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:
    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.