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Dual Master of Arts in African Studies and Master of Library Science

The African Studies Program (School of Global and International Studies / College of Arts and Sciences) and the Department of Information and Library Science jointly offer a three-year program that qualifies students for a dual master’s degree (M.A./M.L.S.). The program responds to the growing need for librarians with Africa-specific knowledge and research experience in the humanities and social sciences. The dual M.A./M.L.S. program requires completion of a minimum of 56 credit hours of graduate course work and the two degrees must be awarded simultaneously. 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 to the master’s program of the Department of Information and Library Science and meet its established admissions criteria. Students must be accepted by both units in order to be admitted to the program.

African Studies Course Requirements

A minimum twenty-six 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) - at least twelve credit hours of elective courses organized around a topical or regional concentration
  • AFRI A651 Independent Research / Directed Readings (up to 6 cr) toward M.A. thesis

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.

Library and Information Sciences Course Requirements

Thirty credit hours of course work consisting of:

  • 15 credits of MLS foundation courses, with S552 Academic Library Management to fulfill the management and leadership skills requirement
  • 3 credits of either S521 Information in the Humanities or S522 Social Science Information
  • 12 credits of elective courses chosen in consultation with the student’s SLIS advisor. An internship related to African Studies Librarianship is strongly advised.

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.

Master's Committee and Thesis or Project

Students are required to constitute a committee consisting of three persons with relevant Africa and topical expertise, including a SLIS faculty member or someone representing the SLIS perspective. 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 SLIS degrees must be awarded simultaneously.