Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

For more information, visit the Catalog Homepage to view the current content. To view Catalogs from previous academic years, visit the Catalog Archives page.

The Africana Studies Program brings an international vantage to the study of Africa and its diasporas.  Drawing on analytical and affective perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, literary studies, political science, the health sciences, education, the fine arts, museum studies, creative writing, and sociology, the Program focuses on peoples of African descent within the context of increasing globalization and dramatic cultural, economic, and political change.

In consortial relationship with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr offers its students the opportunity to take a broad range of courses by enrolling in courses offered by all participating institutions.  The African Studies Center at Penn is one of four global resource centers offering courses and specialized language training which our students utilize.  Moreover, Bryn Mawr participates in study abroad programs offered in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Senegal.  Bryn Mawr and Haverford students may also participate in the Dalun Bi-Co Lagim Tehi Tuma Summer Fellowship Program in Northern Ghana.

Students are encouraged to begin their work in the Africana Studies Program by taking “Introduction to African Civilizations” (HIST B102).  This required introductory level course, which provides students with a common intellectual experience as well as the foundation for subsequent courses in Africana Studies, should be completed by the end of the student’s junior year.


The requirements for a minor in Africana Studies are the following:

  • One-semester interdisciplinary course: Introduction to African Civilizations (HIST B102 at Bryn Mawr or ICPR 101 at Haverford)
  • Five additional semester courses from an approved list of courses in Africana Studies or by permission of the Africana faculty.   At least three of these have to be taken at Bryn Mawr or Haverford.
  • A senior thesis or seminar-length essay in an area of Africana Studies.  A copy of the thesis or essay has to be deposited with the Director of Africana Studies who serves as advisor to Africana Studies minors.  

Students are encouraged to organize their course work along one of several prototypical routes.  Such model programs might feature:

  •  Regional or area studies; for example, focusing on blacks in Latin America, the English-speaking Caribbean or North America.
  • Thematic emphases; for example, exploring class politics, ethnic conflicts and/or economic development in West and East Africa.
  • Comparative emphases; for example, problems of development, governance, public health or family and gender.  

The student should indicate the focus of the minor at the time of registration.

The final requirement for the Africana Studies minor is a senior thesis or its equivalent.  If the department in which the student is majoring requires a thesis, the Africana Studies requirement can be satisfied by writing on a topic that is approved in writing by her department and the Africana Studies Director.  If the major department does not require a thesis, a seminar-length essay is required.  The essay may be written within the framework of a particular course or as an independent study project.  The topic must be approved in writing by both the instructor in question and the Africana Studies Program Director.  A copy of the thesis or the essay will become the property of the Africana Studies archives.