Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Study

African American and African Studies - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in African American and African Studies is an interdisciplinary program of study devoted to advanced exploration and analysis of the social, cultural, and political-economic experiences of African Americans, Africans in the Continent and African-descendent peoples in other parts of the African Diaspora.

The program prepares students for a range of academic and professional career opportunities and consists of two plans, a Plan A (with thesis) option that prepares graduate students for doctoral study and a Plan B (without thesis) option that equips graduate students with interdisciplinary Black Studies professional skills that may be used in a variety of professional careers.


To be considered for admission, an applicant must:

  1. Have the results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test forwarded to the college.
  2. Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  3. Submit a personal statement and an academic purpose stating personal and professional goals, disciplinary interests in Africana studies and desire to pursue a Plan A or Plan B program of study.
  4. Submit a writing sample, usually a recent research paper.
  5. Submit two copies of official transcripts demonstrating an earned Bachelor’s degree in an area of study appropriate for advanced work in Africana studies and a grade-point average of 3.0.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation from faculty acquainted with your course work using the University’s Letter of Recommendation Form for Admission.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in African American and African Studies

The program is available under Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). A total of 30 credits is required for Plan A and 32 credits for Plan B. With the approval of the student’s advisor, the student must choose an area of concentration.

The student must:

1. Complete all of the following courses (14 credits):  
  AAAS 829 Introduction to African Studies
  AAAS 830 Introduction to African American Studies 3
  AAAS 831 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies 3
  AAAS 832 Multicultural Pedagogy in African American and African Studies 3
  AAAS 893A Domestic Internship in African American and African Studies 2
 2. Complete 3 credits of course work at the 400-level or above in Africana language as approved by the student’s academic advisor. The following courses may be used to fulfill this requirement: 3
  AAAS 891 Special Topics in African American and African Studies 3
  AFR 450A Advanced Swahili 3
  LIN 881 The Structure of a Non-European Language 3
3. Complete 9 to 12 credits in African American, African, or African Diaspora  courses in a sub-disciplinary concentration approved by the student’s academic advisor.  

Additional Requirements for Plan A

Complete 4 credits of AAAS 899 Master’s Thesis Research.

Additional Requirements for Plan B

Complete 3 credits of AAAS 898 Master’s Research.

Completion of a final examination or evaluation.