What will I learn?

African Studies considers the arts, history, cultures, languages, literatures, politics, religions, and societies of Africa as well as issues concerning development, health, and the environment. Considerable flexibility and choice of areas of concentration are offered because students entering the program may have differing academic backgrounds and career plans. Enrollment in the M.A. program in African Studies provides students with the opportunity to register for the many African studies courses offered in the various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.

The Program in African Studies also offers two interdisciplinary seminars to create dialogue and to integrate approaches across disciplines. In addition to the M.A. degree program, the Council on African Studies offers students in the University's doctoral and other professional degree programs the chance to obtain a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in African Studies by fulfilling a supplementary curriculum (see Council on African Studies, under Non-Degree Granting Programs, Councils, and Research Institutes). Joint degrees are possible with the approval of the director of graduate studies (DGS) and the relevant officials in the schools of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Management, and Public Health.

The program requires sixteen courses: two compulsory introductory interdisciplinary seminars, Research Methods in African Studies (AFST 501) and Topics in African Studies (AFST 764) or an alternate course, as specifically designated by the DGS; four courses of instruction in an African language; four courses in one of the foregoing areas of concentration; four other approved courses offered in the Graduate School or professional schools; and two terms of directed reading and research (AFST 590 and AFST 900) during which students will complete the required thesis. A student who is able to demonstrate advanced proficiency in an African language may have the language requirement waived and substitute four other approved courses. The choice of courses must be approved by the DGS, with whom students should consult as soon as possible in the first term.

Which department am I in?

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$43,300.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2021


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Yale University, Warner House,

1 Hillhouse Avenue,



06511, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) prior to matriculation at Yale.

English Language requirements: The minimum score on the TOEFL is 610 on the paper-based test or 102 on the Internet-based test.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.