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Dual Master of Arts in African Studies and Master of Public Health

The African Studies Program and the School of Public Health (SPH) jointly offer a three-year program that qualifies students for a dual master’s degree (M.A. / M.P.H). The program is a response to the growing need for public health personnel with Africa-specific knowledge and research experience in the humanities and social sciences. The dual M.A./M.P.H program requires completion of a minimum of 61 credit hours of graduate course work.  Students will be assigned a mentor / advisor from each unit.

Admissions Requirements

Same as for the Master of Arts in African Studies degree, except that students must also apply for admisson to the master’s program of the School of Public Health and meet its established M.P.H admissions criteria. Students must be accepted for admission to both units in order to be admitted to the program.

Other Stipulations

Students must pass all routine requirements of the MPH program including satisfactory performance on the C650 Culminating Experience in addition to the completion of the master’s thesis or project.

Public Health Core Courses

A minimum fifteen credit hours of course work distributed as follows:

  • SPH B589 Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3cr.)
  • SPH B591 Public Health Statistics (3 cr.)
  • SPH B512 Environmental Health Science (3 cr.)
  • SPH B611 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH B510 Organization and Administration of Public Health Programs (3 cr.)

African Studies Core Courses

A minimum nine credit hours of course work distributed as follows:

  • AFRI A731 African Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar (3 cr)
  • AFRI A732 Bibliography of Sub-Saharan Africa (3 cr)
  • AFRI A650 Interdisciplinary Research Methods (3 cr)

Language Requirement

At least four semesters of an African language.  The credits accrued for the four semesters of language study are not counted toward the total credits required for the degree.  Students who continue their language study to the advanced level may count up to three credits of study beyond the second year toward the elective requirement.  

Students may have the four semester language requirement waived by demonstrating equivalent competence through an examination.

Public Health Required Courses

A minimum twenty-two credit hours of course work distributed as follows:

  • SPH B505 Public Health Foundations and Leadership (3 cr.)
  • SPH B501 Assessment and Planning in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH H594 Health Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • SPH B602 Intervention Design (3 cr.)
  • SPH B529 Health and Disease in Diverse Communities (3 cr.)
  • SPH B650 Culminating Experience (2 cr.)
  • SPH B644 Field Experience in Public Health (5 cr.) (prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.0)


A minimum of nine hours of elective credit distributed in one of the following two ways:


  • African Studies Electives (6 credits)*
  • SPH Electives with African Focus (3 credits)*


  • African Studies Electives (9 credits)*

*(African Studies elective courses are to be selected from the range of cross-listed African Studies offerings in the College of Arts and Sciences and several professional schools, with the approval of the student’s major advisor. Electives may include three additional credits of AFRI A-731 since the topic for the African Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar changes every semester and is offered by different faculty members on a rotating basis. SPH elective courses may include any elective within the School of Public Health that complements an area of topical or methodological focus.)

Independent Research and Thesis/Project

  • AFRI A651 Independent Research (6 Credits)

Students are required to constitute a committee composed of a representative from African Studies and Public Health who will serve as co-chairs of the thesis or project, and one additional member with relevant regional or topical expertise. Students have the option of writing a thesis or doing a project in accordance with the guidelines provided on the Master of Arts in African Studies page. There is no M.A. examination option.

The African Studies and SPH degrees must be awarded simultaneously.