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Graduate Program in African Studies

Department of African Studies

The mission of the Department of African Studies is to create, nurture and promote an educational and intellectual culture that provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to acquire knowledge and develop interdisciplinary skills that enable deeper and more productive understandings of Africa and Africans in both an historical and contemporary context and their role in and contribution to humanity and the global community. Our mission, furthermore, is to produce a cadre of African American, American, international and other minority graduates equipped with knowledge and interdisciplinary skills to engage in problem solving, teaching, research and professional careers in African and international affairs and development.

The main objective of graduate studies in the Department is to train scholars in the field of African Studies with emphasis on contemporary issues of public policy and development in Africa. The program cultivates and promotes interdisciplinary approaches to studying African historical, political, economic, social and cultural issues and provides necessary skills for critically understanding, analyzing and addressing problems and potential solutions. The department prepares undergraduate majors to undertake graduate studies and prepares all graduate as well as undergraduate majors for careers and service in local, national and international private, public and non-profit institutions and organizations.


Admission Requirements

Admission and residency in the graduate program in African Studies are guided by the General Admission Requirement and Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees in the Graduate School. Students are strongly encouraged to consult and familiarize themselves with these rules and regulations.

Applications to the Department of African Studies are evaluated on the following considerations:

  1. The applicant’s official transcripts.
  2. Applicants with a B.A. or B.Sc. from an accredited university and a minimum average of 3.0 are eligible for admission into the M.A. degree program. Applicants with a B.A. or B.Sc. degree who wish to do a Ph.D. must first complete the M.A. degree program prior to applying for the Ph.D.
  3. Applicants with an M.A. degree from an accredited university and a minimum average of 3.5 are eligible for admission into the Ph.D. degree program.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from members of the academic community familiar with the applicant’s academic performance.
  5. An autobiographical sketch and statement of purpose indicating his/her desire to join the graduate program in the Department of African Studies. The Department concentrates in the following three areas (1) Development and Public Policy (2) Africa in World Affairs (3) Language, Literature and the Arts.
  6. TheGraduate Record Examination (GRE) score.

Categories of Admission

  1. Degree Student-Regular: Student who holds the required University degree(s) and who meets the department’s admission criteria.
  2. Degree Student-Provisional: A student who does not meet the requirements for regular student, but, who, on other grounds, the Committee concludes, is capable of completing a graduate program, may be accepted on a provisional basis. The student shall be limited to take 6 credits. It is recommended that most credits be taken from the core courses of the program. After completing these courses, the Graduate Studies Committee shall review the student’s academic performance. The student will be notified of the final decision within four weeks. If a student is admitted as a regular student, the 6 credit hours will be applied to the student’s course requirements.

To apply, click HERE for information on procedures and forms

 

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Admission Requirements

Admission and residency in the graduate program in African Studies are guided by the General Admission Requirement and Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees in the Graduate School. Students are strongly encouraged to consult and familiarize themselves with these rules and regulations.

Applications to the Department of African Studies are evaluated on the following considerations:

  1. The applicant’s official transcripts.
  2. Applicants with a B.A. or B.Sc. from an accredited university and a minimum average of 3.0 are eligible for admission into the M.A. degree program. Applicants with a B.A. or B.Sc. degree who wish to do a Ph.D. must first complete the M.A. degree program prior to applying for the Ph.D.
  3. Applicants with an M.A. degree from an accredited university and a minimum average of 3.5 are eligible for admission into the Ph.D. degree program.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from members of the academic community familiar with the applicant’s academic performance.
  5. An autobiographical sketch and statement of purpose indicating his/her desire to join the graduate program in the Department of African Studies. The Department concentrates in the following three areas (1) Development and Public Policy (2) Africa in World Affairs (3) Language, Literature and the Arts.
  6. TheGraduate Record Examination (GRE) score.

