Undergraduate Advising


The Department of African American Studies (AAS) Undergraduate Advising office provides our students with the following assistance to help guide them through the academic bureaucracy and hopefully ensure that they have a successful undergraduate experience at Berkeley.

AAS Undergraduate Advisor
Eric Cheatham

Counseling regarding your education and AAS courses

  • Declaring the major
  • Assessing your progress in the major
  • Administrative concerns (i.e. CalCentral, Add/Drops, L&S policy)
  • Clark Scholars
  • Major/Minor Info, courses, independent studies, Honors Program, etc.
  • Graduate programs and career information and referrals


As a declared major, you will have the benefit of enrolling into AAS upper division classes without issues. Our majors never have to be concerned about getting into a required course to fulfill the major requirement. The small class sizes contribute to a better learning experience and our students graduate on time. Declaring the AAS major is a simple process once you have completed the prerequisite courses.

The process of declaring the major takes a few minutes, if that much, and you may declare at any time during the year. Schedule a preliminary meeting with the UA to discuss declaring the major, double majoring or doing a simultaneous degree in 608 Social Sciences Building during regular in person office hours Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm or you can request a zoom appointment Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings 10-12pm. The following materials are required and the necessary forms are available at the department. You can also download them here:


*If you have taken any of the prerequisites at another college of university, you will need to supply a copy of the course descriptions or syllabi to be reviewed for approval.

A student file will be created and maintained in the department for five years.

Students need to declare their minor in the Department no later than the semester before your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Interested students should complete the UG Minor App to declare. 


After completing ALL minor courses, fill out the  Completion of L&S Minor Form (or pick up form from L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in 206 Evans Hall and submit it to the dept. UA.



The VèVè A. Clark Institute is a small cadre of scholars majoring (or intending to major) in the discipline of African American Studies who will form an intellectual community that will prepare them to meet the rigor and intellectual demands of top graduate programs, professional schools, and postgraduate careers. The program is open to students who have declared (or intend to declare) the African American Studies major and who have at least two years remaining in their undergraduate career at UC Berkeley. A complete application consists of

  • This informational form:  clark-institute-application-2021
  • A one-page (single-spaced) personal statement. Please discuss how your academic interests relate to the field of African American Studies, and why you are interested in the VèVè A. Clark Institute.
  • A five-page (double-spaced) writing sample from your college-level coursework
  • An electronic copy of your unofficial transcript from Bear Facts (transfer students, please provide scanned copies of transcripts from all of your previous college-level coursework or mail hard copies to: 660 Social Science Building, MC 2572, Berkeley, Ca 94720-2572, Attn: Lindsey Villarreal)

Please submit all materials electronically to: veveclarkinstitute@berkeley.edu


Each semester Advisor Holds will be placed on student’s records to prevent majors from registering for classes until it is released by the Dept. UA. This procedure is to ensure that students review their progress in the major and receive up-to-date information on graduation requirements. Majors will be notified via email when it is possible to see the UA to remove the Holds. Adviser Holds will not be released by phone or email except for students who are studying abroad or on medical leave. All other students must come in person or schedule a zoom appointment with the UA to review their schedule and have the Hold released.


AAS majors can register for impacted courses outside the major during Phase I of CalCentral. Seats are set aside in CalCentral for majors; however, you should make sure you are enrolled in your AAS courses at the beginning of Phase II. If you have a problem enrolling into a class, contact the Undergraduate Adviser for assistance.


Attendance at all class meetings, including discussion sections, is required during the first 2 weeks in all courses. Instructors usually drop students for non-attendance. There is generally about a 20% drop rate in most upper division courses, and a higher rate in lower division courses. It is important for students who cannot attend class because of a conflict to write a note to the instructor or GSI explaining why you missed class, but that you still intend to take it.


AAS Waitlists are processed manually and students are added selectively instead of by the numerical order in CalCentral. Department majors, minors, and students attending the classes receive priority. Students are also added to class at the discretion of the instructor.


YES!! Students should never assume they have been dropped from a course or course waitlist, and should always check on CalCentral to make sure they have or haven’t been dropped from a course after the second week.


Students may add and drop courses on CalCentral until the fifth week of class unless the course is listed as an Early Drop Deadline (EDD) course. EDD courses must be dropped by the end of the second week. All students should print a copy of their schedule each time they use CalCentral.


Students who are not majoring or minoring in African American Studies but wish to take AAS core courses (100, 101 and 116) are encouraged to take one of the following: AAS 4A, 5A, 5B, or their equivalent beforehand.


The Literature Rack is located inside the AAS Administrative Office (650 Social Sciences Building). Students will find updates on the major, the minor, and much more vital information.