Graduate Degree

African American and African Studies - Master of Arts

African American and African Studies - Master of Arts
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Master of Arts
College of Arts and Letters
African American and African Studies

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Arts and Letters

Department of African American and African Studies

Graduate Study
African American and African Studies - Master of Arts

The Masters of Arts degree in African American and African Studies (AAAS) is an interdisciplinary degree program of study devoted to advanced exploration and analysis of Black Worlds. In AAAS, we aim to prepare students to make a transformative impact with communities and organizations dedicated to advancing life-affirming conditions for all Black peoples. The professional master's degree program prepares students for positions and leadership in community work, culture, media, education, entrepreneurship, and institution-building.

Students in the master's program concentrate in one of three fields of study: Black Cultures and Institutions, Black Girlhood Studies, or Black Speculative Ecologies. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any field are welcomed to join AAAS as a master's student. Additionally, we encourage students to pursue a dual-degree master's. AAAS is an inherently interdisciplinary department and Black Studies is a versatile discipline that spans numerous investigative approaches and topic areas.


To be considered for admission, an applicant must:
  1. Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  2. Submit a personal statement and an academic purpose stating personal and professional goals, disciplinary interests in AAAS, and desired concentration of study.
  3. Submit two copies of official transcripts demonstrating an earned Bachelor’s degree in an area of study appropriate for advanced work in AAAS.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with your course work, professional experience, and community works 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 33 credits is required. With the approval of the student’s advisor, the student must choose an area of concentration. The student must:
1. Complete both of the following courses (6 credits):
AAAS  833 Black Worlds: Historical and Contemporary Issues 3
AAAS  834 Black Worlds: Theories and Methodologies 3
2. Complete 9 credits in the tutorial suite courses. Students must take 4 credits in one tutorial course. The maximum amount of credits allowed in any one tutorial course is 6 credits.
AAAS  840 Black Girlhood Studies  1 to 3
AAAS  850 Black Cultures and Institutions 1 to 3
AAAS  860 Black Speculative Ecologies 1 to 3
3. Complete 9 elective credits from the following. At least 3 credits must be at the 800-level.
AAAS  821 Collaboration, Research and Methodologies 3
AAAS  841 Seminar in Black Feminist Studies 3
AAAS  861 Seminar in Black Sexualities Studies 3
AAAS  871 Seminar in Black Genders Studies  3
AAAS  891 Special Topics in African American and African Studies  3
AAAS 893A  Pedagogical Project 3
AAAS  893C  Community Engagement Project 3
Other AAAS 400 level or higher courses relevant to AAAS as approved by an academic advisor.
4. Complete the following Professional Development requirements (3 credits):
AAAS  895 Professional Development 2
AAAS  897 Colloquium 1
Additional Requirements for Plan A
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
AAAS  892 Master’s Thesis Planning 2
AAAS  899 Master’s Thesis Research 4
Additional Requirements for Plan B
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
AAAS 894 Master's Project Planning 2
AAAS 898 Master's Capstone Project 4