Sep 30, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Africology and African American Studies [M.A.]

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The Master of Arts in Africology and African American Studies offers two optional tracks: Applied or Thesis-based. The two tracks offer a concentration in Africology & African American Studies courses, but, in each case, students are required to choose a complementary focus according to their intellectual or vocational orientation or their undergraduate degrees—from among participating disciplinary programs/departments across academic disciplines and programs of Eastern Michigan University.

Applied Track

Integrates theoretical perspectives and disciplinary knowledge with practical skills and training required to serve constituent organizations, enterprises, companies, and businesses in diverse communities of the United States and beyond.

A capstone internship seminar will serve as the major element of the second-year’s field experience phase of the program. Typically, the project will involve working with companies and/or organizations in the region or elsewhere that serve a diverse clientele. During the internship period, the student will work under the guidance of two supervisors: the DAAAS internship director through a capstone internship seminar (AFC 603 ) and a representative of the internship placement institution who will oversee the student’s activities and will report periodically to the AAAS Dept’s internship director.

Thesis-based Track

The main goal of this track is to ensure that the theoretical, methodological, and functional dimensions of the degree will complement one another, and thus, increase the students’ preparedness to tackle a diverse range of issues that affect the lives and experiences of the African world, particularly the African Diaspora. The ultimate goal is to help promote democratic, pluralistic, and multicultural approaches to phenomena in contemporary society.

The track encompasses a composite knowledge of African peoples’ historical and contemporary experiences and of the discipline of Africology in relation to other areas in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This is an intensive academic, writing and researching track aimed at students’ acquisition of (1) a deep insight into the particular nature of the African American and African experiences and (2) knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to the advancement of conversations about the African and African diasporic experiences, both historically and contemporarily. Coursework and guided research will be developed and assessed in accord with both prescribed departmental standards and applicable standards of the Graduate School.

Program Admission

Minimum requirements for admission

  • A completed graduate admissions application with an application fee
  • Meet the Graduate School admission requirements
  • A B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited college or university
  • A cumulative 3.0 undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • A statement of purpose
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from college professors attesting to the student’s ability to pursue graduate-level work
  • Writing sample
  • A Curriculum Vitae/Resume

International Applicants 

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score
  • International Transcripts - Post-secondary transcripts from a non-U.S. institution must be submitted directly to one of four approved evaluation services for a detailed, course by course report. See International Admission Checklist for additional information. Applicants should allow 2-6 weeks for the evaluation to be completed.

Graduate Assistantship application (optional)

Transfer Credit (optional)

  • With the approval of the AAAS Director of Graduate Studies, a student may apply to have up to 9 graduate credits completed at other accredited institutions counted towards completion of the Master of Arts in Africology & African American Studies.
  • The intended transfer credit courses cannot date back more than five (5) years before matriculation in the Department of Africology & African American graduate program. The application for these credits is to be made during the first semester of the student’s enrollment in the AAAS graduate program. The student should discuss with the AAAS Director of Graduate Studies advisor, the specific courses she or he wishes to transfer and then submit: 
  • A letter specifying each course the student wishes to have considered for credit toward the AAAS MA program,
  • Supporting documents (e.g., syllabi, course descriptions from college catalogs, a letter from the transfer course instructor or department) showing the overlap, relevance, or similarity-in-content between the intended transfer course and a specific AFC graduate course, and
  • An official transcript from the previous institution.

Department Information

Africology & African American Studies | Victor Okafor, Ph.D., Department Head | 620 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3460,

Advisor Information

Victor Okafor, Ph.D., 620 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3460,

Degree Requirements: 33 hours

The Master of Arts in Africology and African American Studies requires students to complete 33 credit hours broken down as follows:

Applied or Thesis Track: 3 hours

  • Applied Track (Internship & Final Project Report)

    Upon completion of their internship and the concurrent capstone internship course, each student will defend their cumulative final project report before a committee consisting of three faculty members (One faculty member from AAAS Dept, the Internship Director, and one faculty member representing the cognate discipline, who is a project reader). If a student chooses a cognate within AAAS (that is, by completing an additional nine credit hours of Restricted Electives), the third member of the committee will be an AAAS faculty member.


  • 3 hrs

    Thesis Track (Thesis Research & Oral Defense)

    As a writing intensive track, the thesis-based track merges the disciplinary theoretical foundation and methodologies of research. Full-time graduate work and supervised individual thesis research will be required and assessed in accord with both prescribed departmental standards and applicable standards of the Graduate School.


    During their second year, subject to consultation with their Faculty advisor and the approval of the AAAS director of graduate studies, and depending upon their anticipated volume of thesis-related research in a given semester/term, students will have the flexibility of enrolling 1, 2, or 3 credit hours of “Developing a Master’s Thesis” courses as follows:

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    At any of the preceding credit-hour levels of supervised thesis research, the thesis research instrument serves as a faculty-supervised study that guides students through the steps of generating a thesis question or hypothesis, literature review, a methodological design, data collection, quantitative and/or qualitative, content or literary analysis, discussion and completion of a master’s thesis.


    A student is required to submit a thesis, followed by an oral defense, whose evaluation will be conducted by a committee consisting of three faculty members (one faculty member from AAAS, the student’s thesis advisor, and one faculty member representing the cognate discipline, who is a thesis reader). If a student chooses a cognate within AAAS (that is, by completing an additional nine credit hours of Restricted Electives), the third member of the committee will be an AAAS faculty member.

Restricted Electives: 9 hours

Cognate: 9 hours

The student will select and complete nine credit hours of coursework as part of a complementary focus in another discipline. The selection of a cognate will be done in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Africology and African American Studies, as well as, the other discipline.

Alternatively, a student may also choose to establish a cognate within the Department of Africology and African American Studies by completing an additional set of nine credit hours of AFC restricted electives.

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