Penn State to Offer African American Studies Doctorate

Just 20 years after the Department of African American Studies was created, Penn State is now accepting applications for the department’s newest doctoral program.

By the Fall 2014 semester, students will be able to enroll in this dual-degree program that pairs African American Studies with the student’s choice of history, philosophy, or English. The program will consist of hands-on research with faculty members who focus on multiple facets of African American culture from slavery to the post-civil rights era.

In 1988, Temple University became the first university in the United States to offer a doctoral degree in African American Studies. Twenty-five years later, Penn State now joins 11 other schools in allowing doctoral studies in the field including Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Indiana, and Michigan State.

Dr. Paul Taylor, the head of the African American Studies program, says students studying in this field will pave the way for better understanding of the African American population over the course of history.

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

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Leo Dillinger

Penn State Junior, Print Journalism Major, Minors in English and Sociology, Writer of Arts, Entertainment, News, Tomfoolery and Opinion.

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