Penn State Now Offers A Graduate Degree In African-American Studies

October 28, 2013  |  

African-American studies no longer comes to an abrupt end after only four years in college. Penn State is allowing students to extend their knowledge on Black history with their new graduate program, Clutch reports.

Twenty years after the program was born, Penn State is following the footsteps of 11 other colleges to offer a doctoral program in African-American studies. The dual-degree curriculum can be coupled with a student’s choice of English, history, or philosophy. “Doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to conduct hands-on research on a variety of topics alongside faculty members,” Clutch explains.

While solid a career as a doctor of African-American studies remains scarce, Paul Taylor, head of Penn State’s African-American Studies program, insists that more channels for Black history education should be created.

“The first generation of African-American studies faculty across the United States will likely move to retirement in the near future,” Taylor told Onward State. “Our program will be well positioned to contribute to the development of the next generation of teachers and scholars across the country.”

While Penn State’s courses will start off with Black American history, Taylor explains that learning will expand to African descendants in Europe and Asia, according to DiverseEducation.com.  “There will be emphasis on U.S. slavery, emancipation, colonial and post-colonial periods up to the civil rights and post-civil rights area in America, but, in addition, our faculty will look at the contemporary forms of globalization and migration,” Taylor adds.

By the Fall 2014 semester, applicants can enroll in Penn State’s new African-American studies PhD program.

In 1988, Temple University was the first institution in America to offer a doctoral degree in African American studies. Since then universities including the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Harvard, Yale and Northwestern have created graduate programs in Black studies, DiverseEducation.com concluded.

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