Department of Black Studies

Contact Information:
Campus Location: 1223 University Hall (UH)
(312) 996–2950

Head, Jane Rhodes

Black Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the history, politics, and cultural production of persons of African descent both locally and globally. Courses in the major consider the United States, Africa, and the global dispersal of persons of African descent, including the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. The department has strong links to community organizations and social movements in Chicago, across the United States, and internationally. Students are encouraged to use their training to address "real world" problems and conflicts. Black Studies offers a liberal arts education that develops skills in critical thinking, research methods, theory building, analysis, and written and oral expression.

A Black Studies major is excellent preparation for any field of public service (including health care, social work, and education), policy and government, the arts, and media, as well as advanced graduate and professional work in fields ranging from the law to history, literature, and sociology.


To be considered for Departmental Distinction, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00, a GPA of 3.50/4.00 in all African American Studies courses, and meet all course requirements for a major in Black Studies.
To be eligible for High or Highest Distinction, the student must have a grade point average of 3.75/4.00 in all Black Studies courses. In addition, eligible students must submit a final project for departmental review that demonstrates excellent work and must make a seminar presentation on this project to a session of Black Studies majors and faculty. The determination of high or highest distinction will be made by the faculty on the basis of the grade point average, the project, and the presentation.