Douglass statue on UMD campus

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 entertainmentUsing 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. 

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.

  • African civilization
  • Artistic development
  • Black community
  • Black culture
  • Black history
  • Civil rights
  • Correction facilities (youth/adult and private/public)
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Halfway houses and pre-release programs
  • Immigration and naturalization services
  • Justice
  • Law
  • Local, state, and federal courts
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Police department: State, City, County
  • Policy research
  • Political development
  • Psychology
  • Public management/ policy
  • Racism
  • Reintegration programs
  • Social change
  • Social issues
  • Urban planning
  • Youth group home
Capitol Hill shuttle students in court at Rayburn building

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
  • Analysis
  • Contending analytical and theoretical approaches
  • Oral and written communication
  • Proactivity and initiative
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Research
  • Understanding of multidisciplinary work
Linkedin Learning

Add to your skills with LinkedIn Learning's skill based videos. 

Gain Experience

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

The UMD Department of African American Studies offers:

UMD Internship Programs:

Sites UMD students have interned at recently:

  • AIPAC
  • 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.

Guide to Political Jobs and Internships

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • White House InternshipsApproximately 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 officeRepresentative’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 CommitteesMost 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:

AASD panel of professional in a classroom

Review notes from a recent What to Do with a Major in African American Studies panel of professionals. 

Build Connections

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.

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