Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]
Offices & Services


Black Studies

NOTE: This page contains information from the 2012-2013 Catalog. It remains available for archival purposes only. For the most current WC Catalog content, please visit http://catalog.washcoll.edu and download this year’s edition.
Interdisciplinary Minor


Black Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the multifaceted history, culture, and lives of people of African descent. Unlike African American and African Studies, Black Studies is not limited to a single nation or continent; rather, it encompasses all locales where black people have voluntarily or involuntarily been dispersed throughout history. The Black Studies minor offers students of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore and research various aspects of black culture from a local, national, and global perspective. Students who earn a minor in Black Studies will increase their knowledge of the impact people of African descent have had and continue to have on world cultures and human history.

This interdisciplinary minor consists of six courses (24 credits). Two Humanities courses, three Social Sciences courses and one additional course in any discipline are required. At least two of these six courses must pertain to black culture outside of the United States, and students are encouraged to take three of these courses.

Pre-approved Study Abroad courses may also count toward the minor (e.g., ECN 238 South African Economy offered at Rhodes University, South Africa). One-credit music ensembles may count toward the minor only if the student takes four semesters of the same ensemble (e.g., MUS 181, 182, 281, 282) in addition to an appropriate music theory course.

Students may request that a special topics course or a course not cross-listed with Black Studies be applied toward the minor. Credit for such courses may be granted only with the program director’s approval and upon the completion of specific course requirements. Students planning to complete the Black Studies minor should notify the director of their intentions and consult with the director when selecting courses for the minor.

Senior Capstone Experience

Students who complete a Senior Capstone Experience project that focuses on a Black Studies topic may request to have their SCE credits applied toward the Black Studies minor. A student must first receive approval for the SCE according to the requirements stipulated by the major department. A copy of the approved SCE proposal must be submitted to the Black Studies program director in order to be considered for Black Studies course credit. If approved by the program director, the student would receive credit for one four-credit course within the Black Studies minor upon successful completion of the SCE.

Social Sciences Courses That Count Toward the Black Studies Minor

  • ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity
  • ECN 218. Economic Development
  • ECN 316. Regional and Urban Economics
  • EDU 230. Diversity and Inclusion
  • HIS 319. African American History to 1865
  • HIS 320. African American History from 1865
  • HIS 371. History of South Africa
  • POL 341. Politics of Development
  • POL 356. Civil War and Violence In Africa
  • POL 348. Latin American Politics
  • SOC 221. Social Inequalities
  • SOC 240 Criminology

Humanities Courses That Count Toward the Black Studies Minor

  • ENG 213, 214. Introduction to African American Literature
  • ENG 345. The African American Novel
  • ENG 370. The Harlem Renaissance
  • ENG 377. 2PACalypse Now!
  • FRS 312. The Contemporary Francophone World
  • FRS 419. Studies in Francophone Literature and Culture
  • MUS 303. American Music
  • MUS 305. History of Jazz
  • MUS 313 Ethnomusicology in Latin America
  • One credit music ensembles:
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Afro-Cuban Ensemble