Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Africana Studies, M.A.


Return to: 3090 Department of Africana Studies  

The Department of Africana Studies offers a vibrant and highly competitive graduate program. The department’s Master of Arts degree is designed to provide students with rigorous interdisciplinary training in the scholarly investigation of people of African descent. The faculty and the courses of the graduate program are drawn from the department and other academic units throughout the university.

The Master of Arts degree in Africana Studies offers two areas of concentration: the Community Empowerment track and the Culture and Aesthetics track. The Community Empowerment concentration focuses on the historical and contemporary strategies to empower people of African descent. This track exposes the student to the political, economic, and policy responses to the impediments of African and African-descendant community development. The Culture and Aesthetics concentration focuses on the understandings and the interpretations of the philosophical, literary, and artistic contributions of people of African descent.

Students are prepared to pursue a doctorate in Africana Studies or other related disciplines in the social-sciences or the humanities. The M.A. degree in Africana Studies also enhances a career in government, education, the professional fields, and the non-profit sector.

Students seeking admission to the graduate program are admitted once a year to begin in the fall semester. All application materials are due by March 15th. Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Africana Studies by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Africana Studies has the following admission requirements:

  1. Although an undergraduate degree in Africana Studies is not required, applicants are expected to have taken extensive coursework in Africana Studies or related courses.
  2. Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.
  3. Applicants must submit a career goals statement (2-3 pages).
  4. Applicants must submit a writing sample of their previous scholarly work (10-20 pages)
  5. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation which assess the ability of the student to undertake graduate study.

Degree Requirements


In order to earn a Master of Arts degree in Africana Studies, a student must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework:

Core Requirements (12 Hours)


Students must complete twelve (12) hours of core requirements

Gender and Sexuality Competency (3 Hours)


Students must complete at least three (3) hours of gender and sexuality competency by completing one of the following.

Global Competency (3 Hours)


Students must complete at least three (3) hours of global competency by completing one of the following:

Non-Designated Africana Studies Coursework


Students non-designated Africana Studies coursework requires prior approval from the graduate director.

Must Complete at Least 6 Hours


Students must complete at least six (6) credit hours of one of the following:

Thesis Pathways


Students have a choice of three different thesis pathways. All three pathways will require an introduction, a robust review of the literature, a detailed description of the methodology, and a conclusion. The thesis chair, in partnership with the thesis committee, will provide guidance to each student to the completion of the thesis. In each pathway, students will be required to demonstrate both their engagement of the discipline and their contribution to the discipline. All pathways require a proposal defense with the format determined by the committee. Each pathway is described briefly below.  

Traditional Thesis Pathway (TTP)   

Students choosing the TTP will design and complete a traditional academic research project. In addition to the requirements listed above students will analyze the results of their research within the pertinent theory, conceptual foundation, and extant literature. The final thesis should also address how the project fits within or challenges current scholarly discourses. The traditional thesis is a rigorous research paper (approximately 100 pages typed and double-spaced) on a focused topic that informs the body of literature in Africana Studies. Students may find it useful to examine M.A. theses that are available in the university library.

Creative Thesis Pathway (CTP)  

Students choosing the CTP will complete a creative project. The creative project itself will represent the research. In addition to the requirements listed above students will analyze the results of their research within the pertinent theory, conceptual foundation, and extant literature. The final thesis should also address how the project fits within or challenges current scholarly discourses and/or pertinent creative domain(s).   

Practicum Thesis Pathway (PTP)  

Students choosing the PTP will complete a practicum project in the field. Examples include internships, extended service-learning, and other field-based activities. The practicum project itself will represent the research. In addition to the requirements listed above students will analyze the results of their research within the pertinent theory, conceptual foundation, and extant literature. The final thesis should also address how the project fits within or challenges current scholarly discourses and/or pertinent phenomena facing the African diaspora.  

Approved Thesis


Students who choose the thesis track must submit an approved thesis in one of the three pathways.

Oral Thesis Defense


Students who choose the thesis track must satisfactorily pass an oral thesis defense.

Non-Thesis Pathway


Students who choose the non-thesis track must complete an annotated bibliography supervised by a faculty member and subsequent committee. The Africana list of books and articles should be submitted by January 15 and the annotated bibliography is due by March 15 of the year the student plans to graduate. The list of literature and the subsequent annotated bibliography should address the value of Africana knowledges in relation to the student’s future vocational goals and as learned in their courses, drawing on (and citing) readings assigned in those courses. Annotated bibliographies will be read by the committee and must be deemed satisfactory by the faculty.

Graduate Assistant Requirements


Graduate assistants are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each for the fall/spring semesters and 9 credit hours for the summer semester. These credit hours will consist of courses required for the prescribed program of study, as well as additional hours of AAS 8999  and/or AAS 8980 .