The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.
Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.
Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.
Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating from this program will:
- Analyze the experience, contributions, and condition of African-descent peoples in the evolution and formation of American society and culture.
- Examine the active role of Africa and the African Diaspora in global society and human culture.
- Apply Black Studies curriculum as a critical tool to analyze the human experience generally.
- Compare the breadth and depth of perspectives that give respect and voice to the Black experience.
- Apply social science and humanistic approaches to examine human society and culture.
- Demonstrate professional written and oral communication skills.
Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework
|Anchor I (ANCH 102 Recommended) 1||3|
|Anchor II 1||3|
|Anchor III 1||3|
|DISC 100||Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)||3|
|DISC 200||Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)||3|
|DISC 300||Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)||3|
|Focus A 1||3|
|Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)|
|Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below) 1|
|Focus Elective 1||3|
|'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.|
See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.
Constitution Course Requirement
Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.”
Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:
|Choose one of the following:||3|
|The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process|
|U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1|
|U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1|
|Constitutional History of the United States|
|Honors American Government (Focus C) 1|
|American Government (Focus C) 1|
Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.
There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:
- Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
- Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
- Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
- Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
- Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.
College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements
Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Addition details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.
|ALEKS Math Placement|
|Arts and Humanities Division of CAS (Satisfied in program requirements below) 1|
|Science and Math Division of CAS (Satisfied in program requirements below)|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS (Satisfied in program requirements below)|
|Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; Satisfied in program requirements below)|
|Foreign Language (3rd Semester Level)||9|
|MATH 110||College Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course) 2||3|
|or MATH 116||Mathematics For Liberal Arts|
|Laboratory Science Experience||1|
This requirement may be fulfilled by courses from either the UMKC General Education Core or the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements.
B.L.A. Requirements with Black Studies Emphasis
|Natural Sciences Area||18|
|Social Sciences Area||18|
The Emphasis Area Requirements outlined below may contribute to completion of BLA distribution requirements above.
Black Studies Emphasis Area Requirements
The emphasis area in Black Studies assists undergraduate students who want to obtain graduate and professional degrees in a variety of fields (master’s degrees, Ph.D.’s, law, public health, counseling, social work, educational administration, business, journalism, social work, medicine, library or information science, public policy, public administration, and so on) where specialized knowledge of the broad-based experiences and perspectives of African descent peoples would be useful. At the same time, students learn skill sets that are applicable to a wide variety of circumstances, which prepare them for entry-level positions in private industry, government, and public or non-profit agencies.
Students must take 30 hours of Black Studies courses to complete the emphasis area in Black Studies under the Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree. A minimum of 24 hours of Black Studies courses must be at the 300 or 400 level or above. A minimum of 24 credit hours in Black Studies must be earned at UMKC.
Students declaring the Black Studies Emphasis under the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (B.L.A.) must meet with the Black Studies undergraduate advisor to begin a plan of study prior to enrolling in courses.
Twelve of the 30 hours of coursework must include the Core Black Studies courses:
|BLKS 201||Global Systems and the Origins of Black American Culture and Institutions||3|
|BLKS 302||Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations in African American Studies||3|
|BLKS 403WI||Writing for African American Studies||3|
|BLKS 404||Research Seminar||3|
|BLKS 490||Directed Study/Research||3|
|or BLKS 496||Internship in Black Studies|
|Interest Area Electives||15|
Beyond the 15 hours of required core courses, students may pursue either a Humanities interest area in Literature and Culture or a Social Science interest area in Institutions and Social Process (within the field of Black Studies), two areas already existing as divisions in the B.L.A. degree.
Humanities Interest Area—Literature and Culture (15 credits):
- Under this interest area the Black Studies emphasis will require four courses (12 credits) from the humanities interest area and one course (3 credits) from the social science interest area.
Social Science Interest Area—Institutions and Social Process (15 credits):
- Under this interest area the Black Studies emphasis will require four courses (12 credits) from the social science interest area and one course (3 credits) from the humanities interest area.
Examples of elective undergraduate courses in Black Studies are:
|BLKS 315||Arts of African and New World Cultures (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 320||Critical Health Issues in Black Communities (Social Science Focus)||3|
|BLKS 321||The Black Family and Male-Female Relationships (Social Science Focus)||3|
|BLKS 331||African American Literature I (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 332WI||African American Novel (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 333||African American Literature II (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 325||African American Business Development (Social Science Focus)||3|
|BLKS 334||From Field Shout to Hip Hop: African American Poetic Traditions (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 335||Stages Toward Freedom: African American Dramatic Traditions (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 337||The Civil Rights Movement in African American Literature (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 338||Women's Literature in Africa and the African Diaspora (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 349||Symbols and Codes from the Diaspora: African American Visual Arts Survey (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 351||African American Art History: Part I, 1600-1960 (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 410||African American Art History: Part II, 1960-Present Day (Humanities Focus)||3|
|BLKS 496||Internship in Black Studies (Designate Focus with Adviser)||1-3|
Examples of Black Studies, Special Topics BLKS 480 courses with a Humanities Focus are:
- African American Experience in Literature (1773-1960)
- African American Migrations in Literature
- Contemporary African American Literature
- Film Adaptations in African American Literary Text
- Introduction to Caribbean Literature and Film
Examples of Black Studies, Special Topics BLKS 480 courses with a Social Science Focus are:
- From Vaudeville to Rhythm and Blues
- Hip-Hop's Influence on African Americans and American Society
- Kansas City and the Black Experience
- Race, Class and Justice
- Racial and Ethnic Relations
Students are strongly encouraged to take the remaining 3 hours of coursework as an approved community engagement project/research under Directed Study, BLKS 490 or through Internship, BLKS 496. Because faculty consent is required in order to enroll in the Directed Study or Internship options, students should begin building an academic relationship with the Black Studies faculty member whose academic background can best guide them.
Students cannot earn credit toward the Emphasis Area in Black Studies with a grade below a "C" in a Black Studies course.
To graduate with an Emphasis Area in Black Studies, students must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 in all courses accepted toward the emphasis area.
For more information on the Black Studies Program, please visit http://cas.umkc.edu/blackstudies/.
Minimum GPA: 2.0
Total Credit Hours: 120
Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements
UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years. Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”. In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.
UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study. This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.