Black Studies

Black Studies Minor

Grounded in activism from the 1950s to the 1970s, Black Studies is an interdisciplinary minor that explores African American and diasporic history and culture and prepares students to become scholars and engaged members of local and global black communities

Students on campus

Black Studies At a Glance


Associated faculty members


Related study away opportunities

Black Studies provides critical and creative tools for students to become agents of change.

Weaving academic excellence with grounded activism, students learn the deep connections between systems of power, the historical constructions of race, contemporary production of knowledge, racial justice, and how change begins by interacting with local black communities. The program is grounded in having students learn the complexity of Blackness locally and globally through interdisciplinary perspectives. Students learn to synthesize:





Global Health


Community Justice

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Understanding Black cultures and race as a social construct of power is essential for becoming scholars and agents of change.

Students learn key concepts in the field, how to ask new questions that center Black cultures and race, and understand how contemporary activism and scholarship is grounded in the discipline's activist roots.

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Students start to build their interdisciplinary program in consultation with their mentors by drawing on courses from across campus that bring their interests into focus.

Students Listening

This is an important year as students learn the central role critical race theory plays in blending knowledge and activism. They also continue to build their minor from electives offered across campus.

Students Listening, year 3

Students engage in a capstone course that synthesizes the minor and asks them to reflect on how they might draw on what they've learned in Black Studies as they think about their lives after graduating from Allegheny.

Studying outside

Creative and critical thinking and communication in communities

Students learn these key outcomes by studying theory and content alongside grounded and distinctive research methods that engage and integrate everyday experiences of African American and diasporic communities.

Intersectional Awareness

Students learn the centrality of how gender, sexuality, religion, age, class, and nationality intersects with race.

Ureka Ajawara , Alumna

Biology Major/Black Studies Minor, Class of 2016

“ I have been challenged to integrate the material across many different disciplines and to think critically about how these varying areas of academia add to not just the understanding of race and racism in the modern world but also a comprehension of the oppression faced by all types of marginalized people. ”

Next Steps

Early Decision App Deadline

November 15, 2022

Regular Decision App Deadline

February 15, 2023

For More Info

Barbara Shaw


(814) 332-2097