5 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in African-American Studies for 2020

african american studies degree online

In this article detailing low-cost Bachelor’s degrees in African American Studies online, we will examine degrees like:

  • Online B.A. in African and African American Studies
  • Online BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in African American Studies
  • Online BA in Africana Studies
  • Online BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in African-American Studies

If you’re interested in the social, cultural, and historical experiences of people with African descent (both past AND present), then you might want to check out a low-cost online Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies. This liberal arts degree will be both interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary, with curriculum spanning history, literature, arts, and more. Here we share a few of the online degree options which will allow you to pursue your degree while also maintaining a balance and home and work. You can also check out our ranking of the most affordable on-campus bachelor’s in African American Studies programs here!

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Typically, we rank our online degrees with a comprehensive methodology that includes factors like student-faculty ratio, return on investment (according to Payscale.com), customizations, and more. However, because this ranking includes so few online programs, we’ve simply listed them in order of affordable tuition, from greatest to least. We used Net-Price tuition, as listed by the National Center for Education Statistics.

#5 University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Africana Studies

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

For students in the Toledo, Ohio area, check out the University of Toledo’s cheap Bachelor’s in African-American studies program. It’s offered on-campus, but you can take a bulk of the classes online. Online courses include Entrepreneurship in the Black Community, Foundations of Black Intellectual History, African Women and the Environment, Ecotourism: Studies of the Africana World, Perspectives on African American Education. So, before you enroll, make sure you check out the on-campus vs online requirements for this program. Internship opportunities are available. Graduates will be able to pursue a career in state or federal agencies, non-profits, schools, and more. The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $16,588

#4 University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Online BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in African-American Studies

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

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At the University of Arkansas, you can earn your affordable degree in African American studies by way of their BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. You’ll then add-on to your liberal arts studies by getting a minor in African American studies. The program will feature required courses like African American Experience and African American History. Electives include options like The Old South, African Americans in Sports, African Americans in Film, and African Americans in Higher Education. Graduates will have a solid foundation to continue study or professional/employment opportunities. The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,781

#3 University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Online BA in Africana Studies

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1

School Profile


If a more global approach to your studies is what you desire, you might want to take a look at the University of Arizona’s online BA in Africana Studies. It won’t just focus on African-American studies, but instead on how gender, class, and race affect the experiences of the Africana people as a whole. Through the program’s Africana Research course, you’ll study African American, African, and Caribbean experiences. Additional courses include Hip-Hop Cinema and Global Soccer. The program utilizes new technologies and virtual reality to help you become a leader in your desired field. The University of Arizona online is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,594

#2 The University of Memphis Global

Memphis, Tennessee

Online B.A. in African and African American Studies

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1

School Profile

Students enrolled in the University of Memphis Global’s online BA in African American Studies program will take a total of 120 credits. The program will explore the histories and experiences of the African and African American peoples. Required coursework includes introductory and research classes in African American Studies, and electives include courses like Rhetoric of Hip-Hop, African American Literary Movements, African American Philosophy, and Racial/Ethnic Minorities. U of M Global is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price Tuition: $13,174

#1 North Carolina A & T State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

Online BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in African American Studies

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

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North Carolina A & T University’s low-cost online Bachelor’s in African American Studies is a little different than other programs on this list. The degree will be a Liberal Studies degree with a concentration in African American Studies, and students are encouraged to pair this degree with other disciplines like health care, social work, education, business, public policy and/or public administration. Graduates will be prepared to continue to a Master’s or Doctorate program or be ready for careers like a Non-Profit Organizational Director, Social Worker, or Policy Analyst. North Carolina A & T State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,378

About an Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies

An affordable Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies will consist of a liberal arts degree that explores the complex experiences (cultural, social, political and historical) of people of African descent. Students might also examine issues of discrimination, as well as African diaspora (the mass migration of African people to the Caribbean, the Americas, and other parts of the world).

Coursework in the major:

In this discipline, you might find programs that take an interdisciplinary approach or a multi-disciplinary approach, but most times both. The liberal arts coursework will examine history, arts, philosophy, literature, the humanities, and more.

