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Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for responses to commonly asked questions. If you have further questions, please contact the Black Diaspora and African American Studies Program through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).


Would I be able to double major in BDAAS?

Yes, the major was designed to be compatible as a second major. Consult with your major and college advisors to see if your schedule allows you to declare a second major.

If you want to declare a double major, follow these steps.


Can I transfer in as a Black Diaspora and African American Studies major?

Yes, the BDAAS major is not capped or impacted. You can work with the Program advisor to determine which courses you have previously taken are transferable to the major.

You’re strongly encouraged to check out the Admissions Transfer page and review the admission requirements to plan your college coursework around them and maximize your chances for admission to UC San Diego. Also, check out Admissions Events for applicants and prospective students.

Can I overlap upper division courses between my major/minor and Black Diaspora and African American Studies major?

Each major has its own specific requirements that you need to meet. For each major, you must complete at least ten upper-division courses (40 units) that are unique to that major. If you exceed this requirement, you can then submit a petition for overlapping courses.

Moreover, you have the option to overlap a maximum of two upper-division courses between a major and a minor.

To submit a petition for overlapping courses, you should contact each respective department through the Virtual Advising Center.


Why should I declare a minor or major in Black Diaspora and African American Studies?

Advantages & Benefits

  • Teaches the political, economic, social, and civil constructs in the U.S. 
  • Gives students the ability to work closely with faculty 
  • Challenges students with critical thinking and engaging analysis 
  • Offers opportunities for collaborative work 

Professional Applications

African American Studies is useful and needed in all disciplines and field of work. Our students engage in a number of co-curricular activities, like Study Abroad, College Exchange , campus organizations, research, like Independent Study, and special seminars.


"Declaring the program was unexpected but such a profound experience. I’m so thankful that I was able to broaden my breadth of knowledge through this program, and my perception of the world has significantly changed for the better through the courses that I took for the minor. I am a better person because of the knowledge I have acquired from partaking in the program. This program is fantastic." - Nathy Nguyen, Marshall College Class of 2019

"This minor has taught me to question and critically think about what I am taught in a way that I never had before. I grew a lot as a person by pursuing a field of study that put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to really think about things in a new way. These are skills that can be applied to any career, and that I intend to apply to my work as a biologist in the future. If you are interested, do it." - Emily McPhee, Muir College Class of 2015

"It has allowed me to have a greater understanding and compassion for all people, while inspiring me to give back to my community in my spare time through productive and efficient means. I would recommend any and every person to take the AASM, as the minor gives knowledge, information, and includes real-life analysis and perspectives which is essential to all Americans." - Victor Brown, Revelle College Class of 2011

How do I declare a minor in African American Studies?

If you want to declare a minor, follow these steps.

African American Studies minor code is M063. Consult with the program's advisor about questions related to the AAS minor requirements.

Can I overlap upper division courses between my major/minor and African American Studies minor?

You may overlap up to 2 Upper Division courses for use between a major and a minor; these must be approved by both departments.You will need to request the overlap from each department using the Virtual Advising Center. 

However, it's important to clarify that the opportunity to overlap upper-division courses is exclusive to majors and minors, and does not extend to overlapping upper-division courses between different minors.

Study Abroad

I want to study abroad. Where should I go? What course(s) should I take?

We highly encourage students to expand their horizons by studying abroad and becoming global citizens. Selecting courses is entirely up to the student. IT'S YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE!

Consult with the UC San Diego Study Abroad Office on the process for preparing and applying to study abroad. We recommend setting up an appointment and reviewing the Programs Abroad Office's First Steps.

When preparing to study abroad, students must meet with the Black Diaspora and African American Studies Program Coordinator to discuss specific options and complete the EAP/OAP forms. It is the student's responsibility to petition each course upon returning from your study abroad program.

Additional Resources:

UCEAP Course Catalog - Search for courses by subject from a list of courses taken by UC students in the last five years

Student Testimonial - Check out Fabiola's experience studying abroad in Ghana with UCEAP

Study Abroad in Sub Saharan Africa Webinar


Can I petition course(s) taken outside of UC San Diego to count toward the minor and/or major?

You may wish to take courses outside of the university for a variety of reasons. While the majority of your upper division requirements should be completed at UC San Diego, you have the option to transfer lower division courses from another two-year institution. Additionally, you may transfer both upper and lower divison courses from another four-year institution, whether located in the US or abroad.

Follow these instructions on how to petition courses.

Please note that obtaining approval for a petition is always subject to the Program Director's discretion. 

I am taking an Black Diaspora and African American Studies Special Studies course (i.e. AAS 197, 198, and/or 199), how do I enroll in the course?

Students should submit a request to enroll in Special Studies 197, 198, or 199 courses through the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)

For more information on what qualifications need to be met in order to enroll in a Special Studies course, please visit How to Request Enrollment in Special Studies Classes (Undergraduate).

When will AAS 171, 172, and 179 for the Upper Division Core Course Requirement be offered?

AAS 199 will be offered in lieu of AAS 171, 172, and 179 during Fall 2023 - Spring 2024. Please see Projected Course Offerings for additional courses outside of the department that can satisfy the UD core course requirement.


I would like to connect with community on campus, where can I find opportunities to engage with folks?

For more information, please check out the Resource tab on our website, which includes a list of resources in diversity at UC San Diego. 

I am conducting research on the Black Diaspora and African American Studies. Where do I start?

UC San Diego's Library is a great place to start. It offers a plethora of library collections and databases that may aid your research. These resources can be accessed on and off campus using UCSD's VPN. 

See the African Studies subject homepage.

See the African American Studies subject homepage.

Book a Consultation here with our Library Liaison!