Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Construct knowledge based timeline which outlines evidence of seminal African American contributions to American history and American society.
  • Interpret and compare current events and other contexts of human struggle based on their knowledge of historical global systems within the paper collected from core courses.
  • Examine the origins and historical experience of Blacks in the Americas from the perspective of several African American scholars.
  • Evaluate seminal ideas through researching the works of major scholars in the various disciplines encompassing the canon of African American Studies.
  • Create well-written critical responses to articulate and communicate their analyses of course lectures and activities.

Program Requirements:

Students who elect to earn a minor in Black Studies must meet with the Black Studies undergraduate advisor to begin a plan of study prior to enrolling in courses toward the minor. There are 18 credit hours of prescribed coursework, of which nine hours must be at the 300- or 400-levels, and a minimum of nine hours must be earned at UMKC.

Required Coursework
BLKS 201Global Systems and the Origins of Black American Culture and Institutions3
BLKS 302Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations in African American Studies3
BLKS 403WIWriting for African American Studies3
BLKS 404Research Seminar3
Electives3
Arts of African and New World Cultures (Humanities Focus)
Critical Health Issues in Black Communities (Social Science Focus)
The Black Family and Male-Female Relationships (Social Science Focus)
African American Literature I (Humanities Focus)
African American Novel (Humanities Focus)
African American Business Development (Social Science Focus)
African American Literature II (Humanities Focus)
From Field Shout to Hip Hop: African American Poetic Traditions (Humanities Focus)
Stages Toward Freedom: African American Dramatic Traditions (Humanities Focus)
The Civil Rights Movement in African American Literature (Humanities Focus)
Women's Literature in Africa and the African Diaspora (Humanities Focus)
Symbols and Codes from the Diaspora: African American Visual Arts Survey (Humanities Focus)
African American Art History: Part I, 1600-1960 (Humanities Focus)
African American Art History: Part II, 1960-Present Day (Humanities Focus)
Directed Studies or Internship3
Internship in Black Studies
Directed Study/Research
Total Credits18

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 wishing to graduate with a Minor in Black Studies must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 (cannot be below a "C") in Black Studies courses.

To learn more about the Black Studies Program, please click here.