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Joint Master of Arts in African Studies and Master of Public Affairs

Academic programs in African Studies continue to grow, with a corresponding need for scholars in Public Affairs who have knowledge and research experience in the humanities, social sciences, policy, and management aspects of this field. The dual M.A. /M.P.A. program requires completion of a minimum of 62 credit hours of graduate course work. Students must apply for admission to the masterís programs of both the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (Public Affairs) and the School of Global and International Studies (African Studies Program), and meet the admissions criteria established for each. Students will be assigned a mentor from each unit until they form a M.A.-M.P.A. thesis or project committee which should be co-directed by a faculty member from each unit. The two degrees must be awarded simultaneously.

Admissions Requirements

Same as for the School of Global and International Studies Master of Arts in African Studies degree, except that students must also apply to the masterís program of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and meet its established admissions criteria. Students must be accepted by both units in order to be admitted to the program. The deadline for receipt of application materials for the African Studies component is January 15. Please contact the School of Public and Environmental Affairs for deadlines and information on the SPEA master's program requirements and deadlines.

African Studies Course Requirements

A. Required Courses (9-12 credit hours):

  • AFRI A731 African Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar (3 credits)
  • AFRI A650 Interdisciplinary Research Methods (3 credits)
  • A651 Independent Research / Directed Readings (3-6 credits)

B. Elective Courses to complete a total of 26 credit hours

  • Students should take elective courses organized around a topical or regional concentration. These courses are to be selected from the range of crosslisted African Studies offerings in the College of Arts and Sciences and several professional schools, with the approval of the studentís major advisor. Electives may include up to three additional credits of A731 because the topic for the African Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar changes every semester and is offered by different faculty members on a rotating basis.

C. Language Requirement

Same as for the M.A. in African Studies.

SPEA Course Requirements

The core requirements for the M.P.A. and a specialized SPEA concentration (36 credit hours) to include:

A. MPA Foundation Courses (18 credits):

  • SPEA-V 502 Public Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 506 Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 517 Public Management Economics (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 540 Law and Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-F 560 Public Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 600 Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs (3 cr.)

B. Specialized Area

  • Students may design and develop a program of specialization courses in consultation with SPEA faculty advisors (18 credits)

Master’s Committee and Thesis or Project

Students are required to constitute a committee consisting of three persons with relevant Africa and topical expertise. African Studies and SPEA should be represented on the committee.
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 SPEA degrees must be awarded simultaneously.

Download the University Graduate School Bulletin for 2017-2018 here.