Top Masters Programs in African Studies

What do you learn in an African Studies graduate program?

African Studies is the study of African society through the lenses of art, history, language, literature, politics, and religion. Additionally, this program often spends a portion of time studying contemporary issues in Africa, including development, health, and the environment. Your program may also allow you the option to study the African Diaspora, therefore expanding your focus to include the societies of African descendents scattered throughout the world. A graduate in African Studies will have a deep understanding about Africa’s central role in world history, especially in relation to colonialism and globalization. This is a largely interdisciplinary degree, as it integrates many different fields into the study of a single continent.

With a Master’s in African Studies, you will be prepared for a career as a public relations consultant, international trade policy officer, social policy researcher, reporter, journalist, or foreign service officer. Additionally, you have the option to obtain a PhD in African Studies to become a specialist or historian.

There are 19 schools offering graduate degrees in African Studies. Syracuse University had highest number of international students receiving a Master's degree. Syracuse University had the most women graduates in this program.

Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $50,654 per year
Total Cost:  $101,308 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  5.01%

The Department of African and African American Studies offers a graduate degree in African and African American Studies. The program offers rigorous interdisciplinary training in the humanities and the social sciences, with a focus in a disciplinary field, leading to the PhD.

A minimum of two years of full-time study (fourteen four-credit courses or equivalent) is required.

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PHD in African and African American Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  864
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1388
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University of Pennsylvania logo
Ranked as:  #7 in Best National University
Tuition:  $41,760 per year
Total Cost:  $83,520 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Pennsylvania
Acceptance:  8.98%

The innovative Ph.D. program trains students in an interdisciplinary, three-fields approach to African, African American and African Diaspora Studies. Students critically examine the cultural, political, economic, and historical factors that have created and shaped the African, African American and African Diasporic experiences. The Program's in-depth training in the field of Africana Studies prepares students for the challenges of the globally interconnected world of the 21st century. The Program positions students for careers in the academy and professions, enabling them to make ground-breaking contributions to national and global discourse and problem solving.

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Ph.D. in Africana Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  -
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
Northwestern University logo
Ranked as:  #10 in Best National University
Tuition:  $56,567 per year
Total Cost:  $113,134 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Illinois
Acceptance:  9.31%

Program of African Studies Adjunct Major in African Studies Minor in African Studies Graduate Certificate and Cluster.

PhD Cluster and Certificate in Middle East and North African Studies.

Major Minor in Middle East and North African Studies.

Middle East and North African Studies Program Major Minor in Middle East and North African Studies Graduate Studies PhD Cluster and Certificate in Middle East and North African Studies.

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Africa at Northwestern Chicago

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  965
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1095
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101 universities offer the Master's program in African Studies.

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Brown University logo
Ranked as:  #13 in Best National University
Tuition:  $60,363 per year
Total Cost:  $120,726 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Rhode Island
Acceptance:  7.67%

The Department of Africana Studies at Brown University is the intellectual center for faculty and students interested in the critical study of the artistic, cultural, historical, literary and theoretical expressions of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. The department has one of the leading faculties in the discipline.

The Ph.D. program in Africana Studies provides a firm base for graduate students to create new and innovative knowledge within the discipline as well as develop cutting-edge scholarship that contributes to the broader academy and public life. Graduate students in the program receive rigorous training in the discipline of Africana Studies and the theories and methods of interdisciplinary work, with an acute focus on race, class, gender, and sexuality, while being critically conversant with the methods and theories of other academic disciplines. The goal of the program is to prepare students to become skilled and informed scholars and educators poised to make significant contributions to academic and nonacademic communities and initiate cultural and social policies with humanitarian objectives informed by critical thinking and global perspectives on social and human development.

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Africana Studies Ph.D.

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Cornell University logo
Ranked as:  #17 in Best National University
Tuition:  $30,042 per year
Total Cost:  $60,084 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  10.71%

The Africana Studies Ph.D. program is a small and high quality program designed to expand knowledge production about peoples of African descent and to train future generations of scholars who will deepen and refine the field.

