The Black Canadian Studies Certificate introduces the study of Black Canada through four specific humanities and fine arts approaches: cultural studies, history, literature, and music. In providing a core of courses that consider the humanities and fine arts aspects of Black cultures in the Americas and their particular convergence in Canada the certificate is unique across North America.

While you may have access to other programs that deal with race and racism, theoretical questions of import to how Blackness operates as a unique racial and cultural category are often elided in generalized approaches to thinking about race. The purpose of this certificate is an integrated examination of the historical, cultural and various expressive productions of people of African descent in the Americas through the lens of Black Canada. The certificate, thus, goes beyond a desire to transform social attitudes toward racialized peoples to a study of Black cultures and histories as a valuable enterprise in and of itself.

You may easily complete the certificate alongside your existing undergraduate degree program. This allows you to combine the disciplinary skills of your degree with the transferable writing, critical thinking and research skills foundational to a humanities education, while acquiring knowledge of Black cultures critical to a range of professional fields. The certificate will be particularly useful for students interested in a career in education, social services, law, business, journalism, advertising, media, the arts and public policy.

Stand-Alone Option

Students seeking to pursue the certificate as a stand-alone program must apply to the Office of Admissions using the on-line application form for future students.



The Certificate may be taken as a stand-alone option or combined with an existing Major or double Major degree. Students completing the Black Canadian Studies Certificate must, in compliance with Senate requirements for an undergraduate disciplinary certificate, complete a total of 24 credits.  They will satisfy their 24 credits by drawing on a select group of courses that reflect the certificate’s specific humanities and fine arts approaches (cultural studies, history, literature, and music) and professional application component, as follows:

1. Pre-requisite at the 1000-level, AP/HUMA 1300 9.0 Cultures of Resistance in the Americas.

Successful completion of HUMA 1300 9.0 (or equivalent) is a pre-requisite for admission into the certificate program. The prerequisite will not count for credits toward the certificate but is required to proceed through the program. Students wishing to take the certificate are strongly encouraged to take HUMA 1300 for their Humanities General Education requirement in their first year.

2. Second-year core course, AP/HUMA 2310 6.0 Caribbean Identities and the Canadian Experience.

3. Eighteen (18) credits at the 3000-level or higher.

The 18 credits include nine required credits in Humanities, six required credits in History, and three additional credits chosen from among courses in English, Music, Public Policy and Administration, Business and Society, or the Black Canadian Studies placement course.

Fifteen required credits at the 3000 and 4000-level in Humanities and History:

AP/HUMA 3165 3.0 Griots to Emcees: Examining Culture, Performance and Spoken Word (same as AP/CLTR 3165 3.0)
AP/HUMA 3315 3.0 Black Literatures and Cultures in Canada
AP/HUMA 3318 3.0 Black Popular Culture (same as AP/CLTR 3318 3.0)
AP/HIST 3535 6.0 African Canadian History or AP/HIST 4830 6.0 In Slavery and Freedom: Blacks in the Americas

Three credits at the 3000 and 4000-level chosen from among the following:

FA/MUSI 3406 3.0 History of Gospel Music
FA/MUSI 3510 3.0 African American Popular Music
AP/HUMA 4306 6.0 Imagining Slavery and Freedom
AP/HUMA 3316 3.0 Black Women’s Writing
AP/EN 3410 3.0 Caribbean Literature
AP/HUMA 4305 3.0 Black Canadian Studies Placement
AP/PPAS 4052 3.0 Race, Ethnicity and Social Policy (same as AP/MIST 4052 3.0)
AP/SOSC 3043. 3.0 Comparative Perspectives on Social Exclusion and Business

4. The cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all 24 credits must be 4.0 or greater.

5. At least 12 of the credits counted toward the certificate requirements must be in addition to those used to satisfy requirements of the undergraduate program major.

For further information, please contact the interim certificate coordinator Professor Leslie Sanders at 416-736-2100 Ext. 66604 or leslie@yorku.ca.