3130 African-American Studies

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Arts in African-American Studies
    • Concentration in Community Empowerment
    • Concentration in Culture and Aesthetics

Department of African-American Studies
962 One Park Place South
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 4109
Atlanta, Georgia 30302

Akinyela Umoja, Chair
Sarita Davis, Graduate Director

The Department of African-American Studies offers a vibrant and highly competitive graduate program. The department’s Master of Arts degree is designed to provide students with a rigorous interdisciplinary training in the scholarly investigation of people of African descent. The faculty and the courses of the graduate program are drawn from the department and other academic units throughout the university.

The Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies offers two areas of concentrations: the Community Empowerment track and the Culture and Aesthetics track. The Community Empowerment concentration focuses on the historical and contemporary strategies to empower people of African descent. This track exposes the student to the political, economic, and policy responses to the impediments of African/African-American community development. The Culture and Aesthetics concentration focuses on the understandings and the interpretations of the philosophical, literary, and artistic contributions of people of African descent.

Students are prepared to pursue a doctorate in African-American Studies or other related disciplines in the social-sciences or the humanities. The M.A. degree in African-American Studies also enhances a career in government, education, the professional fields, and the non-profit sector.

Students seeking admission to the graduate program are admitted once a year to begin in the fall semester. All application materials are due by April 1st. Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of African-American Studies by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of African-American Studies has the following admission requirements:

  1. Although an undergraduate degree in African-American Studies is not required, applicants are expected to have taken extensive coursework in African-American Studies.
  2. Applicants must submit scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the GRE.
  3. Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.
  4. Applicants must submit a career goals statement (2-3 pages).
  5. Applicants must submit a writing sample of their previous scholarly work (10-20 pages)
  6. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation which assess the ability of the student to undertake graduate study.
  7. Applicants must complete the supplementary application form provided by the Department of African-American Studies.

Degree Requirements

In order to earn a Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies, a student must complete 39 credit hours of graduate coursework:

  1. Students must complete eighteen(18) hours of core requirements
    • AAS 6000 Proseminar in African-American Studies (3)
    • AAS 6005 Theories in African-American Studies (3)
    • AAS 6007 Black Feminist Thought (3)
    • AAS 6010 Research Methods in African-American Studies (3)
    • AAS 6012 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
    • AAS 6052 African Women and Social Political Changes (3)
  2. Students must complete twelve (12) credit hours of coursework in one of two areas of concentrations: Community Empowerment or Culture and Aesthetics:
    • Community Empowerment: (12 credit hours)
      Students who select the Community Empowerment concentration must complete at least twelve (12) credit hours of designated Community Empowerment coursework:

      • AAS 6015 Methods in African American Oral History (3)
      • AAS 6020 African-American Social Movements (3)
      • AAS 6022 The New African American Urban History and the Intervention of the Black Southern Diaspora (3)
      • AAS 6025 Seminar in African-American History (4)
      • AAS 6026 Seminar in African-American Women’s History (4)
      • AAS 6027 Seminar in Southern Modern Civil Rights Movement (4)
      • AAS 6029 African-American Political Participation (3)
      • AAS 6030 Dynamics of the African American Family (3)
      • AAS 6032 African-American Masculinity (3)
      • AAS 6034 African-American Women in the U.S. (3)
      • AAS 6040 African-American Community Empowerment (3)
      • AAS 6042 Diversity and Aging (3)
      • AAS 6044 African-American Anthropology (3)
      • AAS 6050 African Social Movements (3)
      • AAS 6052 Africana Women and Social Political Change (3)
      • AAS 6055 African Politics (3)
      • AAS 6056 Geography of Africa (3)
    • Culture and Aesthetics: (12 credit hours)
      Students who select the Culture and Aesthetics concentration must complete at least twelve (12) credit hours of designated Culture and Aesthetics coursework:

      • AAS 6060 African Art (3)
      • AAS 6062 Contemporary African Art (3)
      • AAS 6063 Art of Egypt, Nubia & Maghrib (3)
      • AAS 6070 African-American Literary Theory (3)
      • AAS 6073 19th Century African-American Literature (3)
      • AAS 6075 20th Century African-American Literature (3)
      • AAS 6079 African American Language (3)
      • AAS 6080 The Black Arts Movements (3)
      • AAS 6082 African-American Art (3)
      • AAS 6090 African-American Religion (3)
      • AAS 6065 Black Visual Representation: The Iconography of the African Diaspora (3)
  3. Students must complete three (3) credit hours of elective coursework. A student may select either African-American Studies or affiliated coursework. Non-designated African-American Studies coursework requires prior approval from the graduate director.
  4. Students must complete at least six (6) credit hours of AAS 8999 Thesis Research.
  5. Students must submit an approved thesis.
  6. Students must satisfactorily pass an oral thesis defense.