Africana Studies Graduate Certificate

Africana Studies is a growing discipline. An increasing number of employers are seeking to fill positions with people who possess a cultural and historical analysis of Black people in the U.S., the African diaspora, and around the globe. As a discipline that is interdisciplinary and diasporic, African American ​Africana Studies specifically educates students in:

  • Black political, cultural, philosophical and artistic thought and practice
  • Black popular and mass culture
  • Race in relation to the study of gender and sexuality
  • Social justice through community engagement

This certificate program allows master’s and doctoral students in other disciplines to amplify the Africentric analysis in their own course of study. Some may simply want to explore a specific area reflected in their course of study. Others may wish to pursue employment for which a certificate in African American Studies is deemed an advantage.

Student Eligibility

Students seeking the AAS Africana Studies Graduate Certificate must submit a formal application through the Office of Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences. Applications are accepted two times per year: April 15 (for fall semester) and November 15 (for spring semester).

Students apply online, using the standard online Graduate Application. GRE scores are no longer required for application and admission to AAS Africana Studies at GSU Georgia State University.

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies, with any additional questions.

Graduate Certificate Application Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of 750-1000 words
  • Official Transcripts (one from each institution attended)
  • Application fee

The following students are eligible:

  • Students who are enrolled in an M.A. or Ph.D. program in another department or institute at Georgia State must complete an online application, but existing materials on file with the Graduate Office may be used for the application, and the application fee may be waived. Once you have filled out a new online application for the Certificate program and attached a short personal statement about why you wish to receive the Certificate, contact the Africana Studies liaison in the Graduate Office, Kirstin Sylvester, to request that your transcripts and letters of recommendation be used for this application as well. Let her know that you are a current student and would like to request the application fee waiver.
  • Students who apply solely for the Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies must submit a complete application for the Graduate Certificate, including fees, to the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Students in the Africana Studies M.A. degree program who are unable to complete the program, but would like to receive the Certificate, may do so if they have fulfilled the Certificate course requirements (5 AAS courses with a grade of “B” or better). These students must complete a new online application for the Certificate (rather than M.A.) program but can use the existing materials on file by following the procedure outlined above.

Students can apply two times per year:

  • April 15 for fall semester
  • November 15 for spring semester

The Graduate Certificate in AAS ​Africana Studies is available to eligible graduate students who successfully complete five graduate courses (15 credit hours) in AAS Africana Studies with a grade of B or better in each. One of these courses must come from the graduate core: AAS 6000 (Proseminar) or AAS 6007 (Theories and Concepts). The remaining three courses must be drawn from graduate courses bearing an AAS prefix. The final course can originate from another department.

Completion of Program

Certificate students must notify the AAS Africana Studies graduate director via email when they have completed coursework. You must notify the graduate director before graduation so the certificate will be recorded on your transcripts. Send your name and Panther ID number. Students will need to apply for graduation from the certificate program via their PAWS account.

To earn the certificate, students must successfully complete:

1. Required course. Select one (1) of the following AAS courses (3 credit hours):

  • AAS 6000 Proseminar in African-American Studies (3)
  • AAS 6005 Theories in African-American Studies (3)

2. Select four (4)  AAS courses from the following list (12 credit hours):

  • AAS 6000 Proseminar in African-American Studies (3) (if not taken above)
  • AAS 6005 Theories in African-American Studies (3) (if not taken above)
  • AAS 6007 Black Feminist Thought (3)
  • AAS 6010 Research Methods in African-American Studies (3)
  • AAS 6012 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
  • AAS 6052 African Women and Social Political Changes (3)
  • AAS 6020 African-American Social Movements (3)
  • AAS 6025 Seminar in African-American History (4)
  • AAS 6027 Seminar in Southern Modern Civil Rights Movement (4)
  • AAS 6029 African-American Political Participation (3)
  • AAS 6030 Dynamics of the African American Family (3)
  • AAS 6032 African-American Masculinity (3)
  • AAS 6034 African-American Women in the U.S. (3)
  • AAS 6040 African-American Community Empowerment (3)
  • AAS 6042 Ethnicity and Aging (3)
  • AAS 6044 African-American Anthropology (3)
  • AAS 6050 African Social Movements (3)
  • AAS 6052 Africana Women and Social Political Change (3)
  • AAS 6055 African Politics (3)
  • AAS 6056 Geography of Africa (3)
  • AAS 6060 African Art (3)
  • AAS 6062 Contemporary African Art (3)
  • AAS 6070 African-American Literary Theory (3)
  • AAS 6073 19th Century African-American Literature (3)
  • AAS 6079 African American Language (3)
  • AAS 6080 The Black Arts Movements (3)
  • AAS 6082 African-American Art (3)
  • AAS 6090 African-American Religion (3)

African-American ​Africana Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African people nationally and globally. It recognizes how issues and factors in addition to race affect the lives of African people worldwide. As an interdisciplinary field of concentration, it offers critiques of knowledge presented in the traditional disciplines and professions, scholarly and artistic accounts of the realities of the lives of African-Americans and perspectives on social change. The Department of African-American ​Africana Studies provides students with the intellectual origins, concepts, research and models of the disciplines, the knowledge and skills necessary for the study of group cultures and a curriculum that contributes to the goals of multicultural education