Major in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Black Studies

Major Requirements

If you have questions regarding the Black Studies major or are interested in declaring the major, please contact Kibby Smith, Academic Advisor, at or schedule an appointment with her via MU Connect.

Courses cross-listed with Black Studies receive Black Studies credit.

The major in Black Studies consists of thirty (30) credit hours.  There are four (4) core courses that constitute basic requirements for the major, one of which, the capstone experience, can be either a traditional research experience or an experiential opportunity. 

In addition, students must complete all university graduation requirements and Arts and Science Foundation Requirements. A minimum grade of C- is required for each course taken in the major. A minimum cumulative GPA in all major coursework is 2.0.

Specific requirements to be fulfilled

  1. Major Requirements (12 credits):
    1. Introduction to Black Studies (BL_STU 1000)
    2. Traditions and Concepts in Black Studies (BL_STU 2975)
    3. Black Studies Methodologies (BL_STU 3977)
    4. Black Studies Capstone (BL_STU 4977) or Black Studies Internship (BL_STU 4975). Selection must be approved by Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  2. In addition to the basic core requirements (above), students must complete at least one course from each of the following areas of concentration for twelve (12) credits (see below for a list of the Black Studies courses in their areas of concentration):
    1. Black Politics
    2. Arts, Literature, and Culture
    3. Africa and African Diaspora Studies
    4. Gender, Race, Sexuality & Class
  3. Students must take a minimum of two (2) additional courses for six (6) credits in any one of the above areas of concentration for a total of nine (9) credits in that field.
  4. It is suggested that you take the Capstone or Internship in Black Studies for three (3) credits after completing Black Studies Methodologies, but there is no absolute prerequisite. The requirement may be fulfilled by any type of culminating project approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the chair’s consent.

Major Policies

Students must have the following:

  • A minimum of fifteen (15) hours of courses numbered 2000 or above, twelve (12) of which must be completed at MU, are required in the major.
  • A minimum grade of C- or above is required in each major course.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in all combined major coursework is required to earn the major.
  • One writing-intensive (WI) course numbered 3000 or above must be included in the major.

In selecting a language to meet general education requirements in the College of Arts and Science students are encouraged to consider Spanish or French as these languages are commonly spoken in regions of Africa and the world where there are significant populations of African Diaspora peoples. Such languages can also facilitate excellent study abroad opportunities.

In addition, students must complete all College of Arts and Science and University graduation requirements, including University general education.

Departmental Honors in Black Studies

All students majoring in Black Studies are encouraged to pursue Departmental Honors and to work towards graduating with one of MU's highest academic recognitions. For majors, the sequence does not require any additional courses.

It is highly recommended that before starting Departmental Honors, students should seek to join the Sankofa Scholars Program to prepare them for the skills and approaches taken in pursuit of academic excellence.

Those seeking Departmental Honors will need to complete and present their final capstone project and experience (to both the department and at an approved, public research or artistry forum) and collaborate with their mentor in finalizing their designation. For more information, see Departmental Honors in Black Studies.

Full Black Studies Course List

Currently the Department of Black studies lists over 140 possible courses. The entire course list can be found here: BA in Interdisciplinary with Emphasis in Black Studies.

Active Black Studies Courses

The Department maintains a list of courses that are actively available for enrollment for the next two semesters. You can see those lists here: Black Studies Courses.

