The graduate minor in African Studies is designed to provide UIUC graduate students both at the master and doctoral levels in any discipline training in African Studies and is taken in conjunction with students’ primary fields of study. The minor’s purpose is to complement and supplement major work undertaken by students in their primary disciplines. The minor is intended to develop students’ knowledge of Africa through interdisciplinary training and African language study.


A student pursuing the graduate minor in African Studies must fulfill the following requirements before the completion of his/her graduate degree:

  1. Language Component: At least four semesters of the same African language instruction or demonstrated proficiency in an African language is required. Language instruction up to the third year is highly recommended for students conducting research or professional work in a particular region or country in Africa. If a student takes a third year of language, none of the hours will count toward the minor.
  2. Area Coursework consisting of 12 graduate credit hours
  • AFST 522
  • 1 elective at the 500 level
  • 1 other graduate (400 or 500 level) elective


There are no prerequisites for the minor.

Admission to the Minor

A graduate student who elects African Studies as a minor must get approval from the Center, the administrating unit of the minor, and from his/her home department. Applicants must be in good standing in a graduate program at the University of Illinois and should demonstrate an interest in African Studies. Students enrolled in the MA program in African Studies are not eligible to receive the minor. Students are encouraged to work closely with the student adviser at the Center for African Studies to design their programs. The minor admission process is monitored by the Associate Director in charge of academic programming. Please fill out and submit the attached minor application form to the Center (Minor application form). Before graduation, students wishing to have the minor appear on their transcript must also successfully petition the graduate college to have the minor added to their academic record.

Minor Adviser

The Associate Director will also be assigned the responsibility of advising students. She serves as the director of graduate studies and administers the master's program in African Studies and works with graduate students from other departments whose focus is Africa and who are recipients of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship.

Certification of Successful Completion

Successful completion of the graduate minor will be certified by the Center for African Studies. Upon completion of the minor requirements and of his/her master’s or doctoral degree, the student will receive a completion document created by the Center for African Studies indicating that he/she has earned a graduate minor in African Studies. Students with the minor on their academic record will also have the minor reflected on their transcript after graduation.