Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate in African Studies

The 15 credit graduate certificate program in African Studies by the Center for African Studies is designed for graduate students who would like to pursue a concentration in African studies as part of their regular graduate studies. Those who fulfill the requirements may be awarded a certificate in African studies upon completion of their degree. Some requirements for the certificate may be used to satisfy the student's own graduate degree requirements.

The requirements are as follows:

  1. Successful completion with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 of one of the following 3 credit “Current Issues” courses when taught by a member of CAS and approved by the Certificate Program Director:
    • 16:016:501 Current Issues in the Study of Africa (3) (CAS) Current interdisciplinary themes in African studies; guest faculty speakers from across the disciplines. Preparation of a bibliographic essay on interdisciplinary work in the student's chosen area.
    • 16:195: 608 Comparative Literature and Other Fields (3) (Comp. Lit.)
    • 16:510:625 Colloquium in African History (3) (History) Study of development prior to colonialism. Commercial systems and religious movements analyzed in the context of culture and social organization. Background for studying carryover of culture to the Americas; recent African history.
    • 16:450:605 or 606 Geography Seminar (3) (Geography) Lectures and special problems in current issues. Course content varies according to student and faculty interest.
    • 16:450:508 Environment and Development (3) (Geography) Relationship between environmental change and economic development; political and cultural ecology; environmental justice; and social theory and the environment. Critical analysis of environmental conservation methods and development planning initiatives.
    • 16:450:509 Uneven Development (3) (Geography) Political economy of development and underdevelopment. Historical geography of development interventions. Theories of agrarian and industrial transitions. Political, economic, and social geographic impacts of development.
    • 16:070:524,525 World Ethnographic Areas – Africa I,II (3,3) (Anthropology) Study of selected ethnographic areas such as Africa, Southeast Asia, India, or North America; cross-cultural analysis within an area. General theoretical and methodological issues as well as those unique to the particular area.

  2. Successful completion with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 of one of the following 3 credit “Interdisciplinary Research” courses when taught by a member of CAS and approved by the Certificate Program director:
    • 16:016: 502 Interdisciplinary Research in African Studies (3) (CAS) Preparation of prospectuses, grant applications, dissertation chapters, conference proposals and papers, and articles for publication. Students make an oral presentation of the proposed work, submit written drafts for class workshop, and provide commentary for their classmates.
    • 16:450:602 Research Design (3) (Geography) Research procedures and methods, survey of past and current literature, data collection and analysis, and preparation of reports, papers, and theses; colloquia on analytical problems.
    • 16:070:506 Research Design and Methods in Social/Cultural Anthropology (3) (Anthropology) Survey and critical evaluation of methods in current anthropology, using original research as data.
    • 16:510:633 Seminar in African History (3) (History) Research training in African history. Topic of the seminar varies depending on instructor.

  3. Successful completion with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 of at least three additional term courses on Africa from among approved graduate-level cognate courses (9 credits in total). At least one of these courses must be outside the student's degree program. Three of those credits may be accrued through independent study.

  4. Proficiency in any African language demonstrated through completion of the second year of language study in classroom courses or tutorials offered by the Program in African Languages and Literatures or an equivalent program, or by taking a language exam arranged through the Center for African Studies. In exceptional circumstances a student may petition to have another language accepted instead

  5. Completion of a major piece of writing on a topic related to Africa (master's thesis, dissertation, published article, or two substantial research papers). Only students already admitted to a degree program in the Graduate School-New Brunswick may participate in the certificate program. Courses in African studies are offered by a number of graduate programs. Further information is available from the director of the graduate certificate program in African studies.

Become an African Studies Graduate Affiliate!

As a result of the extremely helpful participation of graduate students in the Center’s 2008 Spring Retreat, we have decided to engage more robustly with graduate students. Therefore, we are inviting graduates students to join the Center as African Studies Graduate Affiliates. Students in any post-baccalaureate program who are working toward the graduate certificate (see below) are eligible for this status. To be clear: one need not earn the certificate before becoming an affiliate. It is expected that a student would join the Center in his or her first year and receive the certificate after completing relevant coursework two or more years later. Affiliate membership enhances one’s graduate career through the following opportunities:

  1. Eligibility to compete for funding for summer pre-dissertation travel. (In 2008, the Center assisted doctoral students Lincoln Addison (Anthropology); Mary Kay Jou (Social Work); Adryan Wallace (Political Science); and Samuel Ledermann (Geography) to conduct preliminary research and receive language training in Africa.)

  2. Access to the Center’s funds for workshops and conferences organized at Rutgers. (In 2009, for instance, the Center is supporting Benjamin Neimark, Geography PhD, with a workshop entitled, “Global Goods: Changing Perspectives on Trade, Human Rights, and the Environment;”

  3. Participation in the annual Spring retreat where Center members plan programs and events for the upcoming year

  4. Invitations to meals, receptions, and so on involving visiting Africanist speakers

  5. A warm, collegial relationship with faculty and staff of the Center.

  6. Subscription to the African Studies Graduate Affiliates list-serv to share ideas, program events, and convene. Please subscribe by e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Funding for Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student seeking funding Teresa Delcorso at Chaser, the Resource Center for Graduate Student External Support, can help. Please visit Chaser's website for their latest schedule of upcoming workshops that will teach you the basics of writing proposals, applying for graduate fellowships and much more.