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Black World Studies at Miami University

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"Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. We are excited to have you as part of the Black World Studies family."
[Read the Director's Message.]

Black World Studies logoThe Black World Studies program (BWS), inaugurated at Miami University in 1976, is an interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Science open to all undergraduates.

BWS offers a unique opportunity for students to enhance their understanding of the historical, social, religious, cultural and political experiences, values and expressions of Africans and people of African descent in the U.S. and throughout the world. It focuses on the changing constructions of race, class, and gender in local and global contexts.

Moreover, the study of African diasporic communities will better prepare all students to cope with the ever-increasing demands of a multicultural world. This program stresses critical thinking, reflection, social justice and informed action.
[See also Mission & Learning Outcomes.]


Students can earn a Bachelor's degree (major) and a minor in this field of study. The program offers a variety of learning opportunities including courses, summer workshops, service projects and research. It emphasizes clear, reliable and accurate knowledge about the black diaspora, critical thinking, reflection and informed action. Ultimately, the study of the unique cultural and historical experiences of Africans in the diaspora is intended to prepare students to meet the challenges of the increasingly multi-racial and culturally diverse world in which they live or will encounter in the workplace of the future.


Critical Inquiry: The Penny Lecture Series is a unique series of lectures given by some of the best scholars/teachers at Miami University. Students taking this course for credit must enroll in BWS/DST/SJS/SOC/GTY 265. [View the Spring 2013 schedule. (PDF)]

Students with an undergraduate major in Black World Studies will find career opportunities in the fields of:

  • education
  • communication
  • business/industry
  • government
  • human services (nationally or internationally)

Those who seek a graduate degree may choose history, political science, English, sociology, business, urban planning, historic preservation, or law.

The BWS program connects students with career specialists for post-graduate planning and encourages them to be informed participants on the job and in the community.

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