Academic goals of the program

The central objective of the Department of African & African-American Studies (AAAS) and The Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) in this certificate program is to formally recognize the expertise students in a range of disciplines already obtain in African Studies, in a manner that enhances students' career opportunities. The Certificate in African Studies enables graduate students to formally claim expertise in an area of the field of African Studies, through completion of 12 hours of graduate coursework.

Why should I apply for the African Studies Graduate Certificate?

In any given year, KU regularly has more than 50 Africa-focused students in a variety of disciplines, across 7 professional schools and 17 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences departments. The Graduate Certificate in African Studies helps bring this wide-ranging body of graduate students into closer contact with the Center's resource base. The Certificate also enhances graduate students' future marketability. Many disciplines in which the AAAS & KASC graduate student community is concentrated advertise jobs for PhD candidates with African expertise. The Certificate in African Studies strengthens KU graduates' opportunities in this specialist job market.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Admissions criteria

The Department of African & African-American Studies administers the Graduate Certificate in African Studies. Current KU graduate students wishing to be admitted to the Graduate Certificate Program should write a letter to the AAAS Graduate Director stating their interests in African Studies, send a current DPR form, and complete the graduate application through Graduate Studies.

A graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Students applying for admission to another graduate program at KU should send a letter of application stating their interests in African Studies and request a letter stating that they have been admitted from the other department or school upon admission thereto. They may be admitted to the African Studies Graduate Certificate Program on the condition that they are admitted by the other program in regular status. If they are not admitted to the other program in regular status, they may use the following procedure for admission to the Graduate Certificate program.

Non-KU graduate students (Non-degree C category students) should complete the graduate application through Graduate Studies and send an application fee of $30, two copies of official transcripts from all previous post-secondary educational institutions, a personal statement of interest in African Studies, and two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their academic work or potential for graduate school. Minimum requirements will be a bachelor's degree; a GPA of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate work is normally required for admission, but the GPA requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Director. An admissions committee consisting of the AAAS Graduate Program Committee will meet at least once each semester to make admissions decisions.

Please also visit the Graduate Studies Admissions Policy.

All inquiries should be directed to:

The University of Kansas
African and African-American Studies
Shawn Leigh Alexander, AAAS Graduate Director
Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 15
Lawrence, KS 66045-7549


The University of Kansas
KASC Director
Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 207
Lawrence, KS 66045

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in African Studies

General requirements (12)
12 credit hours to be distributed as follows
AAAS 802Introduction to Africana Studies: African3
Additional 9 hours or three courses9

All courses, including language course work, must be at the 500-level or above. At least one of these courses (three credit hours) must be taken at the 700-level or above. Only courses with an Africa focus may count toward the required hours. No more than three hours of directed readings or independent study may be counted.