Course Requirements

Core Courses

Students are required to complete four core courses (16-quarter hours).  The core courses are designed to accomplish three goals: to introduce students to the goals of the Program; to emphasize the Vincentian tenet that questions of human value undergird scholarly inquiry; and to strengthen an understanding of the interrelationships and dynamics among and between Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and the United States.

Courses in an Area of Concentration

For this requirement, students must take six courses (24-quarter hours) at the 300 level which should focus on one region of the Black World: Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, or the United States and its respective relation to other regions of the world.  These six concentration courses are designed to provide students with a body of knowledge about a particular region of study.  Students who wish to take a 200 level course in partial fulfillment of this requirement must petition the African and Black Diaspora Studies Program Steering Committee for approval.  These courses build upon the general foundation of knowledge provided by the core courses and serve to augment and extend student knowledge about a particular region of Africa or the Black Diaspora and its relationship to other areas of the Program, and inquiry (culture, gender, history, power, and race) impact a specific region.  These courses incorporate an explicit discussion of at least two of the five sites of inquiry into the syllabus.

The framework below outlines the kinds of courses that students will be required to take. To insure that students are exposed to a variety of methodological approaches, students will be required to take three courses in the social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, geography, history, international studies, psychology, political science, and sociology) and humanities (e.g., American studies, history of art and architecture, literature, Latin American & Latino studies, modern languages, music, philosophy, religious studies, and theatre).  Each student, in consultation with his or her advisor, which is mandatory, will design a concentration that is attentive to comparative analysis.

Major Electives

Students in the Program will be able to take two courses as major field electives (eight-quarter hours). Such courses are designed to provide students with an opportunity to take courses related to their field of concentration in African and Black Diaspora Studies and at the same time extend their academic preparation through coursework in allied fields. The selection of electives will be done in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.


This senior seminar (four quarter hours) engages students in a synthesis of what they have learned through coursework. The capstone course will involve reading, writing, discussion, as well as the preparation by students a substantive piece of work (e.g., a senior thesis, a research paper, or a creative work).

Open Electives​

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.