Students sitting at conference table.

Black Studies Minor

The Black Studies Minor is an 18-credit minor that uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyze historical and current issues of people of African descent in the United States. The minor affords students the opportunity to explore multiple academic disciplines through the lens of the Black experience and consider personal views about race and racism, using anti-Black racism as a framework for understanding.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Minor
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Program Contact
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Illustration of Mountain

The Time to Join... is NOW!

Students will consider ways to promote racial equity and become leaders and social activists within their respective communities. The Black Studies Minor is designed to attract students from all fields of study and complement all majors.

Course Delivery Format



  Lock Haven






Courses and Curriculum

3 Required Courses | 9 Credits

ISTD 120—Antiracism, Equity, and Social Responsibility

ISTD 220—An Introduction to Exploring Black Studies

ISTD 320—Special Topics in Black Studies

Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

3 Courses | 9 Credits

  • SOWK 200 Diversity and Social Justice
  • SOC 202 Racial and Ethnic Relations
  • PSY 331 Psychology of Race
  • ENG 281 Civil Rights Novel 
  • ENG 282 African American Literature 
  • POL Race and Politics in the US 
  • HIS African American History
  • HIS History of Africa 
  • HIS Pre-colonial Africa 
  • PHIL Philosophy of Africa 
  • ANT Race and Human Variation 
  • COM Communicating Identity and Difference
  • (TBD) Art of Africa and Oceana

Students who successfully complete the Black Studies Minor will be able to:

  1. Identify, explain, and critically evaluate examples of anti-Black racism in past and present institutions, policies, cultures, and practice using an interdisciplinary approach.
  2. Identify, explain and critically evaluate how race, culture, and history shape one’s social identity and place in society using an interdisciplinary approach.
  3. Compare, contrast, and synthesize disciplinary approaches to exploring Black Studies.
  4. Explore courses from at least two disciplines that focus on Black Studies including but not limited to African and African-American art, communication, culture, education, history, literature, music, political science, psychology, sociology, and theatre in order to gain a multi-disciplinary perspective.
  5. Identify, explain, and critically evaluate personal, academic, professional, and/or institutional pathways to promote racial equity within one’s sphere of influence. 
Illustration of Mountain

Commonwealth U Because


Faculty deliver courses in technology-enhanced classrooms with vast multimedia capabilities. Students can access open computer labs and campus wireless network when using personally-owned devices.  Students can request technology resources from their campus library and media services.

Flexible Start Dates & a Diverse Student Population

Scheduling life is demanding. If you're a student who needs to get a degree within the traditional four years, but can't achieve this because of limited course offerings, interdisciplinary studies gives you the freedom and flexibility to select from a wider assortment of options that may uniquely appeal to you, or which provide the flexibility of scheduling courses that, especially for students with family or work obligations, need to accommodate a limited window of availability.


Commonwealth University allows you to earn up to 15 internship credits and have them count toward your degree at CU. Expectations are negotiated with the faculty sponsor but usually include, at a minimum: a daily log, a reaction paper, an abstract, and a positive evaluation from the site supervisor. In order to be eligible for internship credit, you must have completed 60 credits and have a 2.5 overall GPA. 


From honorariums to full-tuition waivers, scholarships exist to reward your hard work and dedication to the major.

Study Abroad

Traveling to exotic locations such as Madrid or Melbourne can be exciting and life changing, but there is always the concern that study abroad will negatively affect your progress toward graduation. With an interdisciplinary studies major, you can typically study abroad for a semester, or even a full year, without the loss of credits toward the completion of your degree.

Applying to This Program


  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step process whether you're a first-year student, transferring to CU, or more.

  • Apply Now

    By starting your application, you gain access to your personalized application portal to view your progress.

  • Scholarships

    As the largest comprehensive university in north central and northeastern Pennsylvania, CommonwealthU works hard to provide a world-class education that consistently rates among the best values in the nation.

Explore More

Program Coordinator Contact