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Master of Arts in African and African-American Studies

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M.A. Degree Requirements

The African and African-American studies M.A. program takes 2 years of full-time study. 9 upper-division and graduate courses, in addition to a thesis or additional course work for a nonthesis option, are required for the degree—a total of 33 credit hours. There are 4 core courses:

  • AAAS 801 Introduction to Africana Studies I: African-American
  • AAAS 802 Introduction to Africana Studies II: African
  • AAAS 803 Research Methods in Africana Studies
  • AAAS 804 Seminar in Africana Studies

Students then choose 5 courses (15 credit hours) in their areas of specialization. Students may take 6 credit hours outside the department in related course offerings including among others American studies; anthropology; art; communication studies; economics; education; English; film and media studies; geography; history; philosophy; political science; religion; sociology; theatre; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Research Skills

1. A master’s degree in African and African-American studies with an African studies concentration requires proficiency in an African language. Proficiency may be fulfilled by 1 of the following:

  • Completing 2 years of college-level study at KU, at an equivalent institution, or through an intensive course. Language courses offered on a regular basis at KU that count toward proficiency are Amharic, Arabic, Hausa, KiSwahili, and Wolof. Proficiency also may be fulfilled by studying, on a self-instructional basis, any one of a number of African languages for which the Kansas African Studies Center has pedagogical materials and proficiency-testing capabilities.
  • The equivalent of 2 years of an approved language.
  • Proof that the student is a native speaker of an African language.

2. A master’s degree in African and African-American studies with an African-American Studies concentration requires that a student

  • Fulfill the African language requirement outlined above, or
  • Fulfill a non-African language requirement employing standards comparable to those governing the African language requirement outlined above, or
  • Demonstrate competence in a research skill relevant to the student’s specific concentration in African-American studies. Competence in a research skill is certified by the department’s graduate studies director.

In consultation with their advisers and to the satisfaction of the department, students must demonstrate that their choice of a language or research skill is appropriate for their specific research interest in the field of African-American studies.

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Plan of Study

Students are expected to discuss their plans of study with the graduate adviser. The information that follows is only a guide toward that discussion.

Semester 1

  • AAAS 801 Introduction to Africana Studies I: African-American (3 credit hours) Required
  • 2 electives (6 credit hours)
  • Demonstrate research skill competence or begin work toward it

Semester 2

  • AAAS 802 Introduction to Africana Studies II: African (3 credit hours) Required
  • 2 electives (6 credit hours)
  • Demonstrate research skill competence or continue work toward it

Semester 3

  • AAAS 803 Research Methods in Africana Studies (3 credit hours) Required
  • 1 elective (3 credit hours)
  • Demonstrate research skill competence or continue work toward it

Semester 4

  • AAAS 804 Seminar in Africana Studies (3 credit hours) Required
  • Demonstrate meeting research skill competence requirement
  • Thesis (6 credit hours) or 2 courses (6 credit hours)
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Handbook for Graduate Students

Detailed information, application deadlines, and general information may be found in The M.A. Program in African and African-American Studies, available on request from the department.

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