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Frequently Asked Questions

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for AFRA@UD's Graduate Certificate
  • What is Africana Studies?

Africana Studies is the multidisciplinary study of people and cultures of African descent in the United States, Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. 

  • I've never studied African American or Africana Studies before.  Can I still apply?

Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary field, so the discipline in which the applicant received his or her degree is not necessarily a decisive factor in admissions. Students are assumed to possess basic skills in written and oral communication.

  • Can I do this part-time while working?

The program is open to part-time students. Part-time students are expected to enroll in at least one to two classes per regular academic semester to remain matriculated in the program and are expected to complete their certificate within three years.

  • What is the expected time to degree?

Certificates normally can be completed within two years but students may take up to three years to complete. The Africana Studies Graduate Committee will oversee all Graduate Certificate students.

Part-time students are expected to enroll in at least one to two classes per regular academic semester to remain matriculated in the program and are expected to complete their degree within four to five years.

  • Is there a limit to how long I can take to get the degree?

Time limits for the completion of degree requirements begin with the date of matriculation and are specifically expressed in the student's letter of admission. The University time limit is ten consecutive semesters to complete the degree requirements for students entering a master's degree program.

Requests for time extensions must be made in writing and approved by the chair of the Africana Studies graduate programs committee. The department will forward the request to the Graduate College. The Office will determine the student's eligibility for a time extension and will notify the student in writing of its decision to grant an extension of time.

  • How do I choose an advisor?

AFRA@UD's Graduate Program is sufficiently small, allowing faculty to give individualized attention to our graduate students. The Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will assign each incoming student a faculty advisor in September. Thereafter the student will meet with their advisor to plan their first year of study in the program. Advice will be given concerning course selection based on interests and the student's undergraduate and graduate studies background. 

  • What can I expect in terms of advising?

At the midpoint in a student's program, the advisor will review the student's program of study to determine if they are making satisfactory progress through the program.  

  • Can I take courses in other departments?

Yes. Students must take two elective courses decided in consultation with the student's primary advisor. You may decide that those courses are outside the department.

  • Are there courses offered online or over the summer?

While we are still in the COVID-19 global pandemic, many courses are offered online. This will be revisited after the current crisis.

  • What can I do with this degree?

The Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies will strengthen your work in your current profession with greater knowledge about the cultures and experiences of African Diasporic people. It will also provide foundation tools to explore a new intellectual or professional pursuit. Knowledge of Africana Studies can be used in most professional fields – business, marketing, education, hospitality industry, medicine and health sciences, news media and publishing, visual arts, sports, politics and government, science and technology, literature, performing arts and entertainment, non-profit organizations, religion, law.

  • What if I already have graduate credit hours from another degree program?

Students must complete the 12 required graduate hours from UD. Six of those hours are the required foundational courses. The other six hours may be met by departmental courses or by addressing Africana subject matter in other UD graduate courses. You may not transfer credits from another institution for credit in the Graduate Certificate.

  • Is there a language requirement?

If English is not an applicant's first language, then the applicant must demonstrate a satisfactory command of English. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of all foreign applicants. A minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (TOEFL iBT) is required for consideration for admission. Students with TOEFL scores below the minimum required for admission may be considered for conditional admission if they enter the University of Delaware English Language Institute's academic English program. The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the student has earned a degree from an accredited educational institution in which English is the primary instructional language. 

All examinations, thesis and professional project reports and oral presentations are in English. Proficiency in both written and oral English is required for progress and completion of the Graduate Certificate.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Department of Africana Studies
  • 417 Ewing Hall, 15 Orchard Road
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2897
  • afra-info@udel.edu
  • Center for Black Culture
  • African Studies Program
  • Black Student Union
  • Christina Cultural Arts Center
  • Black Graduate Student Association
  • National Council for Black Students