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The M.A. Degree


The Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies offers two areas of concentrations: the Community Empowerment track and the Culture and Aesthetics track. The Community Empowerment concentration focuses on the historical and contemporary strategies to empower people of African descent. This track exposes the student to the political, economic, and policy responses to the impediments of African/African-American community development. The Culture and Aesthetics concentration focuses on the understandings and the interpretations of the philosophical, literary, and artistic contributions of people of African descent.

Students are prepared to pursue a doctorate in African-American Studies or other related disciplines in the social-sciences or the humanities. The M.A. degree in African-American Studies also enhances a career in government, education, the professional fields, and the non-profit sector.

Students seeking admission to the graduate program are admitted once a year to begin in the fall semester. All application materials are due by April 1st each. To complete the application process, please visit the College of Arts and Sciences graduate programs website at .

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of African-American Studies has the following admission requirements:

  1. Although an undergraduate degree in African-American Studies is not required, applicants are expected to have taken extensive coursework in African-American Studies.
  2. Applicants must submit scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the GRE. 
  3. Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.
  4. Applicants must submit a career goals statement (2-3 pages).
  5. Applicants must submit a writing sample of their previous scholarly work (10-20 pages)
  6. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation which assess the ability of the student to undertake graduate study.
  7. Applicants must complete the supplementary application form provided by the Department of African-American Studies.

For a complete description of our graduate program, please consult our graduate program manual.