African and African-American Studies and Museum Studies offer joint master’s degrees with coordinated curricula so students are able to complete two M.A. degrees in three years. Fifteen graduate credit hours are applied to both programs, allowing students to complete a 33-credit-hour AAAS degree and a 36-credit-hour Museum Studies degree with just 54 graduate credits.

This program of study is designed to enhance and diversify opportunities for graduate students who are motivated to enter the cultural heritage field as specialists in African and African-American Studies. This three-year joint program allows students to expand their contacts with faculty, enhance their professional networks, and deepen their knowledge of both fields of study.

Students completing the joint degree take all of the required courses in each of the respective programs, as well as fulfilling each program's requirements to gain a breadth of knowledge. Coordination in advising between the two programs enables students to take courses that satisfy the degree needs for both programs. To earn both degrees, students complete 54 graduate credit hours, 15 of which are applied to both programs. Because the required courses are offered regularly, students are able to complete the required courses in the first four semesters of the program, using the final two semesters to complete the remaining credit hour requirements. The programs' curricular requirements follow; further details on program expectations are available in the respective Graduate Student Handbooks.

Program Overview (PDF)

African & African-American Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

Course List

Code Title Hours
1. African & African-American Studies Core 12
AAAS 801 Introduction to Africana Studies: African-American  
AAAS 802 Introduction to Africana Studies: African  
AAAS 803 Research Methods in Africana Studies  
AAAS 804 Seminar in Africana Studies  
2. African & African-American Studies Area of Specialization 6
Students are expected to choose 2 courses in their area of specialization. Courses must be numbered 500 level or above and have a AAAS course number.  

Museum Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

Course List

Code Title Hours
3. Museum Studies Core 9
The Museum Studies Core ensures that all Museum Studies students gain a comprehensive understanding of the theories, history, techniques, and problems common to museums, historical agencies and related institutions. MUSE 803, taken in the student's third semester of study, is a research course that enables students to conduct research or other creative activities that advance the discipline of museum studies.
The Nature of Museums  
Culture of Museums  
Seminar in Current Museum Topics  
4. Museum Professional Areas 9
Students will develop expertise in the principal specialties of museum work by completing at least three professional area courses (9 credit hours), at least one of which must be a Museum Studies (MUSE) course. Many courses in other departments may fulfill requirements; it is the responsibility of students, and their advisors, to ensure that individual courses meet program requirements based on the general relevance of the course and assurance that the student's work in the class will be applicable to museum studies by meeting with instructors and examining syllabi. Courses taken must be at the 500 level or above. A list of available professional area courses can be found on the Museum Studies website.
5. Museum Experience 3
While enrolled in the Museum Studies M.A. Program, students are required to gain at least 500 hours of museum experience, of which at least 250 hours must be in an approved, professionally supervised internship. Students enroll in 3 credit hours of MUSE 799: Museum Internship to meet this requirement.
Museum Internship  

Shared Requirements

Course List

Code Title Hours
6. Joint Degree Electives 15
Any graduate-level MUSE or AAAS course may count as an elective. Out-of-field courses must be approved by the Directors of Graduate Study for both programs.
7. Final Project or Thesis  
Students completing the joint degree program are required to defend either a final project or thesis in their final semester. The student should consult with their African & African-American Studies and Museum Studies faculty advisors to identify a project or thesis topic that effectively incorporates both areas of study. Faculty advisors from both programs will oversee and evaluate the project or thesis. Students who choose to complete a thesis must enroll in 3 credit hours of AAAS 899 in their final semester in lieu of an elective course. Students who choose to complete a final project will take 15 credit hours of joint degree electives as described above.
Each student will successfully defend their final project or thesis as their final master's examination. The final exam committee, chosen by the student, must have at least four members; at least two from the Museum Studies area and at least two from the African & African-American Studies area.

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