BA in Interdisciplinary with Emphasis in Black Studies

Degree Program Description

Students in Black Studies learn about the varied experiences of people of African descent from various fields including arts and the humanities, the social sciences, the hard sciences, public policy, education, and law, to name a few. This interdisciplinary field of study focuses on African Americans, Africans, and other people in the African Diaspora.  A BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Black Studies challenges students to learn about and critically analyze the global experiences of people of African descent, including conditions that have shaped their past, as well as their present lives. The degree provides knowledge in the following: critical thinking skills to understand and effectively articulate experiences and contributions of the people who share a common heritage; ability to critically think, research, write, and analyze the black experience; communication (both oral and written), problem solving, strategic planning and a range of research skills. Students acquire such skills while they develop in-depth knowledge that is beneficial to careers in multicultural, cross-cultural, and diversity consulting, all of which are critical in 21st century employment. In addition, graduates of the degree often pursue employment or graduate studies in academic fields such as Social and Intellectual Movements, Politics, Sociology, Literature, Psychology, Music, Art, History, and many others.

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Major Program Requirements

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts in the College of Arts and Science with an Interdisciplinary Studies major and an emphasis in Black Studies.

A student majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Black Studies emphasis must complete a total of 30 Black Studies credits. 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.

Emphasis core requirements

  • Completion of an interdisciplinary area of concentration of at least 30 credits in Black Studies and related courses

In selecting a language to meet general education requirements in the College of Arts and Science, students are encouraged to consider Spanish, Portuguese or French.

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

Required Coursework:
BL_STU 1000Introduction to Black Studies3
BL_STU 2975Traditions and Concepts in Black Studies3
BL_STU 3977Black Studies Methodologies3
BL_STU 4977Black Studies Capstone3
Students must complete at least one course (3 hours) from each of the following areas of concentration:
Black Politics
Arts, Literature, and Culture
Diaspora Studies
Gender, Race, Sexuality, Class
(consult Black Studies department for course options)

Students must take a minimum of two additional courses (6 hours) in one of the above areas of concentration to total 9 hours in one concentration area.

  • A minimum of 15 hours numbered 2000 or above, 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.

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Semester Plan

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGLSH 10003Math and Quantitative Reasoning course 
Social Science (MO STATE LAW)3Foreign Language4
BL_STU 10003Humanities and Fine Arts3
Foreign Language4Behavioral Science3
 Writing Intensive 1000+3
 13 13
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Bio/Phys/Math Science course3Bio/Phys/Math Science Course3
Social Science3Social Science3
Black Studies Major3Humanitites and Fine Arts3
Foreign Language4Black Studies Major3
Elective3A&S Diversity3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Biology or Physical Science Lab3Humanities and Fine Arts3
Black Studies Major3Black Studies Major3
Black Studies Major3Black Studies Major3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Black Studies Major/WI 3000+3Black Studies Major3
Black Studies Major3Elective3
Behavioral Science3Humanities and Fine Arts3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 117

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Contact Information

Emphasis in Black Studies - Coordinated with the Department of Black Studies, an academic department in the College of Arts and Science
April Langley, Chair
311 Gentry Hall
(573) 882-4326

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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