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Best Universities offering graduate 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 26 schools offering graduate degrees in African Studies. Syracuse University had 3 international graduate students in its 26 program, which is one of the highest counts in the country. Syracuse University had the most women graduates in this program.

Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #2 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 - Program details

Harvard University admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  864
  • Teaching assistantships:  1388
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
Yale University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $44,500 per year
Total Cost:  $89,000 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  6.53%

African Studies considers the arts, history, cultures, languages, literatures, politics, religions, and societies of Africa as well as issues concerning development, health, and the environment. Considerable flexibility and choice of areas of concentration are offered because students entering the program may have differing academic backgrounds and career plans. Enrollment in the M.A. program in African Studies provides students with the opportunity to register for the many African studies courses offered in the various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.

The Program in African Studies also offers two interdisciplinary seminars to create dialogue and to integrate approaches across disciplines. In addition to the M.A. degree program, the Council on African Studies offers students in the University’s doctoral and other professional degree programs the chance to obtain a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in African Studies by fulfilling a supplementary curriculum. Joint degrees are possible with the approval of the director of graduate studies (DGS) and the relevant officials in the schools of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Management, and Public Health.

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MA in African Studies - Program details

Yale University admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  1565
  • Teaching assistantships:  1598
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
University of Chicago logo
Ranked as:  #4 in Best National University
Tuition:  $61,548 per year
Total Cost:  $123,096 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Illinois
Acceptance:  7.31%

The University of Chicago has a long tradition of training scholars who study Africa. Many of those students earn their degrees from the Department of Anthropology, while others do so from the Departments of Comparative Human Development, History, and Political Science.

The university do not offer a stand-alone degree in African Studies. Instead, we offer students the opportunity to anchor their study of Africa from the strengths of their chosen discipline. At the same time, the African Studies Workshop, which is a centerpiece of graduate student training at the University of Chicago, fosters rigorous conversations that cut across disciplines. Those discussions expose students to various analytical paradigms and encourage students to develop facility with different sources and methods of scholarly inquiry.

The African Studies Workshop is organized on the principle that serious intellectual engagement is best achieved by reading and discussing papers, chapters, and articles that have not yet been published. Students who have completed their fieldwork and are writing up their research often present draft chapters of their dissertations. The workshop also gives graduate students in their first and second years an avenue to learn more about the practicalities of grantwriting and fieldwork as well as, most importantly, the larger intellectual questions that drive Africanist scholarship. This engaging and productive environment is unique among programs in African Studies, and the committment of faculty and students to the workshop distinguishes the University of Chicago’s Africanist community from most others.

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Graduate Studies African Studies - Program details

University of Chicago admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  725
  • Teaching assistantships:  164
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details

66 universities offer the Masters’s program in African Studies. Which one best suits your need? We will help make you a decision.

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University of Pennsylvania logo
Ranked as:  #8 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 - Program details

University of Pennsylvania admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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Cornell University logo
Ranked as:  #15 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. - Program details

GRE score required at Cornell University master's degree programs in African Studies
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
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Brown University logo
Ranked as:  #16 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. - Program details

GRE score required at Brown University master's degree programs in African Studies
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Find scholarships and financial aid for African Studies graduate programs

$500 $20000
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 - Program details

University of California-Berkeley admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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University of California-Los Angeles logo
Ranked as:  #23 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 - Program details

University of California-Los Angeles admission requirements for graduate programs in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
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New York University logo
Ranked as:  #32 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 - Program details

GRE score required at New York University master's degree programs in African Studies
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University of Wisconsin-Madison logo
Ranked as:  #47 in Best National University
Tuition:  $25,523 per year
Total Cost:  $51,046 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Wisconsin
Acceptance:  57.25%

The mission of the Department of African Cultural Studies is to provide research and teaching in the languages and expressive cultures of Africa and Africans around the world. The department is the only one of its kind in the United States. It offers curricula leading to both the master of arts degree and the doctor of philosophy degree. Its students come from all over the world, including many African countries.

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African Cultural Studies, M.A. - Program details

University of Wisconsin-Madison GRE score,GPA for masters degree in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Teaching assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details

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

We have 1 scholarships awarding up to $7,500 for Masters program in for African Studies, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award$7,500Medium

Find more scholarships in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender And Group Studies

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 66 offer Graduate programs in African Studies. 10 - Gre score required for admissions are.

Gre score requirements for Master’s program in African Studies

Quite a few accredited universities have waived off the GRE score requirements for admissions to Masters programs. Three letters of recommendation on letterhead

Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA

A supporting methods course: Students are required to take a supporting methods course.

