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. All the faculty members of the Department of African and African-American Studies hold graduate faculty appointments.

  • Application Deadline for Fall: May 1
  • Application Deadline for Spring: October 1
    (for details see table below)

The Department of African and African-American Studies offers an 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 in African and African-American Studies 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 his/her 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.

Required courses emphasize basic tool areas, such as research methods and languages. Through elective courses the student may obtain a concentration in an area of African or African-American Studies. All students, except those in the non-thesis option, must prepare and defend an M. A. thesis.

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 (an introduction to African-American Studies, an introduction to African Studies, a research methods course, and a seminar).

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.

Common Requirements for the African and African-American Concentrations                      

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)

Prospective students are admitted to the M. A. program for the fall or spring semester. The deadline to submit applications for fall is MAY I. The deadline to submit applications for spring is OCT I. Online applications can be completed and submitted through the KU Graduate Studies website.

 

Admission Requirements include:

  • Graduate Application
  • All academic transcripts (transcripts can be uploaded and attached to the online application).
  • GRE scores (KU Code: 6871)
  • TOEFL required (if student's native language is not English)
  • Personal statement of purpose explaining your academic objectives
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified individuals, preferring most recent professors.
  • Sample of your writing- A paper from a previous course should be satisfactory.

Transcripts, statement of purpose and writing sample can be uploaded and attached to the online application. Letters of recommendation can also be an online process.

Contact:

The University of Kansas
African & African-American Studies
Bailey  Hall 
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 9
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: (785) 864-3054
Email: afs@ku.edu

 

African & African-American Studies Application Form 

*For general information about KU Graduate Studies, visit the Graduate School Web site.

 





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KU announces first Diversity Leadership Awards
Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Langston Hughes Center received a $180,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a June 2017 summer institute for high school teachers, entitled "Teaching the 'Long Hot Summer' of 1967 and Beyond."  The project will be led by Shawn Alexander, Clarence Lang, and John Rury.


Teresa Leslie-Canty, AAAS Lecturer and a Topeka High School teacher, nominated by her students in February, won a free Nissan Versa Tuesday night as the KSNT News and Capital City Nissan of Topeka “Teacher of the Year”. Teresa Leslie-Canty was previously the February “Teacher of the Month” after being nominated by 13 of her students.


Professor Jessica Gerschultz has been awarded the prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year. The Fellowship is for her book project, Decorative Arts of the Tunisian Ecole: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Class in Tunisia (1948-1972).


African and African-American studies professor Professor Beverly Mack wins inaugural engaged scholarship award

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Professor Dorthy Pennington was inducted into the Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame (April 2015)

Student Spotlight

Second year AAAS MA student, Caroline Kastor is also a professional athlete.  This summer Caroline, former KU soccer standout, signed with FC Kansas City and topped off her rookie season by helping lead the organization to their second straight National Women’s Soccer League championship on October 1, 2015.


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