Africana Studies, M.A.

Graduate students who want to engage in the interdisciplinary study of Black people in the United States, Africa and in the African diaspora will work closely with our faculty in this program.

Our faculty have expertise in the domestic and global study of race and Blackness in the traditional disciplines of African-American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Work and Public Health. There are few departments or programs that match our strengths in:

  • Scholar-activism
  • Diasporic studies in Black popular and mass culture
  • Culturally relevant pedagogy
  • Community empowerment
  • Gender, sexuality and social relationships

While we have particular emphasis on Social Justice and Community Responsibility in the United States, we support and encourage the study and liberation of Black people everywhere in the world.

Africana Studies offers a master’s degree with competitive funding, which includes a tuition waiver and moderate stipend.

Africana Studies, M.A.

College of Arts & Sciences


The M.A. in African-American ​Africana Studies AAS) requires 36 semester hours of graduate course work, 18 hours of which are required (AAS 6000, AAS 6005, AAS 6007, AAS 6010, AAS 6012 and AAS 6020) and 12 hours of which may be taken from AAS Africana Studies courses or from approved courses in other departments.

Students holding graduate assistantships may be required to carry more hours (non-thesis hours), although this requirement does not alter the number of hours required to complete the master’s degree program.

The Department of Africana Studies awards a small number of graduate assistantships (GAs) each year.

There are two types: GRA (graduate research assistant) and WAC (writing across the curriculum consultants).  Students holding GRAs work with faculty members on research projects or classroom-related activities. Some GRAs may be assigned to the department and will assist with clerical and creative needs of the department.

Students holding work with faculty teaching writing intensive courses will assist faculty with reviewing and assessing written assignments as well as instructing students with rewrites. Students receiving WACs must participate in a one-time WAC training session the summer prior to the fall term. Unlike GRAs, WACs may be for one semester only and carry a variable stipend and tuition waiver.

As an interdisciplinary field of concentration, African American ​Africana Studies (AAS ​AS) offers critiques of knowledge presented in traditional disciplines and professions, scholarly and artistic accounts of realities of the lives of African-Americans and perspectives on social change. AAS ​AS provides students with the intellectual origins, concepts, research, tools and models of the discipline.  The department also provides the knowledge and skills necessary for the study of group cultures and a curriculum that contributes to the goals of multicultural education.  Faculty and courses are drawn from the department and from other departments and programs in the university.