The Department of Black Studies


Undergraduate Programs in Black Studies

The Black Studies curriculum is a multi-disciplinary with courses drawn from history, humanities, sociology, psychology, political science and economics. While there is no language requirement for the major, students interested in study of travel in Africa are encouraged to acquire reading and / or speaking ability in KiSwahili. Although fieldwork is not required of Black studies majors, students are strongly urged to participate for credit in a field activity or internship with private organizations and local and state agencies that impact the lives of Black people. For those students who wish to work one-on-one with a faculty member, independent study is available. An independent study project requires that the student choose a research topic to pursue for credit under the advisement and guidance of a faculty mentor. 


Black Studies - Liberal Arts (33 credits)
Required Courses - (12 credits)
Core courses - (12 credits)
One Each From: Historical, Humanities, Socio-Psychological, Political-Economic
Electives - (9 credits)


Black Studies - Elementary Education B-2 and 1-6 (30 credits)
Required Courses - (12 credits)
Core courses - (18 credits)
Six courses from either the historical or language arts cores.


MINOR: Black Studies- (18 credits)


At the point of graduation, the department awards distinction to those persons who, in addition to maintaining high overall academic grades in their studies, achieve a 3.4 grade point average as a Black Studies major. Each year the department selects one graduate as the Outstanding Black Studies Major of the Year.


Black Studies courses highly recommended/required for freshmen considering the major or minor:

BLK100 Introduction to Black Studies SSCI
BLK200 Introduction to Africa WRLD
BLK201 Black History I DIVR
BLK202 Black History II DIVR
BLK211 Black Sociology DIVR
BLK221 The Black Woman  
BLK268 Survey of Black American Literature HUM
BLK285 Introduction to Black Psychology WRLD
BLK272 Rap and Spoken Word HUM

The following KiSwahili courses in Foreign Languages are highly recommended for Black Studies majors and minors. KiSwahili is the most widely spoken African language and meets the Language Requirement in General Education.

KIS101 Elementary KiSwahili I FLNG
KIS102 Elementary KiSwahili II FLNG

The following courses open to freshmen fulfill the requirement for electives for Black Studies majors and minors:

BLK231 Development of Afro-Latin American Civilization 1492-1825
BLK232 Contemporary Afro-American Civilization Since 1825
BLK250 Malcolm X: The Man and His Times
BLK260 Essence of Black Music
BLK263 Black Dance
BLK269 Black Poetry and Drama

Note: The Black Studies major can lead students to careers in many areas including social welfare, politics, education, and law. For further information, consult the SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Catalog, or call the Department of Black Studies at (845) 257-2760