May 23, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft] 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft]

Africology & African American Studies [M.A.]

The MA program in Africology and African American Studies is an advanced theoretical, practical and critical examination of the lived experiences of peoples of African descent, which is designed to equip students with managerial-level, diversity-oriented intellectual knowledge and skills required to serve effectively in organizations, enterprises, companies, and businesses with diverse clientele. It offers two optional tracks: Applied or Thesis-based with 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


After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. Please keep in mind that some programs require applicants to submit all application materials by a posted deadline and/or admit students one time each year.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements: A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • 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

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 Studies620 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3460

Victor Okafor, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Victor Okafor, PhD, 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.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses, and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined, may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.