Minor and Cluster Requirements

The Frederick Douglass Institute and Department of Black Studies offers a minor and seven clusters.


A minor in Black studies may satisfy a requirement in either humanities or social sciences.

The divisional identity of the minor will be determined by the divisional identity of at least three of the student's elective courses (excluding the one-course history requirement and the required colloquium).

Minor Requirements

One of the following:

  • AAAS 141: African-American History I
  • AAAS 142: African-American History II
  • AAAS 106: Colonial and Contemporary Africa

AAAS 110: Introduction to African and African-American Studies
AAAS 297: Colloquium in African and African-American Studies
Four additional courses in African and African-American studies*

*At least three courses must be at the 200- or 300-level and these courses must include offerings in at least two different disciplines.

For more information about the minor requirements, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.


The institute offers seven Black studies clusters, six of which are in the social science academic division and one in the humanities division.

African American Politics (S1AAS002)

Students taking this cluster gain a deeper understanding of African-American aspects of political science.

Aspects of History (S1AAS001)

This cluster allows students to further their understanding of Black history.

Economics and the African Diaspora (S1AAS003)

Students in the cluster gain a deeper understanding of theoretical and empirical issues that develop over time in economics, with special reference to African and African-American economic development.

Global and African Diasporic Studies (S1AAS005)

This cluster explores topics and issues surrounding Africa and the African Diaspora (defined as peoples who can claim Africa as an important reference in their genealogy). It emphasizes approaches that bridge existing gaps among different cultures, communities and countries that make up the African Diaspora.

Race and Social Issues (S1AAS004)

This cluster looks at issues from a double racial and social approach, emphasizing the need to consider race and class status as fundamental reading parameters in exploring texts, films and cultures.

Representation and Leadership (S1AAS006)

This cluster explores emblematic figures that inspire social and political movements in the United States, Africa, and the African Diaspora.

Visual and Literary Arts of the Diaspora (H1AAS001)

Students in this cluster learn about the significance of visual arts and literature in the lived experience of the African Diaspora.