An interdisciplinary field of study, Africana Studies embraces the study of people of African ancestry on the African continent and in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and the broader diaspora. Toward that end, it is at the forefront of scholarship that both transcends disciplinary fields and brings more powerful explanatory value to issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Accordingly, since its inception, Africana Studies has profoundly shaped research and discourse in the humanities and social sciences by altering traditional epistemologies and methodologies. Africana Studies has historically resisted the confines of national borders in its analyses.

Indeed, the diversity of the Cornell University's college system, its strengths in the traditional disciplines and its strong support and encouragement of interdisciplinary work provides students an ideal environment in which to pursue graduate training in this field. Moreover, Cornell now has a critical mass of scholars in the Humanities, Visual and Expressive Culture and Social Sciences whose work collectively sits on the cutting edge of Africana Studies.

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Africana Studies Ph.D.

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Columbia University in the City of New York logo
Ranked as:  #18 in Best National University
Tuition:  $51,194 per year
Total Cost:  $102,388 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  6.66%

Which brought together scholars and artists who are shaping conversations African-American arts and letters as well as gender in the African diaspora.

The series culminated in devoting the entire Summer Fall 2014 issue of Scholar Feminist Online to the examination of Shange works.

Shange was on campus most recently in September to inaugurate the Lewis-Ezekoye Distinguished Lecture in Africana Studies.

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Ntozake Shange '70

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University of California-Los Angeles logo
Ranked as:  #20 in Best National University
Tuition:  $28,131 per year
Total Cost:  $56,262 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  14.33%

The School of Public Health and the African Studies Program have a concurrent degree program whereby students can pursue the MA degree in African Studies and the MPH with a specialization in Community Health Sciences at the same time. Applicants are required to satisfy the admission requirements of both programsm and students must meet the requirements in both programs to be awarded the degrees. Applicants interested in this concurrent program should contact the African Studies program, and the Student Affairs Office, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

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Public Health MPH/African Studies MA

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University of California-Berkeley logo
Ranked as:  #20 in Best National University
Tuition:  $29,347 per year
Total Cost:  $58,694 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  17.48%

The African American Studies graduate program focuses on the life, culture, and social organization (broadly defined) of persons of African descent. The study of Africa, North America, and the Caribbean are central components of the program. Students are expected to apply a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the international and national divisions of race as they pertain to persons of African descent, wherever they may find themselves. Such an approach is to be employed for the study and understanding of development and underdevelopment, domination and power, self determination, mutual cooperation, and aesthetic and creative expression. Issues of identity construction, marginality, territoriality and the universal role of race in the organization of political economy and in class formation are critical to the program’s intellectual agenda.

A minimum of two years or four semesters of academic residence is required by the university for all Ph.D. programs. Academic residence is defined as enrollment in at least 12 units in the 200 series of courses. Thus, every graduate student must enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 units of graduate course work per required semester of academic residency. After successful completion of course work with a minimum GPA of 3.30, a pre qualifying examination based upon general knowledge in the field of African American Studies will be administered by the department.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree and should demonstrate a general knowledge of African American history and an understanding of the disciplinary bases for the study of the African Diaspora. Demonstrated knowledge in the field should include understanding relations among social, economic, and political structures and culture in African American life. Applicant records must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the undergraduate level comparable to this university’s language requirement.

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African American Studies PHD

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New York University logo
Ranked as:  #25 in Best National University
Tuition:  $36,892 per year
Total Cost:  $73,784 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  21.09%

The Journalism and Africana Studies Joint M.A. at the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) is a 42 credit program (22 Journalism credits including a 1-credit internship and 1-credit directed reading for the Master’s project and 20 Africana Studies credits). Course requirements in Journalism are: Writing, Research and Reporting Workshop I, JOUR-GA 1021; Writing, Research and Reporting Workshop II, JOUR-GA 1022; three Journalism electives (at least two reporting-oriented); a 1-credit internship, JOUR-GA 1290; and a Master’s thesis completed while enrolled in Directed Reading, JOUR-GA 1299. Course requirements in Africana Studies are: Pro-Seminar I, AFRS-GA 2000 and four Africana Studies electives.

