Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphasis in Black Studies

General Requirements: 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 Black Studies Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara has launched the Black Studies Emphasis (BSE) for students enrolled in doctoral programs in the departments of Comunications, History, Feminist Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Chicana and Chicano Studies (in the College of Letters and Science), and the department of Education (in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education). Faculties 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.

Admission to the BSE 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 candidates’ doctoral work and will be considered throughout the academic year. Black Studies Emphasis students are encouraged to apply to TA 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

Application for Ph.D. Emphasis

Likely Course Offerings

Fall Quarter:

  • SOC 216D: Special Topics in Race, Ethnicity, and Nation

Winter Quarter:

  • BLST 208: Black Studies Epistemologies and Pedagogies

Spring Quarter:

  • BLST 206: Graduate Proseminar
  • SOC 214A-C: Introduction to Race, Ethnicity, and Nation

* Notes courses that are required as part of the Black Studies Emphasis.

Click here to download the "Likely Course Offerings" file



Undergraduate Advisor

Theresa Rodriguez


Room 3631 South Hall

Advising Hours

By appointment, Monday - Friday 

Contact Info
Tel: 805-893-7624
Fax: 805-893-3597