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Department of African American Studies

31 South Court Street, Suite 122
Athens, OH 45701

Dr. Robin Muhammad
Department Chair and Associate Professor  
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College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Student Affairs
Athens, OH

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Undergraduate Admissions

120 Chubb Hall
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45710

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African American Studies  

The Department of African American Studies, in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an inclusive intellectual environment at OHIO that enhances students’ understanding and appreciation of the African American experience. The curriculum is built around the humanities, social sciences and research and service. The Department of African American Studies provides students with the necessary skills to respond to contemporary challenges facing a multicultural and globally interdependent American society. Students completing the program receive a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in African American Studies. Courses include communications, education, history, political science, psychology, social sciences, art, literature, and music as reflected in the African American and the African experiences in the Americas. Students must also receive a 2.0 GPA in each major course. Students in the Department of African American Studies have the opportunity to conduct research the department’s Research and Service Institute, which focuses on rural America, the African Diaspora in America, Constitutional laws and social justice, and the sociology of entertainment. A minor in African American Studies is also available to all undergraduate students regardless of major.

Career Opportunities

The African American Studies major may be augmented by the study of African and American Literature, Art, Communication, Teacher Education, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology, Religious Studies or Women and Gender Studies. Recently reported salaries for selected occupations nationwide for which African American Studies graduates may be eligible (Note: some positions may require previous work experience; Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics) include the following:

•    College/University Professor
•    FBI Agent
•    Community Liaison/Activist
•    Journalist
•    Motivational Speaker
•    Politician
•    EEO Officer
•    Public Relations Specialist
•    Employer Relations Specialist.
•    K-12 Teacher Entrepreneur
•    Training Specialist
•    Attorney
•    Social Worker
•    Minister
•    Filmmaker
•    Artist Musician


Special Features

The African American Research and Service Institute (AARSI) is housed in the Department of African American Studies at Ohio University, one of the oldest African American Studies departments in the nation. In keeping with the Department’s mission, the Institute is guided by the Presidential Mission Statement, (especially the requirements of civility, distinctiveness, community engagement, commitment to student engagement), supportive of the emerging general education curriculum, and responsive to the political, economic, and cultural developments that are taking place in the hemisphere.

It is clear that the African American experience in the United States and the African American Diaspora has global significance. Furthermore, African American cultural products are one of the U.S.’s major exports and a major component of America’s popular culture. The AARSI is a regionally recognized institute for the study of the African American experience.

The AARSI provides a mechanism for the building of strategic partnerships across the campus, across institutions, and across the global community to conduct cross and inter disciplinary research using multi disciplinary approaches. Its four research emphases are:

• Rural America, especially the Ohio River Valley.

• The African Diaspora in the Americas.

• Constitutional law and social justice.

• The sociology of entertainment.

These research emphases are emblematic of the research, service and education ambitions of the Institute. With these emphases the Institute will mobilize its resources to address some of the challenges facing African Americans in the 21st century including those related to public heath, public education, and the dissemination of knowledge. The Institute will thus contribute to urgent debates regarding research and scholarship in the discipline of African American Studies.

Our Faculty

To learn more about our faculty, please go to:


College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 19 departments, 27 majors and dozens of other special curricula. The college is committed to advancing the interrelated areas of teaching, research, and outreach in a learning-centered community. The college instructs students based on core disciplines for the entire university.

Arts and Sciences is home to nearly one-third of all OHIO's undergraduate and graduate students. The college encourages research and applied scholarship among all of its faculty members. They also create many opportunities for undergraduates to be involved in research as well. The college takes an active role in making knowledge accessible and in applying it to issues that affect the wider community.

All departmental majors provide sound preparation for future careers by requiring you to think and write critically and to communicate well - the preferred skills in all areas of the public and private sector. Certificate programs are open to students who are enrolled in any baccalaureate program, regardless of college or major. Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences may be combined with any regular majors or special curricula programs. With careful planning, minors can be completed within four years.

Ohio University

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.