We hope and trust that you have had a restful, productive break! It is truly a pleasure to welcome you to the Africana Studies Website at California State University, Northridge. We are very proud of this site, as it offers a full palette of opportunities and offerings now available in the discipline. A brief, but very important note about the Department is the change in name. We began in 1969 as the Department of Pan African Studies, one of the oldest state-supported Black Studies Departments in America. We stand as the first in the California State University system, widely considered as one of the nation’s most outstanding state colleges. This AY 2020-2021 finds us now entering our 51st year of service, reflecting an over four-decade history of educating and graduating thousands of students like you, who have either majored or minored in Pan African Studies.
From those beginnings in 1969 to this past academic year, students who chose to major or minor in Pan African Studies would have on their baccalaureate degrees, “African American Studies.” Though it has taken many years, we are now proud to share that the University and the Chancellor have given approval to not only change the Department’s name from Pan African Studies to Africana Studies, but also to have the baccalaureate degree reflect Africana Studies as well. Doing so puts us in lockstep with several of our sister departments and programs within the CSU, along with an ever-increasing number of colleges and universities across the country.
Curriculum Choices Offer Greater Flexibility
We’ve built greater flexibility into the discipline, whereby you are now able to select from our updated list of General Education courses (many of which are aligned with the university’s new GE Paths), and electives to find classes that match with your career aspirations, making you more marketable upon graduation. Notably, students entering this upcoming year are now able to choose to major in any one of three options: (1) African and African American Social Sciences (pdf.), (2) African and African American Humanities and Cultural Studies (pdf.), and (3) African American Urban Education (pdf.). Students may also declare a minor in Africana Studies (pdf.), or an African Studies Interdisciplinary minor(pdf.). If you are interested in learning more about these options, and to determine how these changes may affect your academic program, please see one of the department’s academic advisors.
Additionally, starting this new academic year we will be able, for the first time, offer those choosing to major in Africana Studies the unique opportunity to participate in a six-year program, beginning in their freshman year, that will result in the B.A./JD degree culminating with a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School – the first program of its kind in the CSU system. The College of Social and Behavior Sciences (CSBS) is also launching an online B.A. degree program, which includes a selection of Africana Studies courses. In a similar vein, our college has now partnered with the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which has opened up opportunities for faculty and students alike to collaborate and conduct research that focuses upon people of African/Latin descent. Students majoring in Africana Studies can explore the opportunity to spend up to one year studying at other colleges and universities, not only in America, but also at several sister campuses, which have established programs in the African nations of Zimbabwe and South Africa.