African Studies Certificate

Students in class

African Studies Certificate

Fall Admissions Deadline: September 26, 2014
Winter Admissions Deadline
: April 24, 2015

Advisors and Application
Graduate students interested in applying to this program should contact the DAAS Graduate Certificate African Studies Subcommittee members Martin Murray: and Fernando Arenas:

The application for the Graduate Certificate program can be downloaded here.
See the Dual Degree Program form here.

A total of fifteen credit hours is required for earning the Graduate Certificate. Up to seven of the fifteen credit hours may be for courses required for the student’s degree or for another certificate program; however, credits may not be triple-counted (e.g., the same course cannot simultaneously count towards the degree program, the GCP in DAAS, and another certificate program). Non-Rackham degree programs may have their own rules regulating double counting.

Pro-seminar: AAS 600 (3 Credits)

All GCP students must enroll in the pro-seminar AAS 600, “Interdisciplinary Approaches to African Studies.” The course introduces students to a cluster of traditional and current topical questions in the field of African Studies, and it explores the various interdisciplinary approaches that can be used to address them. Designed to provide a strong interdisciplinary foundation and familiarize students with a wide-range of methodological approaches, the course is based on a program-approved syllabus reviewed annually by the DAAS Curriculum Committee. It is taught and graded by the professor, who may draw on U-M colleagues and visiting experts for a revolving co-teaching structure. This course is generally offered in the Winter term.

Capstone Research Course: AAS 890 (3 credits)

GCP students must also enroll in AAS 890, which they usually take as an independent study. The course enables students to complete a culminating, interdisciplinary research project—such as a dissertation chapter, a prelim, or a Master’s thesis—that is subject to approval by the student’s faculty advisor and the DAAS Graduate Curriculum Committee. Each student in AAS 890 is required to present his or her work in at least one public forum, such as a lecture or a brown-bag. DAAS runs a number of speakers’ series that will facilitate this requirement. Students may also fulfill the requirement by giving a presentation in their primary department or at a conference or symposium hosted by U-M, by another university, or by a recognized academic professional organization. Students must provide appropriate documentation of their public presentations and submit their papers—whether presented at DAAS or elsewhere—to the GCP Program Coordinator for official certification.

Breadth Requirement (9 credits total)

In addition to the pro-seminar and AAS 890, all GCP students must complete three additional graduate-level courses in African Studies. At least one of those three courses must be in a field or discipline clearly outside the student’s primary department.


Students are initially assigned an individual faculty advisor, generally a DAAS faculty member or affiliate. They may request reassignment to an advisor of their choice at any time. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with these advisors as they move through the program. The program also has a designated Graduate Program Coordinator, who is generally the faculty member teaching the pro-seminar. The Coordinator oversees the assignment of students’ individual faculty advisors and handles petitions to have courses approved as part of the breadth requirement.