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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Pan-African Studies

Oscar Ritchie Hall
Tel: 330-672-2300


The Bachelor of Arts in Pan-African Studies consists of four concentrations: Community Activism, Strategy and Development; Global and Government Systems; Race, Sex and Gender; and The Arts in Culture and Society.

The Community Activism, Strategy and Development concentration focuses on both historical and contemporary efforts to effect change in communities of color. It examines ways in which diasporic communities and individuals have coordinated political and social strategies for survival and development in spite of racism and socio-economic challenges. In addition to preparing students to work in areas such as education, law, public service, social work, research, business, grant-writing, and community organizing and development, this concentration provides a good foundation for those interested in graduate studies.

The Global and Government Systems concentration focuses on historical and contemporary culture and politics of people of African descent in Africa and throughout the world. Using an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, this concentration prepares students to function in a diverse, global and multicultural environment, working in areas such as education, law, research, public health, international studies, political science, justice studies, foreign service and business.

The Race, Sex and Gender concentration focuses on the intersection of race, sex and/or gender primarily, though not exclusively, from the perspective of people of color. It examines issues of identity for both the individual and community. This concentration prepares students to work in areas such as education, advocacy, social work, counseling, multicultural programming and student support services; it is also a good foundation for graduate study.

The Arts in Culture and Society concentration focuses on the study of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Middle East through the study of literature, arts and culture with some emphasis on popular as well as non-literary cultural expressions. This concentration provides insights into the challenges black communities face as well as their creativity. Career opportunities include such areas as the arts, museums, writing, multicultural programming and administration, and theatre work. This concentration also provides a good foundation for those interested in continuing to graduate school in ethnic studies, art, education, comparative literature, and global and world studies.

Study abroad opportunities exist at the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, and the West African Research Center in Senegal.

Career Opportunities

The Pan-African Studies Department prepares students to work effectively in a number of employment areas. Some examples are teaching, business, public administration/urban studies, broadcasting, the arts, law, nutrition, social work, journalism, public health and creative writing. Besides preparing students for employment, the major provides a foundation for graduate students in African and African-American Studies, as well as law school and other fields. Especially when coupled with another major or minor (such as history, political science, business, nursing, fashion merchandising), a major in Pan-African Studies also supports advanced training in social sciences, humanities and professions such as psychology, criminal justice and sociology, that require sensitivity training or skills relative to interracial or intercultural understanding and conflict management. More information about career opportunities is available from the department.

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 overall GPA and 2.000 major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to

  1. Have an advanced understanding of the core historical experiences in Africa and/or the African Diaspora.
  2. Interact with surrounding communities and be informed and engaged global citizens.
  3. Relate current social issues facing the Pan-African world to global historical events.
  4. Read, analyze and critically articulate the contemporary socio-economic, political and cultural issues facing people of African descent.