The certificate in Afro-American studies introduces undergraduate students to the interdisciplinary study of African American, African diaspora and African history, society, and culture. Students may choose courses in African American history, literature, black women’s studies, art history, visual culture, music history and sociology. The certificate offers students opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary study and practice that will complement their major and enhance their intellectual and creative participation in their chosen professions and as citizens in our global society.

To declare a certificate in Afro-American studies, students must be enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Interested students must contact the department’s undergraduate adviser to declare the certificate and be assigned a faculty adviser in their area of interest. Students may not declare both the certificate and the major in Afro-American studies.


Certificate Requirements

Certificate students must plan with a faculty adviser a cohesive program consisting of 15 credits chosen from undergraduate AFROAMER courses.

  • At least one 3-credit course must focus on Afro-American history (see list below). 
  • A minimum of 9 credits must be completed from AFROAMER courses numbered 300–699.
  • At least one 3-credit course must be advanced (AFROAMER 500–697).
  • A maximum of 3 credits of directed study (AFROAMER 699) may count toward the certificate.  
  • Students may not substitute courses from other academic programs or subject listings to fulfill the requirements for this program.
All certificate students must take one 3-credit course in Afro-American history:3
Introduction to Afro-American History
Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right
Undergraduate Studies in Afro-American History
Afro-American History Since 1900
Afro-American History to 1900
Black Women in America: Reconstruction to the Present
Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society
Slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction, 1848-1877
African American Women's Activism (19th & 20th Centuries)
Gender, Race and the Civil Rights Movement
History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States
Colloquium in Afro-American History
Selected Topics in Afro-American History
AFROAMER electives to meet the minimum credit requirement for the certificate12
Total Credits15

Residence & Quality of Work

At least 8 credits must be taken in residence. Courses taken on a UW–Madison study abroad program are considered resident credits; however, study abroad courses must qualify as Afro-American studies credit.

A minimum 2.500 GPA in all courses eligible for the certificate is required. All certificate courses must be graded; credit/no credit and pass/fail do not qualify.


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. To familiarize students with the history, culture and social conditions of African Americans in the United States.
  2. To introduce students to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of race, gender, and ethnicity in America.
  3. To prepare students for careers in institutions that address the needs of multicultural communities.

Professor Sandra Adell, Certificate Advisor
4115 Helen C. White Hall

DARS is the document of record for the Afro-American studies certificate. Students should contact the certificate advisor to make sure they are on track to completing the program and to get confirmation of completion of the certificate.

Main Office:
Department of Afro-American Studies
4141 Helen C. White Hall
600 North Park Stret, Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-263-1642
Fax: 608-263-7198

Professors:  Sandra Adell, Henry Drewal, Christina Greene, Brenda Plummer, Michael Thornton, Craig Werner, Ethelene Whitmire

Associate Professor: Christy Clark-Pujara

Assistant Professors: Johanna Almiron, Ashley Brown, Thulani Davis