The PAS curriculum includes courses which cover a broad spectrum of the Pan-African experience. Its purpose is to provide students with basic information and questions that will lead to further research, study, and analysis. The curriculum seeks also to investigate African connections and influences among and with other ethnic groups in the United States and other parts of the Americas, whether Native North Americans and Latino communities in the U.S., or communities in Brazil, Haiti, etc. Study in the Department of Pan African Studies is preparation for a global future with a cultivated understanding of local conditions and challenges. The Department is also a site of lively and empathetic engagement over issues of gender, pressures of LGBT identity in black communities, and other problems and opportunities facing young black men and women in the 21st century.
Students majoring in any field – from Business or Education to the Humanities and Fine and Professional Arts – are encouraged to consider Pan-African Studies as a minor. A minor in Pan-African Studies often enhances the employability of students who major in other fields. Such a degree infers that the student has considered some of the important questions and issues of the 20th and 21st century: the meaning of cultural and ethnic diversity in national, and international relations and development. As a case study, knowledge about the African American community helps build leaders for public and private initiatives in economic growth and social and physical health. For those who take the African Studies Minor, they will find themselves with a competitive advantage in the private sector, particularly in such areas as global health, agricultural processing, information technology, climate study, and mineral trades. Students interested in Studies in Globalization, Identity and Space will leave the program with strong culturally competent skill sets.