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Program and Admissions Information

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Pursuing your M.A. in AFRA@UD

Students completing the M.A. degree in Africana Studies will be able to:

  • Discuss foundational theories of Africana Studies
  • Articulate multidisciplinary research methods in Africana Studies
  • Analyze historic and contemporary issues through a Pan-African lens
  • Develop Africana Studies content for public scholarship, community engagement, collections-based research, and social justice efforts
  • Apply gender and sexuality intersectional analysis to the study of Black life and culture
  • Explore the study of Black life through visual and material culture
  • Design an original research project that synthesizes knowledge and skills from Africana Studies to a concrete issue or context 


  • Applicants must submit a written statement of the reasons for their interest in Africana Studies, their motivation to pursue a graduate degree, and their professional goals and objectives. The Africana Studies Graduate Program Committee will review the essay part of the application carefully. The Committee wants to know why applicants are interested in applying to the program and how the degree will make sense in the overall career path. Essay should be 800-1200 words.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letters of recommendation from three (3) people familiar with the candidate's academic record and/or professional achievement
  • A writing sample of 15 to 20 pages demonstrating the applicant's ability to do critical research and writing

Admission to the M.A. degree is competitive. Those who meet stated requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. Applicants must have a minimum of an earned baccalaureate degree. 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.

Applicants should have an overall undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a scale of 4.0 = A). Applicants should have a GPA of 3.2 or higher in their undergraduate major. Individuals who apply during the final year of undergraduate or current graduate work and are unable to supply transcripts showing the conferral of the degree will be admitted pending the conferral of the degree. Evidence of the earned degree must be provided prior to the first day of classes in the term of admission. 

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. 

Both full-time and part-time students will be admitted. Admissions and course requirements are the same for full- and part-time students. Note: Students may be told they are on a waiting list, but this would come without any promise of admission or funding.

Candidates should apply for Africana Studies graduate programs through the University's Graduate College. Completed applications for the M.A. degree are due January 15. We offer Fall admission only. Applications from those who wish to be considered for financial aid must be submitted by January 15.

All admission and funding decisions are made by the Africana Studies Graduate Program Committee. Applicants are evaluated on several criteria: applicant's statement of objectives, undergraduate/graduate grade point average, letters of recommendation (three), and a writing sample.


Requirements for the M.A. degree in Africana Studies consist of 30 credits of course work, including the Master's Thesis.

Required courses:

AFRA 600: Foundations in Africana Studies

AFRA 601: Africana Research Methods

AFRA 869: M.A. Thesis (0-6 credit)

AFRA 695: Thesis Seminar (0 credits)

One class in each of the four pillars of Africana Studies:

  • Pan-African Consciousness
  • Public Humanities, Public Scholarship, and Social Justice
  • Blackness, Gender, Sexuality
  • Visual and Material Culture

In addition, students must take two elective courses decided in consultation with the student's primary advisor.

The M.A. degree requirements include a thesis. Theses may take one of several forms, such as a written document, a material or visual project, or a website. Students using the program for professional development should consider the project form of the thesis. Students who may be using our program as a stepping stone toward Ph.D. admissions should complete the more traditional, longer written thesis. Students must discuss the form of thesis in consultation with their advisor.  

M.A. Sample Plan of

Year One Fall Semester

Foundations in Africana Studies (3 credits)

A class from Pillar (3 credits)

A class from Pillar (3 credits)

Year One Spring Semester

Africana Research Methods (3 credits)

A class from Pillar (3 credits)

TA  Intro course

Year Two Fall semester

A class from Pillar (3 credits)

Thesis (2 credits)

(work on proposal, put together committee by November 30)

Elective (3 credits)

Year Two Spring Semester

Thesis Seminar (0 credits)

Thesis (4 credits)

Elective (3 credits)

The Thesis/Project is 0-4 credit hours. If students do not graduate in May of "Year Two Spring Semester," then they can distribute those 4 credit hours until their semester of graduation.


Financial aid is available to graduate students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, tuition scholarships, and University fellowships. Assistantships and fellowships consist of tuition and a stipend for the September-May academic year. Awards are competitive and merit-based. All funding decisions are made in consultation with the Graduate Committee, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair. 

Applicants for admission to the program must indicate their wish to be considered for financial aid with their application. Continuing students in the program must indicate their request for financial aid in the coming year by February 1st.

All graduate fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships are accompanied by a grant of the full cost of tuition and include a stipend. Tuition scholarships carry no stipend. You can also find more information about fees and funding from the Graduate College.

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Program and Admissions Information
  • Department of Africana Studies
  • 417 Ewing Hall, 15 Orchard Road
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2897
  • Center for Black Culture
  • African Studies Program
  • Black Student Union
  • Christina Cultural Arts Center
  • Black Graduate Student Association
  • National Council for Black Students