Core classes could include:

Intro to African American Studies: an introductory course, which typically follows a chronological timeline

African American Research Methods: in these research courses, students will learn to critically evaluate and analyze the available body of social science research

African American Literature: an English course that will survey of the body of work of African American authors, and how their works have impacted literature and culture.

Online vs. On-Campus Bachelor’s in African American Studies Online:

Deciding whether to take your coursework online or on-campus will be up to you. If you’re choosing the online route, however, you’ll be in good hands. Most schools have designed online programs with non-traditional students like you in mind. That means you’ll have online support, which could include online tutoring, online advising, online writing centers, or online libraries. When considering programs, you’ll want to look into how the schools deliver their coursework. Asynchronous programs will allow you to complete your coursework on your time, whenever is convenient for you. These classes will still follow the semester (or quarter system). In contrast, synchronous coursework will require you to sign in at certain times and could include specific due dates. A self-paced curriculum allows you to pursue your degree at your own pace. Ultimately, the decision on which program is right for you is your decision.

How to get admitted to an online program in African American Studies:

Some people believe that getting admitted to an online program is easier than getting admitted to an on-campus one. But that’s not necessarily the case. Most times, online admission requirements are the same as they are for students pursuing the on-campus experience. It is important to remember that all programs have different requirements; no two schools will be the same. But, typically, you can expect to have a high school diploma (or equivalent), share your transcript/GPA, take standardized testing like the SAT or ACT and meet certain requirements. If standardized testing isn’t your thing, you might be able to find a school that doesn’t require them for admission or considers scores on a weighted scale. You might also need to write an entrance essay or provide letters of recommendation.

Program length:

How long it takes for you to earn your affordable degree in African American Studies will be up to several factors:

  • whether or not you already have college credit
  • how many credits your program requires
  • whether you are a full-time or part-time student
  • the method of course delivery

Typically, earning a Bachelor’s degree takes about 4 years if you are a full-time student with no credits. Depending on the above factors, that could take you less time or more time. Either way, going to college is a big step. Make sure you’re ready to commit. But we can promise one thing: it will be worth it in the end. Generally speaking, you’ll be set up to earn more income in your lifetime–and most of all? You’ll be able to impact the worth for the better.

Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies FAQs

Q: Is African American Studies a good online degree?

A: One unique thing about this degree is that it doesn’t set you up for a specific career as most degrees do. While that might feel daunting to some, it could produce a lot of freedom. You’ll have job fluidity, meaning you can ebb and flow with the seasons of life or if your interests change, you could consider a different career. So for that? We say yes, it’s a good online degree!

Q: What kind of Bachelor’s degree will I get with an online African American Studies major?

A: Online degrees in African American Studies are typically Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. This means you’ll be getting a liberal arts degree, which will include general coursework in history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, psychology, creative arts, foreign language, and more.

Q: What is the difference between African American Studies and Africana Studies?

A: Africana Studies is the more broad subject, focusing on people of African descent, their experiences, and the Diaspora. Though the degree will take a more global approach, the coursework will still include options to study African American Studies in detail. On the other hand, African American Studies will focus more on the experience of black people who live in the Americas. While the terms aren’t necessarily interchangeable, both disciplines will have curriculum overlap.

Q: What skills do I need to study the field of African American Studies?

A: When studying this discipline, you will need skills like:

  • critical thinking skills
  • analytical skills
  • written and communication skills

Q: As an online student, can I take my classes part-time?

A: Most schools will allow you to take your online coursework on a part-time basis. This option would be great for students who also work or have tough home or life obligations. Attending school part-time will certainly help you balance your school and home life. But it is important to remember that taking your classes part-time will lengthen the time it takes for you to earn your degree. If you take your classes full-time, however, you could finish in just 4 years (or sooner depending on your specific program and any previous credits). As a part-time student, you would almost double the time it takes to earn your degree. There is no right or wrong choice; it’s completely up to you and what’s already on your plate. But whatever you do, make the choice that will ensure your success!

Q: What are some related degrees I could pursue?

A: If you can’t find an African American Studies program that works for you, try looking for Africana Studies or Black Studies, which have similar themes and curriculum.

