African American & Diaspora Studies

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Student outside the Black Studies Center

Earn Your Degree at UW

Studying African American & Diaspora Studies at UW will equip you to participate in a rapidly changing world where multicultural training and a deep appreciation for diversity will help you succeed in whatever path you choose.

African American & Diaspora Studies is available as an undergraduate major or minor through the College of Arts & Sciences, School for Culture, Gender and Social Justice.

What is African American & Diaspora Studies?

African American & Diaspora Studies (AADS) offers undergraduates an opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary examination of the history, culture and life of African Americans and the African diaspora from ancient times to the present day. The African diaspora includes all people of African descent, not only in the United States but also in the Caribbean, the Americas, the African continent and Europe. AADS is also directly tied to the African and African American community in Laramie, offering a unique opportunity for interaction between the students who attend the university and the community at large.

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Student studying

UW does not offer a graduate degree in African American & Diaspora Studies; however, AADS graduate course offerings pair well with UW graduate education generally. Graduate students are able to choose from a variety of graduate-level courses that often enhance their graduate educational opportunities in their home department.

The majority of the graduate students who take our courses are earning graduate degrees in Communication & Journalism, Education, English, Global & Area Studies, History and Law. Our faculty are also able to serve as graduate committee chairs, co-chairs and members of masters and Ph.D. committees.

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What can you do with an African American and Diaspora Studies bachelor's degree?

AADS is a versatile field of study. Students who major or minor in AADS will be prepared to pursue careers in management, communication, non-profit organizations, education and politics, among other fields. Famous majors with degrees in African American Studies include Angela Bassett (actress) and Mae Jemison (NASA astronaut).

African American and Diaspora Studies Careers

  • Community Developer
  • International Consultant 
  • Non-Profit Organizations 
  • Museum Director
  • Museum Curator 
  • Interior Designer
  • Policy Maker 
  • Health care and Pharmacy 
  • Mental Health Care 
  • Education 
  • Law 


Students working in library

Here are a few roles that UW African American & Diaspora Studies alumni have had

  • Project Manager for Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Practice 
  • Engagement Relations Associate 
  • Cultural Affairs Intern 
  • Chief Executive Officer
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AADS Program Highlights

The African American Diaspora Studies program offers a rich exploration of African and African American history and culture, taught by respected and passionate faculty.



AADS students enjoy impactful internships, study abroad opportunities (we have sent students to Ghana and London) and an active relationship with the Black Studies Center at UW.

Engaging Courses 

Students explore a wide range of AADS subjects throughout the program, including popular courses on The Harlem Renaissance, The Black Freedom Movement, Traditional African Religion, African American Music, U.S. Women of Color and more.

Distinguished Faculty 

Our AADS faculty are experts in their field, including Dr. Fredrick Douglass Dixon, who runs the Black Studies Center and has facilitated much community engagement around Laramie; Dr. Scott Henkel, who runs the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research; Dr. Jacquelyn Bridgeman, who directs the School for Culture, Gender and Social Justice; and Dr. Tracey Patton, who has recently won prestigious awards for her research on adopted Black children in Germany.

A Legacy of Activism 

The University of Wyoming's AADS program has been the main academic unit on campus to keep the history of the Black 14 alive. We have continued to bring back members of this group to campus, who were important for the history of civil rights in the state when they became national news in 1969 after being dismissed from the Wyoming Cowboys by their coach for protesting.

As a student of color who graduated from a Wyoming public high school, I often felt my education on Black history was lacking. When I arrived at the University of Wyoming, I was so pleased to see there were courses and spaces specifically focused on Black history, art and culture.

- Former AADS Student

Contact Us

We're Eager to Help!

School of Culture, Gender & Social Justice

African American & Diaspora Studies

Department 4297, 1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2733