Info for Prospective Students

We live in an increasingly diverse and global society. When you graduate, you need to be "world-ready," not just work-ready. You need to demonstrate flexibility. Versatility. Sensitivity to different cultures and people. The enriched interpersonal communication and relationship-building skills that come from increased cultural awareness. 

The Department of Africana Studies offers a dynamic curriculum on the global culture and interconnections of populations with an African heritage, drawing from geographies of the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, South and Central America, and the Middle East. Students from all backgrounds who are interested in becoming master communicators in matters of culture, ethnicity, race, heritage, power, and diversity choose to become majors, double-majors, or minors (or to take our courses as General Education Requirements and electives) to learn skills that show a high cultural competency.

Our students gain expertise in understanding worldviews (cultural logic), social health (holistic sense of well-being despite disparities), diasporas (culturally significant communities beyond the mother country of Africa), and aesthetics (literature, dance, performance, and values for assessing art). You'll learn to mine knowledge from traditional and innovative fields of study to narrate and to improve society’s understanding of the links between culture and the commitment to quality of life. Some of our most contemporary courses address topics reflecting the African world’s approaches to science and technology, cultural memory, race and revolution, and Afro-European Studies.

 

“The cumulative knowledge I received from Dr. Tillotson’s courses, as well as his mentorship, have been invaluable resources. Without his guidance, I do not believe that I would have found my research interests and pursued graduate education. Dr. Tillotson’s teachings have stuck with me beyond graduation and he has remained a mentor to me. And for that, I am grateful.”  Samantha Horton (A&S '15)

 

Africana Studies has a dynamic U.S.-based activist legacy based on how students, activist organizations, and the community mobilized in the late 1960s to demand university-level instruction on the history and experiences of African Americans and African people all over the world. Our faculty has expertise in Cultural Theory, Comparative Literature, the History and Culture of Cuba and Latin America, Migration and the Caribbean, Africanist Anthropology, Dance, Performance, Religion, Sociology, Sports, and Educational Psychology.


We have a vibrant culture of faculty-student engagement that includes:
  • Participation with Admissions programs in which we provide mini-lectures or invite prospective/admitted students to sit in our classes
  • Faculty participation with area schools and museums
  • Study Abroad in Cuba
  • Study Abroad in Ghana
  •  Africana Studies Club – students work with faculty sponsor to serve community development such as adopting a school, beautifying neighborhoods, and cleaning playgrounds
  • Senior Research Seminar – students work with faculty instructors for the semester to plan, conduct research, and present research findings (conference style) in a culminating event
  • Faculty sponsorship for fellows such as the Honors College’s Brackenridge summer research fellowship
  • A 3-credit internship course experience where students and faculty work together for placement experiences aligned with Africana Studies priorities
  • Faculty-led options for the University’s First Experience in Research Program, in which undergraduate students serve as faculty research assistants
  • A history of faculty-supported student pursuit of prestigious fellowships such as the Rhodes Scholarship and Fulbright Scholarships
  • Standard faculty-led opportunities for students to engage with the local community through in-course projects and interview experiences.

For more information about our department, or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact the Dietrich School's Manager of Undergraduate Recruitment, Nicole Horvath, at nicolehorvath@pitt.edu.