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Academic Programs

The Black Studies Department offers several options for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students interested in Black Studies. We also offer courses in the School of Gender, Race, and Nations graduate certificate program. Please review the programs and/or links to programs found below.


CHECK OUT OUR NEW BLACKCropped image of the cover of our Black Studies program brochure



Interested in attending Portland State University and declaring a major, minor, or certificate in Black Studies? Start by going to this one of these two links: 

PSU Admissions Office

PSU Undergraduate Admissions

Advising and Career Services offers information on what students have to look forward to when they major in a specific discipline. For some students its about personal growth, doing good for the community, earning a living, preparing for an advanced degree, or some other reason. Visit What Can I do With a Degree in Black Studies? for more help. Here is an article on "Why Not Take a Black Studies Class". 

Undergraduate Degree Options

Requirements for Major

In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements for completing a B.A. or B.S., candidates enrolled in the Black Studies major must meet the 60-credit minimum. Courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/no pass) are not acceptable toward fulfilling the major requirements in the area of specialization. At least 26 of the total 60 credits required for the major or 45 of the total credits presented for graduation must be taken in residence at Portland State University. A minimum 2.50 GPA is required in courses taken for the major.

Bachelor of Science Degree Map (PDF)

Bachelor of Arts Degree Map (PDF)

Requirements for Minor

To earn a minor in black studies a student must complete 28 credits (12 credits of which must be taken in residence at PSU), to include the following: eight credits in lower division, 12 credits in upper division, and eight adviser-approved credits chose from courses within departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Requirements for Postbaccalaureate Certificate

A B.A. or B.S. is a prerequisite for a certificate in black studies. Candidates for the Black Studies certificate must satisfy the requirements outlined below. Completion of 36 credits is required for the certification in black studies. It is recommended that of these 36 credits, 24 credits be Department of Black Studies course offerings. Twenty-four credits will be upper-division courses within an area of specialization constructed with the consent of the adviser and approval of faculty.

All courses used to satisfy certificate requirements need not be Black Studies courses, but can include appropriate courses in other departments as approved by an adviser. Students may focus on the African American, Caribbean, or African experiences. Courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/ no pass) are not acceptable toward fulfilling certificate requirements.


Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in the

School of Gender, Race, and NationsBlack Studies Brochure


In order to be admitted as a graduate student at PSU, visit the Graduate Admissions site.

For detailed information on how to apply, please see the Gender, Race, and Nations Graduate Certificate site.