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Black Studies Requirements

The Black Studies Program allows students to explore a wide range of topics related to Black experiences across the African Diaspora. The Program's major and minor allows students to attain degrees of mastery by concentrating on an interrelated set of topics within a geographic area or by comparing aspects of the topic(s) inter-regionally or globally. Three required core courses will provide the framework on which students will organize their own majors in consultation with the program's director. 

The Major

To complete the major a student must take eleven (11) courses:

Four (4) that acquaint students with Black studies as a recognized field of study

  1. BLST 0101: An introduction to the core themes, topics, and methods commonly recognized as belonging to Black Studies 
  2. BLST 0301: A junior seminar that provides guidance in identifying and using sources and methods for research in Black Studies. 
  3. BLST 0401: A senior seminar in which Black Studies majors conduct independent research -- while working collaboratively with other students and a faculty member.  
  4. HIST 0225 (African-American History) or AMST 0107 (Introduction to African-American Culture)

Four (4) clustered courses that concentrate on a region or topic (either of which may be comparative)

  • Courses taken for the concentration and senior work allow students to go deeper into a topic and develop their skills in interpretation and constructive analysis. Students will work with the director of the program in selecting the courses that will fulfill their proposed concentration. Intensive listening, close reading, critical thinking, effective oral and written expression and collaborative interaction with colleagues will be among the skills the concentration will address. 

Three (3) electives that allow for breadth of study. 

  • The electives allow students to get outside their area of concentration, either to explore totally different topics or to explore their area of concentration from a different perspective. With permission from the director of the program, one or more of these electives may be in a department not directly related to Black Studies but that introduces students to critical approaches that may be helpful to a student's advanced work on a topic. 

Joint Major Requirements: In consultation with their advisor and/or the Director of Black Studies, students must take a minimum of eight courses that satisfy the BLST major. Of these eight courses, four are required and include BLST 0101, BLST 0301, BLST 0401, and either HIST 0225 or AMST 0107.  The remaining four elective courses must inform, complement, and complete the joint major. Students may take BLST 0700 or BLST 0710 (honors senior thesis) as one of their four elective courses, subject to approval of their academic advisor and the Director of Black Studies.

Minor Requirements: For those students who wish to minor in Black Studies, please see the requirements for the “Minor in African-American Studies.”