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Master of Arts in Journalism and Africana Studies

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The University of Texas at Austin logo
Ranked as:  #38 in Best National University
Tuition:  $22,886 per year
Total Cost:  $45,772 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Texas
Acceptance:  31.95%

The African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) Ph.D. program provides students with the necessary skills and analytical framework to engage interdisciplinary approaches for examining the lives of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, including the United States. Students will develop the broad foundational knowledge necessary to pursue an academic career and to conduct scholarly research in African and African Diaspora Studies and related fields.

The AADS Ph.D. program is the first Black studies program to grant Ph.D. degrees in the southern United States. Dedicated to recruiting and admitting exceptional Ph.D. students who are committed to the study of Black life, our students will learn the skills and perspectives necessary to engage in an interdisciplinary scholarly approach to examining the lives of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora. The curriculum offered is methodologically pluralistic, with a thematic and comparative approach that allows for a multi-layered understanding of Black experiences.

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PHD in African and African Diaspora Studies

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What kind of scholarships are available for Graduate Programs in African Studies?

We have 4 scholarships awarding up to $42,500 for Masters program in for African Studies, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
Graduate Teaching Assistantships in Department of Spanish and Portuguese at IUB$22,000
Graduate Assistantships for Master of Arts in Spanish program at the UC$8,000
Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award$7,500Medium
Harvard University - Center for Italian Renaissance Studies$5,000

Find scholarships and financial aid for African Studies graduate programs

$500 $20000

What is the GRE score required for admission to Master's degree in African Studies?

Gre score requirements differ from school to school. Most colleges do not publish the cutoff scores. For example 101 universities offer Master's programs in African Studies.

University of Pennsylvania: GRE scores are considered with the totality of the application.

University of California-Berkeley: The program requires GRE scores , or TOEFL , a statement of purpose, a personal statement, and critical writing samples Writing samples should be in the form of thesis or research paper on a topic relevant to the fields of German literature or linguistics

Gre score requirements for Master's program in African Studies

How much does it cost to get a Master's in African Studies and how to find the most affordable Masters program?

Master's degree in African Studies is offered by 99 US universities. The tuition for the Master's degree can range from $17,712 per year at Ohio University-Main Campus to $57,666 at Boston University.

The tuition at public universities will be lower for in-state students when compared to private universities but you get more financial aid at private universities.

Most affordable Master's program in African Studies

Which are the accredited universities that offer phd/doctoral programs offered in African Studies?

17 universities offer graduate PHD program in African Studies

Best African Studies graduate PHD programs

Are there universities offering online Master's in African Studies?

Best Online Masters Programs in African Studies - Updated 2023 Online Master's in African Studies

Are there colleges for the African Studies Masters program that do not require GRE/GMAT?

Quite a few accredited universities have waived off the GRE score requirements for admissions to Masters programs. 101 offer Graduate programs in African Studies. Below are listed 6 universities that do not require GRE/GMAT for admission to Master's program. For viewing the all the schools that have waived off GRE/GMAT for the admission, use Match Me Masters.

No GRE schools for Masters in African Studies

Are there any one year masters programs in African Studies?

A full-time Master’s program is usually a 2-year program, but there are accredited and Nationally ranked universities that offer 1-year and 18-month Master’s programs. An 18-month program can be completed in one year because if you are able to complete the credit requirements, you can get the degree in 1 year.

3 Universities offer On-campus Masters's Program within One Year - 18 months. The tuition for a Master's can range from $21,126 to $30,547.

On-campus Masters 1 year - 18 months in African Studies

Is it worth getting a master's degree in African Studies?

Before you invest 2-3 years of your life and anywhere between $40,000 - $110,00 of your hard earned money, students do ask as to what is the return on investment on the Master's degree. Here are some of the statistics from bls.gov.

Career Outlook

Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $80,560 in May 2020. Number of Jobs in 2020 was 1,276,900.

Career Opportunities with master's degree in African Studies


Job Title 2020 median Pay Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary $80,560 1,276,900 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.

Best paying jobs for African Studies - Updated 2023

How can I compare the African Studies Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 101 universities offering Graduate School Programs in African Studies. Compare Graduate School Programs in African Studies

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