Cultural and Social Analysis Concentration


Public Policy Concentration



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Minor in Black Women's Studies


The African American Studies Department (AASD) and the Department of Women's Studies proudly announces a new joint minor in Black Women's Studies. Drawing on the theoretical, methodological and pedagogical insights of the field of black women's studies, this interdisciplinary minor emphasizes the lives and experiences of women of Africa and the African Diaspora by drawing broadly from the humanities, social sciences, history, and the arts.

The field of Black Women's Studies is a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary field which has developed dramatically in the past three decades with an outpouring and depth of intellectual productivity in both the humanities and social sciences. As a growing specialty in the fields of both Women's Studies and African American Studies, Black Women's Studies (BWST) has addressed a history of exclusion of Black women's lives and experiences in Women's Studies and has filled the lacunae about Black women which developed in African American Studies as a result of its intellectual trajectory that focused primarily on Black men.

Following such noteworthy scholarly achievements as the hallmark publication of Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, in 1984; the establishment of the Association of Black Women Historians in 1979 that annually awards prestigious book and article prizes that have been won by some of the most noted contemporary American historians; the two Black Women and the Academy Conferences at MIT & Howard, and the founding of the journal, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism in 2000 at Smith College, this specialty has come of age as a valued field of academic inquiry, engaged in intellectually rigorous and exciting scholarship, recognized throughout the academy.

The University of Maryland is in a unique position because it is recognized as a national and international leader is the field. Housed in the Departments of African American Studies, Women's Studies their respective and over-lapping affiliates are a group of faculty whose stature and a stellar reputations are continuously reaffirmed through publication of books, monographs and articles, as well as grants, awards, prizes, fellowships, exceptional professional service and academic productivity. The requirements for this minor are designed to ensure that students become knowledgeable about the comparative, historical, humanistic and social scientific approaches of this specialty.

The minor in Black Women's Studies draws on cross cultural, humanistic and socioeconomic perspectives to provide a coherent interdisciplinary approach to the study of Black women's lives and history. As a specialty in the fields of Women's Studies and African American Studies, it will provide students with tools for understanding the social and cultural contexts in which race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nation and other dimensions of difference intersect to influence the lives and experiences of Black women. As an interdisciplinary, comparative course of study, the minor will explore the cultural practices and creative activities of women of Africa and the African Diaspora. In addition, through this course of study, students will analyze how Black women have empowered themselves through community work, political activism, and cultural production. Fifteen credits of coursework are required. Interested students are asked to contact the AASD academic advisor at (301) 405-1158.

Program of Study for a Minor in Black Women's Studies - Fifteen (15) credit hours of coursework required

Specific course requirements:

WMST263:    Introduction to Black Women's Studies OR
AASP298B:    Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community AND
AASP 313:    Black Women in U.S. History



Nine (9) credit hours to be selected from the approved course listing (see below).

  • One course must be comparative or non-US.
  • At least two courses must be at the 300-400 level.
  • No more than 6 credit hours may be taken at institutions other than UMCP.
  • No more than 6 credit hours can be applied towards a major.
  • Students must earn a "C" or above in each course applied toward the minor.
  • Admission is open to all UMCP undergraduates.


Approved Courses

WMST 263    Introduction to Black Women's Studies
AASP298B    Construction of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community
AASP 313    Black Women in U.S. History
WMST 298    Black Women's Art and Culture
THET 240    African Americans in Film and Theater
HIST 319    Women in the Civil Rights Movement
WMST 360    Caribbean Women
ENGL 362    Caribbean Literature
ENGL 368    Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora
AASD498D    Women of the African Diaspora
AASP 483    Gender, Sexuality, and the Black Family
AASP 493    Feminist and Nationalist Thought in Black Communities
WMST 498    Black Feminist Thought
WMST 498    Womanisms and Feminisms: Theories and Methods (proposed course)
WMST 498    Black Women in the Public Eye


Please contact the AASD academic advisor at 301-405-1158 for more information and to schedule an advising appointment.


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AASD Certificate Program


The Certificate program is a 21 credit-hour complementary study component which offers students an excellent opportunity to develop a specialization in African American issues while pursuing an undergraduate degree in another field. Students may select the cultural and social analysis concentration or public policy concentration in AASD.

Segment 1: The Foundation Courses (9 credit-hours)

Students must take AASP 100, AASP 101, and AASP 200 or AASP 202.

Segment 2:

9 credit-hours of AASP upper division level electives. (300 level or above)

Segment 3:

3 credit-hour seminar, AASP 400 or AASP 402.

Note: No more than 9 credit-hours may be taken at institutions other than UMCP. No more than 9 credit-hours which apply toward a major may be used toward the above stated required certificate program hours. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for each course applied towards certificate completion.

For more information on obtaining a certificate in African American Studies, please contact Academic Advisor, Marshal Washington at (301) 405-1161. Mr. Washington will meet with prospective certificate students and explain the certificate requirements in detail.

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