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BA in Interdisciplinary with Emphasis in Black Studies

Degree Program Description

Students in Black Studies learn about the varied experiences of people of Africa and the African diaspora from various fields, including arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences and technology, public policy, education, and law, to name a few. This interdisciplinary field 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, our graduates 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.

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

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

In addition to University, general education, and College of Arts and Science requirements, students must also meet the following major program requirements. All major requirements in the College of Arts and Science must be completed with grades of C- or higher unless otherwise indicated.

Students must take a minimum of two additional courses (6 hours) in one of the 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.
  • The major must include one writing-intensive (WI) course numbered 3000 or above.
Required Coursework
BL_STU 1000Introduction to Black Studies3
BL_STU 2975Traditions and Concepts in Black Studies 3
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:
Area 1: Black Politics
BL_STU 1704Introduction to Black Politics3
BL_STU 2704African Political Thought3
BL_STU 2804Black Political Thought3
BL_STU 3200Black Freedom Movement, 1955-19733
BL_STU 3230Studies in Black Sexual Politics3
BL_STU 3850Gender, Hip Hop, and the Politics of Representation3
BL_STU 4130African-American Politics3
BL_STU 4303Black Studies in Race, Class, Gender, and U.S. Policy3
BL_STU 4415African Americans and American Justice3
BL_STU 4640African Politics3
BL_STU 4720Third World Politics3
BL_STU 7303Black Studies in Race, Class, Gender, and U.S. Policy3
BL_STU 7415African Americans and American Justice3
BL_STU 7604Advanced Studies in Black Politics3
Area 2: Arts, Literature, and Culture
BL_STU 1250World Theatre Workshop2
BL_STU 1335Introduction to Soul and Country3
BL_STU 1705Introduction to Black Studies in Culture3
BL_STU 1720African-American Theatre History3
BL_STU 2150African-American Cinema3
BL_STU 2310Literature of the African Diaspora3
BL_STU 2400Introduction to African Diaspora Literature3
BL_STU 2601Languages of Africa3
BL_STU 2604Caribbean History and Culture3
BL_STU 2715Studies in Black Culture3
BL_STU 2720African-American Visual Culture3
BL_STU 3100African American Psychology3
BL_STU 3303Black Athletes3
BL_STU 3400Survey of African American Literature, Beginnings to 19003
BL_STU 3410Survey of African American Literature, 1900-Present3
BL_STU 3420Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature3
BL_STU 3427Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1603-17893
BL_STU 3428Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1789-18903
BL_STU 3429Periods and Genres in African Diaspora Literature, 1890-Present3
BL_STU 3625Comparative Approaches to Black Studies in Culture3
BL_STU 3705Themes in Black Culture3
BL_STU 4181Themes in Literature by Women3
BL_STU 4220Religion in Afro-American Literature3
BL_STU 4352Historical Studies in African Music3
BL_STU 4407Studies in African Diaspora Literature, 1603 to 17893
BL_STU 4408Studies in African Diaspora Literature, 1789 to 18903
BL_STU 4410Major Africana Diaspora Writers3
BL_STU 4480Major African Diaspora Women Writers3
BL_STU 4487Major African Diaspora Women Writers, 1603 to 17893
BL_STU 4488Major African Diaspora Women Writers, 1789 to 18903
BL_STU 4489Major African Diaspora Women Writers, 1890 to Present3
BL_STU 4530Caribbean Women Writers3
BL_STU 4710Themes in African Diaspora Folklore3
Area 3: Africa and African Diaspora Studies
BL_STU 1410African American History3
BL_STU 1790History of Early Africa3
BL_STU 1800History of Modern Africa3
BL_STU 1801Introduction to Africa and the African Diaspora3
BL_STU 1810History of South Africa3
BL_STU 2210The Black Americans3
BL_STU 2570Black Religion3
BL_STU 2701Black Dionysus: Greek Drama in Africa and the African Diaspora3
BL_STU 2750Black Religion in America3
BL_STU 2904Black Studies in Slavery and Freedom3
BL_STU 3022Peacebuilding and Peacemaking in the Modern Caribbean3
BL_STU 3590Religious Biography: Black Religion3
BL_STU 3670Global History of Black Power3
BL_STU 3804Resistance in the Black Atlantic3
BL_STU 4270African-Americans in the Twentieth Century3
BL_STU 4835Race and Politics in South Africa3
BL_STU 4875Black Studies: Study Abroad-Humanities3
BL_STU 4877Black Studies: Study Abroad-Social Science3
Area 4: Gender, Race, Sexuality, Class
BL_STU 2200Social Inequalities3
BL_STU 2410African American Women in History3
BL_STU 2425Race and the American Story3
BL_STU 3024Black Diaspora Women and Reproductive Justice3
BL_STU 3700Black Studies in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Class: Advanced3
BL_STU 3800Women in African History3
BL_STU 4020Studies in Black Feminist Thought3
BL_STU 4230Women, Development, and Globalization3
BL_STU 4300The Black Family: Past, Present and Future3
BL_STU 4335The Wire: Race, Urban Inequality, and the "Crisis" of the American City3
BL_STU 4418Major African Diaspora Writers, 1789 to 18903
BL_STU 4489WMajor African Diaspora Women Writers, 1890 to Present - Writing Intensive3
BL_STU 4420Africana Womanism3
BL_STU 4804Historical Studies of Black Women3
BL_STU 4904Historical and Contemporary Slavery3

Consult the Black Studies Department website for other course options.

Departmental Honors Requirements

To graduate with departmental honors, you must be an undergraduate majoring in Black Studies, have a 3.5 GPA or above in Black Studies coursework, have a 3.3 GPA overall, and complete the Black Studies Departmental Honors Program's three-course sequence:

  1. Required: BL_STU 2975 Traditions and Concepts in Black StudiesTraditions and Concepts in Black Studies
  2. Required: BL_STU 3977 Black Studies MethodologiesBlack Studies Methodologies 
  3. Choose one of the following, depending on your goals and track:
    1. BL_STU 4975 Black Studies InternshipBlack Studies Internship 
    2. BL_STU 4977 Black Studies CapstoneBlack Studies Capstone 
  4. Complete a presentation of your project or experience at a venue approved by your faculty advisor and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.​

We also offer minors the opportunity to earn a Certificate of Distinction by completing all minor requirements in addition to doing one of the following courses:

  1. BL_STU 4975 Black Studies InternshipBlack Studies Internship 
  2. BL_STU 4977 Black Studies CapstoneBlack Studies Capstone test 

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Semester Plan

First Year
BL_STU 10003BL_STU 1800 or 17903
ENGLSH 10003MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
Social Science (MO STATE LAW)3Second Language4
Second Language4Humanities and Fine Arts3
Behavioral Science Writing Intensive 1000+3
 13 16
Second Year
BL_STU 29753Black Studies Major3
Bio/Phys/Math Science course3Bio/Phys/Math Science Course3
Social Science3Social Science3
Second Language4Humanitites and Fine Arts3
Course in Minor or Second Major3Course in Minor or Second Major3
 16 15
Third Year
BL_STU 39773Black Studies Major3
Black Studies Major3Black Studies Major3
Biology or Physical Science Lab3Humanities and Fine Arts3
Course in Minor or Second Major3Course in Minor or Second Major3
Course in Minor or Second Major3Course in Minor or Second Major3
 15 15
Fourth Year
BL_STU 4977 or 49753Black Studies Major3
Black Studies Major/WI 3000+3Humanities and Fine Arts3
Behavioral Science3Course in Minor or Second Major3
Course in Minor or Second Major3Course in Minor or Second Major3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. 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 https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. 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 https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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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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