The University of Maryland African American Studies graduates have been successful in many different fields post-graduation. AASD majors work in many different areas including advocacy, human services, government, policy, and entertainment. Using information from the University of Maryland graduation survey, we have compiled information about AASD majors, such as where they work or go to graduate school post-graduation.
Use this information as a place to start exploring your career interests. Review additional resources below and on the Feller Center's website.
Explore Career Paths
Start Exploring Career Titles/Work Areas
Use the sample job and internship titles (mentioned above) to start exploring career paths. The links below provide a short overview of the positions.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, a career title dictionary
- O*NET Online, the nation's primary source of occupational information
- FOCUS2, explore career paths using self-assessment questionnaires
- Terrapins Connect, talk with professionals working in the field through UMD’s alumni network
- Federal positions by major, research career titles with the federal government related to your major
- Vault Guides, browse 100’s of industry guides to gain inside tips
- African civilization
- Artistic development
- Black community
- Black culture
- Black history
- Civil rights
- Correction facilities (youth/adult and private/public)
- Cultural anthropology
- Economic development
- Halfway houses and pre-release programs
- Immigration and naturalization services
- Local, state, and federal courts
- Nonprofit organizations
- Police department: State, City, County
- Policy research
- Political development
- Public management/ policy
- Reintegration programs
- Social change
- Social issues
- Urban planning
- Youth group home
Resources: Career Planning
Explore career path options with these resources:
- How to become a social worker
- Career paths in politics
- Demography careers
- Public policy resources
- What is needed for law school?
- USAJobs, federal openings | Explore federal job titles by major
Career Shuttle: Capitol Hill, A UMD alum who was a Professional Staff Member on the Subcommittee on Environment invited a group of students to visit Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Skills Developed: AAS Major
Skills lead to jobs. Which skills do you possess?
- Assess your abilities, interests, and values and explore how they relate to career options.
- Skills inventory - get started identifying your unique assets.
African American Studies majors have skills in…
- Accumulating and interpreting information
- Contending analytical and theoretical approaches
- Oral and written communication
- Proactivity and initiative
- Quantitative and qualitative methods
- Understanding of multidisciplinary work
Add to your skills with LinkedIn Learning's skill based videos.
Internships are a great way to try out an interest, regardless if they are directly related to your major. Employers tend to favor job seekers who have had an internship in the field they are hiring for.
Sample internship titles/sites
- Campaign Inter, Fair Sentencing of Youth
- Community Impact Intern, United Way of Frederick County
- Congressional Intern, U.S. House of Representatives
- Counselor Intern. Parks & People Foundation
- Digital Intern, U.S. House of Representatives
- Family and Community Engagement Intern, Institute for Educational Leadership
- Intern, Black Child Development Institute
- Intern, National Council for Negro Women
- Intern, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
- Intern, WUSA 9 News
- Major Investigations Unit Intern, State’s Attorney for Baltimore City
- Marketing Intern, Live Nation Entertainment
- Politics Marketing Intern, Blavity
- Public Service Aide Intern, Prince George’s County Council
- Research Assistant, Center for Substance Abuse Research
- Research Assistant Intern, American Institutes for Research
- Research Intern, The Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics
- U.S.-Africa Business Center Intern, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Sample list of opportunities
- Gain Experience, BSOS - browse links on out of the classroom experiences
- Careers4Terps - check out job and internship openings for off-campus positions for UMD students
- UMD National Scholarships Office - review a listing of opportunities for UMD
- Federal government internships - links to openings and application tips
- Start your search with these tips
The UMD Department of African American Studies offers:
UMD Internship Programs:
- Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement, CDCE Research Assistantship Program
- Global Fellows Program
- Public Policy Internship Program
- UMD Federal Semester, enroll in a course + internship to learn about the policy-making process and discuss related issues in a seminar led by an industry expert
- UMD Undergraduate Legal Aid Office internship program, allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience while earning 3 hours of academic credit. The office selects 8 students per semester
- Maryland General Assembly Internship, students are given an opportunity to serve as legislative interns. The session takes place January through early April, usually Tuesday through Thursdays.
- Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP), a new initiative to recruit exceptional recent graduates for careers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that includes fellowships related to cybersecurity, policy, management, emergency management, and law
- UMD Undergraduate Legal Aid Office
- Maryland Public Defender’s Office
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- DC Courts
- United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia
- Internships with the Senate
Sites UMD students have interned at recently:
- Brady Commission
- Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Department of Justice
- Human Rights Watch
- Kids in Need of Defense
- Consider approaching lobbying Firms
- Maryland General Assembly (usually comes with a stipend)
- Pacific Legal Foundation
- US Congress
Tip: Reach out to small law firms. They are more willing to hire undergraduates as interns, although these internships often go to undergraduates with an existing connection to the firm, so networking is crucial.
Political internships are not just for political science majors; the experience would benefit students within all majors. It is an excellent networking opportunity as well as hard evidence on a resume that the student can work in a fast paced environment. Students also build communication, written, and interpersonal skills.
Sample Internship Opportunities
- White House Internships: Approximately 100 interns are chosen each spring, summer, and fall to participate in this program. The assignments given to an intern on any given day could include: conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.
- Senate Personal office: Representative’s offices usually have 8-10 employees. Interns work on a variety of projects, usually feels more intimate or cramped. Reach out by state.
- Senate Committees: Most of the legislative action occurs in committees. Review the committees and express interest to the respective Senators.
- Leadership office: Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate elect leaders to set agendas, organize parties, etc. that receives a separate staff. Very competitive to obtain an internship, because there is only a hand full of offices like this and the leaders are high profile.
You can also sign up for biweekly email alerts of available internships in the House of Representatives.
Start researching your career path of interest to identify the educational requirements. The list below offers a brief overview of some of the more popular graduate degree programs and institutions our AASD undergraduates have attended.
- African American Studies, Ph.D.
- Law, J.D.
- Medicine, M.D.
- Psychology, M.S.
- Psychology, Ph.D.
- Public Health, M.P.H.
- Public Policy, M.P.P.
- Social Work, M.S.W.
- Student Affairs, M.A.
- Urban Planning, M.S.
Graduate School Resources: Researching programs:
- Questions to consider before applying
- Application timeline: stay on track with your graduate school application
- Tips for completing the application
- Financing ideas for graduate school
- Graduate School listing, LASC
- UMD Pre-Law Advising, contact for guidance on law related graduate school options and course suggestions
Review notes from a recent What to Do with a Major in African American Studies panel of professionals.
After researching career paths, consider talking with people working in your field of interest to gain inside information. The links below provide sample events where you may be able to meet professionals in your field of interest. Use these opportunities to learn more about your field of interest, establish new networking contacts, and informational interviews.
- Career Events for BSOS students
- University Career Center Event Calendar
- Terrapins Connect, is an online platform that allows students’ virtual access to UMD alumni who have volunteered to share industry specific information, conduct resume reviews, etc.
- Use LinkedIn to locate alumni & recruiters
- Intern for a Day Lite, matches students with professionals working in a field of interest to shadow for the day or offer informational interviews. Offered in the fall and spring.
- The National Association for Multicultural Education, Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity.
- Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, DC events (membership required for some events).
- Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), attend events to learn about international affairs careers and research graduate programs
- Foreign Policy Association, is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.
- InterAction, is an alliance organization in Washington, D.C. of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and works to end poverty and help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, produces many resources for a wide variety of audiences.
- Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.