Multicultural programming

  • Administration
  • Information/Library science


  • Universities and colleges
  • Campus cultural centers
  • Support programs (e.g., Educational Advancement Program,
    Upward Bound School and community libraries)
  • Community organizations


  • Earn a doctorate degree for teaching and research at four-year institutions.
  • Obtain a master’s degree for positions in student affairs administration or library/information science.
  • Seek leadership roles on campus such as Peer Mentor, Resident Advisor, or Orientation Leader.
  • Join related professional associations as a student member.  Get involved with multicultural programming boards.
  • Volunteer to assist a professor with research or take an independent study class.
  • Develop strong communication and public speaking skills.
  • Secure strong recommendations from faculty and maintain a high GPA to gain admittance to graduate school.


Human Services

  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Mental health services
  • Case management
  • Rehabilitation

  • Vocational training
  • Crisis services
  • Programming

  • Community relations and outreach
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Administration


  • Mental health institutions
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Private and group practice
  • Correctional institutions

  • Federal, state, or local government:
    • Department of Human Services
    • Veterans Administration
  • Organizations that aid minorities, immigrants, and refugees or focus on cultural issues

  • Youth organizations and camps (e.g., YMCA, Boys and Girls Club)
  • Nonprofit and social services organizations (e.g., United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army)
  • Immigrant and refugee service providers


  • Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology, social work, or child and family studies. Consider a double major or minor.
  • Obtain a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, or social work to provide therapy.
  • Gain experience through volunteer opportunities, internships, and/or part-time jobs. Develop multicultural competence.
  • Volunteer with organizations that assist people of diverse backgrounds, such as ones providing services to refugees and immigrants.
  • Participate in training opportunities (e.g., suicide prevention or crisis hotline response.)
  • Learn to work well with different types of people and gain experience working with diverse clientele.
  • Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need.



  • Domestic and international advocacy
  • Humanitarian services
  • Development:
    • Economic
    • Community
    • Housing

  • Disaster/Disease relief
  • HIV/AIDS advocacy
  • Policy development
  • Program administration

  • Education
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Grant writing
  • Fundraising/Development


  • Organizations committed to racial and civil rights (e.g., National Association of the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP), National Action Network, 100 Black Men)
  • Community action agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations (e.g., National Black Business Council)

  • Private voluntary organizations
  • Faith based organizations (FBOs) and churches
  • International aid and relief organizations
  • NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) (e.g., Action Aid, Oxfam, International Red Cross)
  • State and local government agencies

  • Federal government agencies with an international focus:
    • Peace Corps
    • USAID
    • Foreign Service (State Department)
  • Federal government agencies with a community assistance focus:
    • Housing and Urban Development
    • Department of Health and Human Services


  • Volunteer at relevant local social service agencies to gain experience and demonstrate interest.
  • Participate in campus “alternative break” trips or church-led mission trips to places such as the Caribbean, South America, or Africa.
  • Develop excellent research, writing, communication, and organizational skills. Learn how to motivate individuals and groups.
  • Gain leadership roles in campus organizations such as the NAACP.
  • Learn a language spoken in Africa such as Swahili or Zulu. Plan to study abroad or volunteer in Africa.
  • Seek cultural experiences on campus and get involved with the international student population.
  • Earn a relevant graduate degree to prepare for this work.
  • More opportunities exist in urban areas and large communities.


Business and Industry

  • Training and development
  • Human resources
  • Equity and diversity
  • Functions

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Marketing

  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Consulting


  • Public and private corporations in various industries:
    • Banks and financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Retail stores
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Consumer goods manufacturers
    • Businesses targeting black clientele

  • Staffing agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Marketing companies
  • Public relations agencies


  • Double major or minor in business.
  • Gain business experience through internships and/or part-time jobs.
  • Join campus organizations or professional societies and seek leadership roles.
  • Understand the top skills employers desire and be prepared to demonstrate them, such as communication (oral and written), computer, interpersonal, leadership, and teamwork.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn more about career fields.
  • When job searching, seek employers interested in hiring “any major.”
  • Learn how to sell your Africana Studies major to companies that value cultural diversity.
  • Be willing to start in a management-trainee program or other entry-level positions.
  • Earn an MBA or a graduate degree in another area of interest for greater opportunities.



  • Writing:
    • Creative
    • Freelance
    • Copy

  • Journalism
  • Editing
  • Publishing

  • Museum work:
    • Curatorship
    • Exhibition design


  • Newspapers, magazines, websites
  • Broadcast media companies including television, movie, and radio
  • Trade, professional, or consumer publications

  • Publications and Internet sites marketed toward African Americans (e.g., Ebony, Essence)
  • Advertising agencies
  • Publishing houses

  • Large corporations
  • Self-employment/freelance
  • Museums and galleries


  • Pair an interest in Africana Studies with communication skills to write about Blacks, write on topics of interest to minorities, or for publications targeting a Black audience.
  • Obtain a minor in English or journalism or take other writing-focused classes.
  • Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or department/program newsletters.
  • Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
  • Intern with a publishing house, magazine, or other relevant organizations.
  • Create a portfolio of writing samples, especially those that have been published.
  • Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions.
  • Become familiar with the proposal and submission process involved in freelance writing.


Law and Politics

  • Law:
    • Corporate
    • Public interest
    • Civil
    • International

  • Lobbying
  • Government relations
  • Elected or appointed leadership
  • Public policy
  • Research

  • Intelligence
  • Campaign management
  • Special interest advocacy
  • Immigration services
  • Program administration


  • Law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Public defender offices
  • District attorneys

  • Public interest groups (e.g., Southern Poverty Law Center)
  • Legal aid
  • Sole practitioner

  • Government agencies such as US African Development Agency
  • Lobbying groups


  • Obtain a J.D. for law positions or an advanced degree in political science, public administration, or public policy for government positions.
  • Supplement curriculum with relevant courses to prepare for law school.
  • Consider a double major or minor in areas such as economics, political science, or history.
  • Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • Participate in activities that develop strong debate and public speaking skills such as mock trial.
  • Get involved with the pre-law society on campus.
  • Gain relevant experience through jobs or internships with law firms, government agencies, or mediation centers.
  • Consider studying abroad for international experience.

General Information

  • Africana Studies provides an interdisciplinary background that helps students develop analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills while gaining knowledge about the lives and conditions of people from African descent in Africa, the United States, Latin America, and other communities. This understanding of multiculturalism is valued by employers in industries such as education, government, and business.
  • Consider obtaining a double major or minor in another area to demonstrate specialized interests and increase your job prospects.
  • Some students may choose to study Africana Studies because they enjoy the subject but wish to pursue careers requiring “any major.” In this scenario, it is critical to develop skills relevant to targeted field through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences.
  • Africana Studies majors are excellent candidates for a number of graduate school options because of their broad liberal arts background as well as specific interests that may set them apart from other students. For those wishing to pursue graduate education, maintain a high GPA, establish relationships with faculty to secure strong recommendations, and gain experience through volunteer, work, or research opportunities. Research areas of interest for specific program requirements.
  • Find opportunities to get involved in campus organizations and activities related to multiculturalism and diversity.  Seek leadership roles on programming boards or join minority mentoring programs.