Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphasis in Black Studies

The Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara has launched the Black Studies Emphasis (BSE) for students enrolled in doctoral programs in the departments of Chicana/Chicano Studies, Communications, Education, English, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, History, Linguistics, and Political Science. Faculty in these units routinely work together exchanging scholarly perspectives, launching interdisciplinary projects, and training graduate students. The BSE builds on our university’s great strengths in Race Studies, Comparative Ethnicity, and the Black experience, and positions UCSB as a leader in Black Studies and Social Justice research and pedagogy.

Students are required to successfully complete five (5) courses, designed to develop a critical and analytical understanding of racial theory and pedagogy as well as the study of Black people in local and global contexts. The BSE course requirement sheet is listed below.

Admission into the BSE program is highly selective. In addition to course work, candidates must select a Black Studies faculty member to serve on their dissertation committee. Applications may be submitted at any stage in a candidate's doctoral work and will be considered throughout the academic year. Black Studies Emphasis students are encouraged to apply to TA for Black Studies undergraduate courses as part of their training in Black Studies pedagogies, methodologies, and subject matter.

The Black Studies Emphasis focuses on five broad areas of inquiry:

  1. Race Studies, including local, national, and transnational regimes
  2. The Black Studies traditions of criticality, activism, social justice, sustainability, and transgressive epistemology
  3. Sexual and Gender Studies
  4. African Culture and Identity in America and throughout the Diaspora
  5. Comparative Ethnic Studies Likely


BSE Application Process

  • Interested applicants must complete and submit the application, Application for Ph.D. Emphasis
  • Applications can be submited to Milla Wu
  • Complete applications will be reviewed by the department's Graduate Committee which is comprsied of select Black Studies faculty
  • Applicants will be notified of the department's decision
  • If admitted into the BSE program, students must also submit a Change of Major petition to the Graduate Divison so the emphasis is added to their record and will appear on official transcripts. 


BSE Course Offerings by Department

Spring 2024 - BLST 208 with Dr. Sabrina Strings.



Undergraduate Advisor

Milla Wu


Room 3631 South Hall

Advising Hours

Summer 2023: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday 

Please contact me me prior to meeting so I can best prepare to advise you. 

Contact Info