Students are strongly encouraged to enhance their learning and training by striving to complete more than the minimum courses.

Students complete the required seminars during the first year and, in consultation with their special committee, develop a program of study within major and minor areas of concentration over the following year.

Passing the Q Exam is required to remain in good academic standing.

Students may also be required to submit reading lists, syllabi, and/or a dissertation proposal as part of the A exam.

Outline the steps for creating student learning outcomes.

Describe methods of assessing student learning and/or teaching.

Student satisfaction with their learning and career preparation, collected through surveys, focus groups, or exit interviews

The Center does not require the Graduate Record Examination scores, but it is highly recommended for students applying for the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship. International applicants or applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test -- 213 on the computer-based test or 79 on the internet-based test

Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 16

African language proficiency at level of 6 semesters of course work Hours for language can't be applied toward degree requirements, but is included in the calculation of the GPA.

Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 24

Writing samples and other relevant professional work that may support the application.

A current Curriculum Vitae or resume.

The deadline for receipt of the entire application—including all supporting materials and letters of recommendation—is February 1st The university encourage applicants to send their application materials sooner.

Applicants must submit both grade transcripts and GRE scores for consideration. The student must also have a GPA of 3.5 on any previous graduate work.

International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language or for the International English Language Testing System A total score of 80 on the IBT TOEFL or 6.3 overall on the IELTS is required.

To be accepted into this program, students must submit a doctoral application in International Relations with a sub-plan of MA in AADS by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.

Minimum score of 1120 in the Graduate Record Exam

A total score of 90 on the IBT TOEFL is required.

This new designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application, and students must indicate their intention to apply for this combined program.

To be accepted into this program, students must submit a doctoral application in Global and Sociocultural Studies with a sub-plan of MA in AADS by January 1st in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.

A total score of 80 on the IBT TOEFL or 6.3 overall on the International English Language Testing System

Minimum score of 1120 on the Graduate Record Exam or for International students, a minimum score of 525 on the EXADEP a minimum of 590 on the GMAT;

International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English and have not obtained a degree from an English-speaking academic institution are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language or for the International English Language Testing System A total score of 90 on the IBT TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version, or 232 on the computer-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language is required.

To be accepted into this program, students must submit a doctoral application for a PhD in History with a sub-plan for a MA in Africa and African Diaspora Studies. This designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application. The application must be submitted by December 1st of the year before they wish to begin their studies.

The following documents must be submitted as part of the application.

Complete the application form in its entirety and submit to the AADS Program.

Complete the FIU certificate application form, available here.

Graduate students currently enrolled at FIU: Complete the application in its entirety and submit it to the AADS Program. The 30$ application fee must be submitted with the application to AADS.

Applicants that are not currently enrolled at FIU must submit an online application found here.

All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) are required to submit a complete application for admission. A complete application includes the online application, academic transcripts, test scores (if required), letters of recommendation, a résumé or curriculum vitae, a Statement of Academic Purpose, and an application fee. Applicants also have the option of providing a short Personal History essay. Please refer to the Instructions section of the online application. In addition, the department specifically requires the following:

1. GRE for applicants to Africana Studies MA only (other programs see below): GRE general test not required. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee.

2. TOEFL or IELTS: Either the TOEFL or the IELTS is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers or who do not have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English.

3. Statement of Academic Purpose (all programs except the Joint M.A. in Africana Studies/Journalism): In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals.

4. Statement of Academic Purpose (Joint M.A. in Africana Studies/Journalism): In addition to the Statement of Academic Purpose instructions above, Journalism requires applicants to write a personal essay. The essay is an extremely important part of the application, so treat it accordingly. The essay should be 1,000 to 1,500 words in length.

5. Writing Sample (all programs except the Joint M.A. in Africana Studies/Journalism): An academic writing sample is required.

Admission deadline is December 15.

GRE General test scores are not required.

Writing Sample is required (20–25 pages).

No GRE schools for Masters 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 Education 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.
Interpreters and Translators $52,330 Bachelor's degree 81,400 Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 10,400 openings for interpreters and translators 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. Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language.

Best paying jobs for African Studies - Updated 2022

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

2 universities offer graduate masters online program in African Studies

Check out our exclusive data on scholarships and financial aid offered by universities for the Master's program in African Studies. There are also 700+ scholarships available from accredited sources with the amount ranging from $1000-$22k.

Online Master’s in African Studies

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 66 universities offering Graduate School Programs in African Studies. Compare Graduate School Programs in African Studies

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