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Department of Pan African Studies



Pan African Studies
221 Santa Susana Hall
CSU Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8315

Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m)
Phone: (818) 677-3311
Fax: (818) 677-3619



Other Programs


The Pan African Studies Department has courses which may be taken to satisfy requirements for other University programs. In addition, the Department also offers several other, non-degree-granting programs.

Teacher Credential Program

The major in Pan African Studies is an approved teaching concentration for a Secondary Teaching Credential. For details, please see an advisor.

Multicultural Requirement

Two of the following courses may be taken to satisfy the Multicultural Requirement. At least one course from these three sections must focus on Chicano Culture.

  • Section A - The Child
    • PAS 417 Equity and Diversity in Schools
  • Section B - The Community
    • PAS 300 Contemporary Issues in the African American Community
  • Section C - Linguistics
    • PAS 395 Bilingualism in the African American Community

Single-Subject Waiver Program (Social Sciences)

The following 54 units may be taken to verify a student's competence in the teaching field of Social Sciences: Pan African Studies for teaching in middle and high schools.

Subjects Commonly Taught

  • HIST 150 Western Civilization I
  • HIST 151 Western Civilization II
  • GEOG 150 World Geography
  • PAS 271 African American History to 1865
  • PAS 272 African American History since 1865
  • HIST 270 The United States to 1865
  • HIST 271 The United States since 1865
  • POLS 355 American Political Institutions
  • PAS 345 African American Autobiography
  • PAS 361 African American Politics
  • PAS 376 Slavery in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the US
  • HIST 488 California

Breadth and Elective Courses

  • PAS 100 Introduction to Black Culture
  • PAS 165 Introduction to Pan Africanism
  • PAS 201 Economics of the African American Community
  • PAS 220 Psychological Environment of the African American
  • PAS 221 Sociological Environment of the African American
  • PAS 386 African American Philosophical Thought

PAS Writing Program

  • PAS 097 Developmental Writing (3 units)
  • PAS 098 Basic Writing Skills (3 units)
  • PAS 099 Developmental Writer's Workshop (1 unit)

These course credits do not count toward graduation.

Recognizing the need for all students to master reading and writing skills in English in order to do well at this university and in most professional careers, the Pan African Studies Department has devoted a complete component of its curriculum to this purpose. A particular focus of this program is Developmental Reading and Writing. These developmental courses provide students with the necessary skills to perform well in Freshman Composition, a course which is required for graduation from CSUN.

The PAS Writing Program, which includes the Writing Center and state-of-the-art computers (Sierra Hall 235) incorporates the following college-level courses which count toward graduation from CSUN:

  • PAS 155 Freshman Composition (3 units)
  • PAS 280 Minority Creative Writing (3 units)
  • PAS 350 Advanced Writing (3 units)

PAS 350 is a requirement for PAS majors.

Summer Bridge Program

Each year since 1985, the Pan African Studies Department has participated in the Summer Bridge program. This six week residential program was designed to provide academically at-risk African American and Chicano/Latino students from the greater Los Angeles area with an intensive pre-college experience just prior to beginning their first semester at CSUN. Summer Bridge students earn University credit for either PAS 196 (Introduction to Cultural Perspectives), AAS 196 or CHS 196 while receiving intensive instruction in Reading/Writing and Math Skills. In addition to the formal academic classes which the students take, they are also provided with seminars on "survival skills" (e.g., money management, study skills, and time management) and guided through the process of group-study.

Pan African Studies faculty annually teach Culture classes and the Reading/Writing classes to approximately 100 African American students in the Program. Tutors are selected by the participating faculty to work closely with the students. These tutors serve not only as academic support staff, but also as mentors and role models for the Summer Bridge students.

Summer Bridge has been very effective in dramatically improving the rates of retention for African American and Chicano/Latino students when compared to students having similar educational and economic profiles, but who do not participate in the Summer Bridge program.

The Circle of Fire Writers' Collective

The PAS Department sponsors weekly meetings of creative writers who really want to develop their craft. They meet in the Black House to discuss and critique each other's writing - a circle of learned and passionately creative analyses. The PAS department also offers a Certificate in Creative Writing in association with this activity. Check with the Department for details.

The Black House

During the Spring of 1992, Black students at California State University, Northridge, led by the Black Student Union and supported by the Black campus community, protested the various overt and covert forms of racism that existed on the campus. The exploitation of Black athletes, a biased, Eurocentric curriculum, inordinately low graduation rates for Black students, and the absence of a center for Black student development prompted the Black Student Union leadership to issue a number of demands to the administration. As a result of those demands, a facility of approximately 3000 square feet was granted jointly to the Black Student Union and the Pan African Studies Department. Assuming the name of a facility that had previously existed on campus, but which was subsequently taken back, the new facility became known as the Black House. The new Black House has become the headquarters for the BSU and is the cultural home and meeting place for virtually every Black student organization on campus.

The Black House now plays an active role in the provision of educational programs that advance the learning skills of CSUN students, through tutorial programs, computing access, and guest lectures. Cultural programs are developed at the Black House to expose the campus and the greater Los Angeles community to the rich creative and artistic traditions of African American, African, and Caribbean peoples. Through its multiple programs and its involvement of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community leaders, the Black House has truly become a center for Black empowerment.