The African and African-American Studies M.A. program takes two years of full-time study. Nine upper-division and graduate courses, in addition to a thesis or additional course work for a non-thesis option, are required for the degree. 

The Department of African and African-American Studies offers interdisciplinary substantive and language courses leading to the Master of Arts degree in two areas of concentration: (1) African, and (2) African-American studies.

The master's degree program has two related objectives: (1) it fulfills the educational needs of persons who seek positions with organizations in both the public and private sectors, and (2) it prepares persons who desire to pursue the terminal degrees in their field. The program emphasizes the broader concepts in the humanities and the social sciences, but provides an option for concentration in either African or African-American Studies.

The integrative focus of the curriculum is an important characteristic of the interdisciplinary nature of this program. In this regard, the candidate should develop the capacity to continue as a self-educator throughout their career. Broad background study in this field enables the graduate to assimilate newly-acquired skills and methodologies quickly. Graduates should be prepared to cope with the rapid changes in Africa and the African diaspora. The program places considerable emphasis on both the internal and external forces which affect African and African-American societies. The continuity and change in Africa and their impact on world civilizations are emphasized in both the required courses and through electives.

Accommodations are made under African Studies component for Arabic and Islamic Studies concentration, and under African-American Studies component for students who may be interested in an Haitian Studies concentration. Accommodation also exists for members of the Armed Forces to complete their studies on any and all regions of the African continent in less than two years if they are willing to study through summer.

Course Work Required

See recommended plan (PDF)

Students must take a minimum of 33 graduate-level credit hours in approved courses with African and/or African-American content in accordance with the concentration chosen.

18 credit hours shall be in required courses and 15 credit hours shall be in elective courses.

Students, regardless of concentration, will take 4 core courses:

AAAS 801       Introduction to Africana Studies: African American (3)

AAAS 802       Introduction to Africana Studies: African (3)                 

AAAS 803       Research Methods in Africana Studies (3)        

AAAS 804       Seminar in Africana Studies (3)

AAAS 899      Thesis (6) OR 2 additional electives (6) for the non-thesis option

Students shall fulfill a language/research skills requirement in accordance with the concentration chosen.  Language/research skills courses must be at the 500 level or above to be counted toward the 33 hours required for the degree.

Approved elective courses shall normally be in the humanities and social sciences, but courses in the natural sciences and in the professional schools may be approved if the content is deemed appropriate and relevant and if the courses meet all other stipulations set forth in this section.

No more than 6 thesis hours may be applied toward the 33 credit hours.

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