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Academic Programs

The Center for African Studies coordinates an interdisciplinary program in African Studies for undergraduates and graduate students.

The program seeks to enrich understanding of the interactions among the social, economic, cultural, historical, linguistic, genetic, geopolitical, ecological, and biomedical factors that shape and have shaped African societies. By arrangement with the Stanford/Berkeley Joint Center for African Studies, graduate students may incorporate courses from both institutions into their programs. Contact the center for information regarding courses offered at the University of California, Berkeley.

Courses in African Studies are offered by departments and programs throughout the University. Each year the center sponsors a seminar to demonstrate to advanced undergraduates and graduate students how topics of current interest in African Studies are approached from different disciplinary perspectives.

Course offerings in African languages are also coordinated by the Center for African Studies.  Along with regular courses in several levels of Arabic, Swahili, Xhosa, and Zulu, the center arranges with the African and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures Program in the Stanford Language Center to offer instruction in other African languages; in recent years, it has offered courses in Amharic, Bambara, Chichewa, Ewe, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Shona, Swahili, Twi, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.

The Center for African Studies seeks to specifically acknowledge Stanford students who choose to take our courses which cover a wide, interdisciplinary range of topics relating to Africa. The minor in African Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows the participating student the opportunity to select relevant courses in various departments according to his or her interests.

Students may apply for a certificate in African Studies. Requirements for the certificate are the same as for the minor; however, students may double-count courses applied toward their major or graduate studies. The certificate in African Studies is issued by the Program in African Studies and will not appear on any University record, including the student’s transcript.

The graduate certificate in African Studies may be pursued by graduate students enrolled in any PhD program at Stanford University. It demonstrates specialized knowledge of African languages, history, culture, and politics. It is especially helpful for graduate students seeking to deepen their understanding of African studies while working on advanced degrees in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, and professional fields.