African Studies (certificate)


At a Glance: program details

Learn how social, economic and political issues shape the lives of people of African descent, and apply this specialized understanding in your choice of life paths.

Program Description

Certificate Awarded: African Studies (certificate)

The graduate certificate program in African studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the peoples, history and cultures of Africa and the multifaceted experiences of people of African descent in Europe and the Americas. Students gain access to an extensive range of information and systematic knowledge committed to the new model of African and African diaspora studies that focuses on the intersections of race, culture and gender with transdisciplinary perspectives.

Courses examine interdisciplinary approaches to studying race, ethnicity, social justice, gender, citizenship and economic development. Students study issues in African and African American history, migration patterns, art, literature, religion, family life and education, as well as how race and institutional racism have impacted the development of African descended people in America and around the world.

As this certificate program offers students an international dimension to the study of peoples and cultures of African descent, students enhance their knowledge about global issues and further expand their research pursuits. The program characterizes the faculty members' intellectual and research strengths and the curriculum's transdisciplinary strategies and research approaches that highlight the continuities and disjuncture of history and experiences throughout Africa and the diaspora.


Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

Required Core (3 credit hours)
AFR 502 Africa and African Diaspora World (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)


Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution. Students who are not regularly admitted to a graduate degree program may still pursue the certificate.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program. When applicable, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in a master's degree program.

Applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. proof of English proficiency

Additional Admission Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

International students who need an F-1 or J-1 visa need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the United States on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

Official copies of transcripts must be submitted from all colleges and universities where the applicant earned a bachelor's or master's degree.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to employ appropriate theory and methods in the study of the African diaspora at a graduate level.
  • Graduates will be able to practically and professionally apply knowledge of the African diaspora.

Career Opportunities

Students who earn a graduate certificate in African studies have many career opportunities, including:

  • pursuing a career in journalism, teaching, law enforcement, social policy, human rights or civil rights
  • starting their own business
  • writing novels or screenplays

They also may attend graduate school in any number of disciplines, including anthropology, archeology, history, political science, psychology and sociology, or attend medical school or law school.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.