Black Studies Courses in their Areas of Concentration

1. Black Politics

BLSTU 1704            Introduction to Black Politics

BLSTU 2704            African Political Thought 

BLSTU 2804            Black Political Thought

BLSTU 3200            Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1973

BLSTU 3230            Black Sexual Politics

BLSTU 3850            Gender, Hip Hop, and the Politics of Representation

BLSTU 4130            African-American Politics

BLSTU 4303            Race, Class, Gender, & U.S. Social Policy

BLSTU 4415            African American Justice

BLSTU 4640            African Politics

BLSTU 4720            Third World Politics

2. Arts, Literature, and Culture

BLSTU 1250            World Theatre Workshop 

BLSTU 1335            Intro to Soul & Country 

BLSTU 1705            Intro to Black Studies in Culture

BLSTU 1720            African-American Theatre History    

BLSTU 2150            African-American Cinema

BLSTU 2310            Literature of the African Diaspora 

BLSTU 2400            Introduction to African Diaspora Literature

BLSTU 2601            Languages of Africa

BLSTU 2604            Caribbean History & Culture

BLSTU 2715            Studies in Black Culture

BLSTU 2720            African-American Visual Culture

BLSTU 3005            Paris Noir/Black Paris

BLSTU 3100            African American Psychology 

BLSTU 3248            Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1789-1890

BLSTU 3303            Black Athletes

BLSTU 3400            Survey of African American Literature, Beginnings

BLSTU 3410            Survey of African American Literature, 1900-Present

BLSTU 3420            Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature

BLSTU 3424            Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1890-Present

BLSTU 3427            Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1603-1789

BLSTU 3625            Comparative Approaches to Black Studies in Culture

BLSTU 3705            Themes in Black Culture

BLSTU 4181            Themes in Literature by Women 

BLSTU 4220            Religion in Afro-American Literature

BLSTU 4352            Historical Studies in African Music

BLSTU 4407            Studies in African Diaspora Literature, 1603-1789

BLSTU 4410            Major Africana Diaspora Writers

BLSTU 4480            Major African Diaspora Women Writers

BLSTU 4487            Major Africana Diaspora Writers, 1603-1789

BLSTU 4488            Major Africana Diaspora Writers, 1789-1890

BLSTU 4489            Major Africana Diaspora Writers, 1890-Present

BLSTU 4530            Caribbean Women Writers

BLSTU 4710            Themes in African Diaspora Folklore

3. Africa and African Diaspora Studies

BLSTU 1410            African American History

BLSTU 1790            History of Early Africa

BLSTU 1800            Making Modern Africa

BLSTU 1801            Introduction to Africa and the African Diaspora

BLSTU 1810            History of South Africa

BLSTU 2210            Black Americans

BLSTU 2570            Black Religion

BLSTU 2750            Black Religion in America

BLSTU 2904            Slavery & Freedom

BLSTU 3022            Peacebuilding & Peacemaking in the Modern Caribbean

BLSTU 3590            Religious Biography: Black Religion

BLSTU 3670            History of Black Nationalism in the United States

BLSTU 3804            Resistance in the Black Atlantic

BLSTU 4270            African Americans in the 20th Century

BlSTU 4835             Race and Politics in South Africa

Courses Taught in FRENCH:

FRENCH 4510        African Francophone Literature

FRENCH 4980        Special Themes in French

FRENCH 4993        Capstone Experience in French

Courses Taught in SPANISH:

SPAN 4510               Afro-Hispanic Literature

SPAN 4980               Special Themes in Spanish

SPAN 4993               Capstone Experience in Spanish

Courses Taught in PORTUGUESE:

PORT 3001               Topics in Portuguese

4. Gender, Race, Sexuality & Class        

BLSTU 2200            Social Inequalities

BLSTU 2410            African American Women in History

BLSTU 2425            Race and the American Story

BLSTU 3024            Black Diaspora Women and Reproductive Justice 

BSTU 3700              Black Studies in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Class

BLSTU 3800            Women in African History       

BLSTU 4020            Studies in Black Feminist Thought

BLSTU 4230            Women, Development, and Globalization

BLSTU 4300            The Black Family: Past, Present & Future

BLSTU 4335            The Wire: Race, Urban Inequality, and the "Crisis" of the American City

BLSTU 4420            Africana Womanism

BLSTU 4418            Major African Diaspora Women Writers, 1789-1890

BLSTU 4489            Major African Diaspora Women Writers, 1890-Present 

BLSTU 4804            Historical Studies of Black Women

BLSTU 4904            Historical and Contemporary Slavery

++ Please check with the Black Studies Advisor for additional courses not listed above.