Categories of Admission

  1. Degree Student-Regular: Student who holds the required University degree(s) and who meets the department’s admission criteria.
  2. Degree Student-Provisional: A student who does not meet the requirements for regular student, but, who, on other grounds, the Committee concludes, is capable of completing a graduate program, may be accepted on a provisional basis. The student shall be limited to take 6 credits. It is recommended that most credits be taken from the core courses of the program. After completing these courses, the Graduate Studies Committee shall review the student’s academic performance. The student will be notified of the final decision within four weeks. If a student is admitted as a regular student, the 6 credit hours will be applied to the student’s course requirements.

To apply, click HERE for information on procedures and forms

 

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Degrees Requirements
  1. Master of Arts

    Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, with 30 hours devoted to course work and 6 to a thesis on an African topic. Twenty-four of the thirty hours of course work must be taken within the Department of African Studies. Six hours may be taken in other disciplines. Students are also required to complete all the appropriate courses of the core program, to pass a comprehensive examination, and to demonstrate proficiency in an African language.African language.

  2. Doctor of Philosophy

    Students must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours beyond the Master's degree or 78 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, including 12 hours devoted to a dissertation topic based on original research. Thirty hours of the thirty-six hours of post-M.A. work must be taken within the department. Students are also required to complete all the appropriate courses of the core program, and to demonstrate proficiency in basic computer literacy (statistics) and an African language or in two foreign languages, one of them an African language.

     

For both programs, the M.A. and the Ph.D. program, students are required to take two mandatory Howard University seminars. The first is the English Language Proficiency and Expository Writing Program, which is an examination of writing skills. Students who pass the initial examination are not required to take the seminar. However, students who fail the exam are required to participate in further workshops. Additionally, each student must attend the Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop and submit the Certificate of Attendance in order to complete the M.A. or Ph.D. program.

Transfer of Credit


The Department of African Studies may approve transfer of credits for graduate courses earned in other graduate programs, where the grade is B or better. However, it must be the considered judgment of the Department of African Studies that the work is relevant and meets the objectives of comparable courses. In no case may transfer credit hours exceed the limit specified in Article V., Section 5 (Master’s degree) and Article VI, Section 5 (doctoral degrees) of the Graduate School’s regulations. Such transfer may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement specified in Article V, Section 1A and Article VI, Section 1A and must be approved by the Graduate School.

 

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International Applicants Admission Requirements
  • In addition to the requirements listed above you must submit the following:

    • Official transcripts, final certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (www.wes.org) or AACRAO (www.aacrao.org) and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
    • If the documents are not in English, they must be accompanied by an official translated copy.
    • All documents must bear the same name that appears on the admissions application unless an official document so submitted indicating a change of name.
    • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date) www.toelf.org. TOEFL scores must be sent directly from ETS (HU code: 5297).
    • The TOEFL test is not required if you received a degree in the U.S.
    • Statement of Financial Resources Form ( click here ) – A completed form that verifies proof of financial support (sufficient funds to cover expenses for one full year - $29,132 in US Dollars only) and supporting financial documentation indicating sources of funds while attending Howard University (such as a certified bank statement dated within three months of registration).
    • Verification of six months history with bank.

    For information on how to apply and where to send materials for other graduate and professional programs at Howard University, please click here:

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Personal Potential Index (PPI)

The PPI measurement is designed to evaluate a prospective student’s potential for graduate study based on six (6) non-cognitive characteristics. The PPI allows applicants the opportunity to provide an enhanced range of attributes often valued as indications of success in graduate school. The applicant may select three (3) faculty recommenders to submit PPI evaluations for review by the prospective program.

If you are currently registered with the ETS for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), you may designate the three (3) PPI evaluations at no additional cost. To submit the PPI reports to the Graduate School at Howard University, visit the ETS website at

https://ppi.ets.org/ppi/applicant

The programs that are reviewing ETS/PPI evaluations as part of the fall 2013 admissions review are listed below:

African Studies
Communication and Media Studies
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Chemistry
Economics
English
Genetics and Human Genetics
History
Sociology
Mechanical Engineering
Pharmaceutical Science
Physiology

For more information, please call 202.806.4676.
https://ppi.ets.org/ppi/applicant

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Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

 
Howard University Graduate School
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059

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