Graduate Studies

Grad Conf Photo 2011 - IMG_1862

Graduate Student Conference in African Studies panel presentation in 2011

The African Studies Center at Boston University is among the oldest and most respected centers for graduate studies of Africa. The African Studies Center places strong emphasis on multidisciplinary education, language preparation, and active participation in the African Studies Center community. Students in African Studies at Boston University choose from among 350 courses drawn from 14 departments of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the schools of Education, Law, Theology, Management, Public Health, and Communication. The African Studies Center provides numerous opportunities for graduate students to enrich their knowledge of Africa through academic lectures, symposia, films, and other activities. We encourage graduate students to participate actively in the development of Africa-related programming, such as the annual Graduate Conference.

The African Studies Center does not grant degrees but instead offers a Graduate Certificate in African Studies for students pursuing master’s and PhD degrees in specific disciplines. We seek to enrich the disciplinary and professional training of students with a focused multidisciplinary curriculum of African-content courses. Although the African Studies Center is based in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, students in any of Boston University’s schools can earn a Graduate Certificate in African Studies. The African Studies Center offers funding to a limited number of graduate students whose work focuses on Africa and who are seeking to complete the Graduate Certificate.

Requirements of the Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in African Studies is available to U.S. and international graduate students who fulfill the basic requirements in African area studies within an existing degree program. It is a particularly useful certificate for students in law, management, fine arts, education, or medicine.

Language Study

Eight African languages are offered for study: Amharic, Arabic, Hausa, Igbo, Kiswahili, Wolof, Xhosa and Zulu. Our African language program is the only one in the United States to offer instruction in reading and writing in Ajami, an adapted Arabic script, for Hausa and Wolof learners.

Annual Graduate Student Conference in African Studies

This conference, wholly convened and organized by volunteer second- and third-year graduate students, will celebrate its twenty-second anniversary in 2014, a remarkable feat and a sign of the high caliber and energetic graduate student body affiliated with BU’s African Studies Center.