In this important program, you can choose to pursue either African or African American studies and explore the synergies in theory, concept, and method across the African diaspora. The African Language Program features instruction in 45 different African languages. You will also have the opportunity to engage in a social engagement dissertation, where you will interact with a local community and give back to the people there.

You will have access to a wide range of research resources, including the Hutchins Center and the Center for African Studies—both with extensive African-related collections.

Examples of student theses and dissertations include “A Hold on the City: Housing and Landscape History in Lagos, 1885-1985,” “Afro-Queer Journeys: Transnational Revival Zion Religion in Jamaica and Panama,” and “Black Republican Support in the Trump Era: A Social Psychological Account.”

Graduates have secured faculty positions at such prestigious institutions as Yale University, Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of California, Los Angeles. Others have gone into non-academic careers in organizations like the Boston Review and are founders of non-profit companies such as the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute. 

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of African and African American Studies and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of African and African American Studies.

Academic Background

Applicants to the program in African and African American Studies typically have done some undergraduate work in the field of African or African American studies.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be a critical or scholarly paper of your most recent work and no longer than 20 pages.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for African and African American Studies

African and African American Studies Faculty