Q: How long will it take to earn my cheap degree in African American Studies online?

A: The length of time it takes to get your online degree in African American studies will rely on several factors:

  • your program’s requirements
  • if you’re enrolled in an accelerated program
  • whether you are a part-time or full-time student
  • whether or not you already have some college credits

Typically, though, a Bachelor’s degree will take about 4 years to complete.

Q: Can I work while I get my affordable online undergrad degree in African American Studies?

A: This decision will be completely up to you! But, yes, you can. Many online programs tailor their course delivery system to meet the needs of busy, working adults, so it may not be as hard to balance as you might think.

Note: If you need to work while also attending school, try looking for a program that offers asynchronous courses and doesn’t have scheduled times for classes or tests. While you could possibly manage due dates, it might be easier to create your schedule and fit your schooling in when it’s best for you. Also, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be spread too thin, so consider only taking on a part-time load so you can make sure you’re giving your best to school and work. Ultimately, the decision and the balance will be up to you!

Q: What kind of technology will I need to complete my online degree in African American Studies?

A: Each program’s requirements will vary. But generally speaking, you’ll need a computer and access to the internet. Other programs that utilize video conferencing or participation might require camera and microphone access on your computer. Check out your school’s requirements to discover exactly what you’ll need and if the process/requirements will work for your budget.

Q: When can I start my online degree in African American studies?

A: Attending school online is much different than attending on-campus. Traditionally, on-campus students can start 3 times per year, typically in the fall or spring. But–it’s possible that your online school could offer more start times and maximum flexibility. However, the answer to this question will depend on your program specifically. Some schools follow a traditional path, offering start times each semester and sometimes in the summer. Other programs even offer monthly start times! And then–some programs allow you to start online classes whenever you’re ready! Find a program that works for your lifestyle and timeline.

Q: Is the cost of my books included in the tuition cost?

A: Not usually. You’ll want to save extra money to buy your books for your classes. However, there are some schools out there that use online ebooks to save money. If you do need to purchase your books, try buying them used to save money.

Q: As an online student, is it still required to send my SAT/ACT scores to the university for admission?

A: We know, standardized testing is a drag. Most schools still require scores with the admissions process, but requirements will vary by school. If you scored low, don’t worry. Some schools don’t require them at all and some schools are test-optional. You’ll want to check the admission requirements of the specific schools you are considering to make sure your scores will cut it. 

Low-Cost Bachelor of African American Studies Career FAQs

Q: What can I do with an affordable Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies?

A: It may seem as if a degree like African American studies would lock you into only one career, but that’s not the case. You can use this degree and your passion for many different avenues. Sample careers with a low-cost Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies could include:

  • Human services worker 
  • Activist 
  • Community organizer
  • High School History Teacher

With subsequent Master’s or Doctoral degrees, you could also pursue jobs like:

  • History Professor
  • Human Services Professional
  • Research Historian
  • Museum curator 
  • Historian 
  • Public administrator
  • Diversity Studies Professor

Q: What kind of salary can I expect with a degree in African American Studies?

A: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2018, you can earn a variety of salaries, ranging from about (data is median pay):

  • Social and Community Service Managers: $65,320 per year 
  • High School Teacher: $60,320 per year
  • Museum Curator: $48,400 per year 
  • Administrative Service Manager: $96,180 per year 

Q: Is a cheap Bachelor’s in African American Studies worth it in the long run?

A: This will depend on the type of job you pursue and what you’re looking for. For example, job growth for social service managers is expected to grow by 13% in the next ten years, which is much faster than average. Other careers like a High School History Teacher will only grow as fast as average, about 4%. The decision will be up to you. But the most important factor to consider? It’s your passion. What do you love to do? What could you do every single day and not get tired of? If you go down that path, you’ll find success and happiness.

Q: Should I join a professional organization in the African American Studies field?

A: Yes, you should! Joining a professional organization will help keep you up-to-date on current research or professional practices, as well as help you network within a group of like-minded peers. In terms of African American Studies, you can join a more general organization, or depending on your specific career, you could join an organization directly related to your job–like the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), etc.

When looking for an organization to join, check these out:

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