Geography, Sociology, History & African American Studies


Each program in the GSHAA Department serves the State of Illinois and the south and southeast sides of Chicago through accessible, quality instruction employing pertinent scholarly and technological methods; and through scholarship and practice in the interacting arenas, of environment, economy, and community.


The GSHAA Department has an unusual niche within the University, the Chicago region, and within its constituent disciplines, for being a place to study community issues, especially as they touch on development, planning and environmental concerns. At the same time, the Department is uniquely poised to view these issues in global, environmental, cultural, and economic context. A major focus of CSU's contribution to the economic development and social welfare of the Chicago area is through the Department's Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC). Working with faculty and staff, the NAC provides students many opportunities to analyze, develop solutions for, and reflect upon a variety of urban problems. 


The Department of Geography, Sociology, History, African American Studies, and Anthropology (GSHAA) at Chicago State University is a multi-disciplinary academic unit which is committed to providing a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.   The GSHAA department fosters an inclusive, collegial environment which promotes scholarly achievement, research productivity, and service to its diverse student, faculty, and staff population.  GSHAA is focused on extending the educational experience outside the walls of the university through teacher training, the promotion of social justice, and community involvement in Chicago and the region.

Degrees Offered

  • BA History and Africana Studies
  • BA Secondary Teaching Option in History
  • BA Sociology
  • MA History
  • MA Geography
  • MA Geography with GIS concentration

Graduate Certificates Offered

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Community Development

Departmental Minors Offered

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)Geography
  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Gerontology
  • African American Studies
  • History and Africana Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor Offered

  • Environmental Studies (with Chemistry and Biological Sciences)


The GSHAA Department maintains four key facilities for student use in the Williams Science Center on the campus of Chicago State University.

Geography, Sociology, History, African American Studies and Anthropology (GSHAA) Departmental Office:

The GSHAA Department office is located in Williams Science Center - Room 321.  It houses the Department Chair (Dr. Daniel Block) and office support staff.  Information for incoming and current majors and other services are available in the office.

CSU Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory:

The GSHAA department's GIS Laboratory is located in the Williams Science Center - Room 207.  The GIS Lab is equipped with 16 Internet accessible Windows workstations with GIS and image processing applications, networked to a secure server. Specialized software includes ERDAS IMAGINE and IDRISI for image processing and raster GIS, Multispec for image processing, ArcGIS for vector/raster GIS, and SPSS for data analysis. The lab is also equipped with a large format plotter and multiple smaller printers.  The GSHAA department owns a number of Global Positioning Systems receivers for teaching purposes (Trimble and Garmin Geko and eTrex H GPS receivers).

Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC):

The Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC) provides technical and research assistance to neighborhood-based, community, and economic development organizations.  Drawing heavily on the resources and skills of the department, the NAC endeavors to involve faculty and students from across the university in research and creative activities. The NAC applies discipline-specific skills to the solution of neighborhood problems and acts to increase the level of service to the community by the university.  Contact Dr. Daniel Block at (773) 995-2310 or at for more information.