Pan-African Studies (CERT)

Graduate Certificate in Pan-African Studies (PAS CPA)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department/Program Website: Pan-African Studies

Program Information

The Department of Pan-African Studies (PAS) fosters the multidisciplinary study of the societies and cultures of Africa and persons of African ancestry past and present, throughout the world. To this end, PAS offers an extensive program of study, including undergraduate major and minor and, ultimately, graduate programs focusing on Africa and the Diaspora. This program of study seeks to:

  1. Give students a broad understanding of the history, societies, and cultures of the African world;
  2. Equip students to apply Pan-Africanist scholarship to the analysis of and engagement with contemporary social and cultural issues;
  3. Engage in the interrogation of prior research and build new scholarship that reflects the perspectives and experiences of people from the African Diaspora;
  4. Prepare students for the workforce or for graduate work in Pan-African Studies and/or related fields;
  5. Add an inter-cultural dimension to other academic programs.

Fifteen faculty members hold full or joint appointments in the Department of Pan-African Studies with areas of specialization that include art, religion, music, communications, literature, popular culture, history, anthropology, education, sociology and political science of the African world.

As scholars, the faculty of the Department contributes to the creation of new knowledge and the development of new methodologies emerging from Pan-African experiences and formulations of meaning. The Department is committed to sharing this knowledge through teaching and research, and applying it through service in the local, state, regional, national and international communities. PAS aspires, as its ultimate goal, to become a Department of national and international distinction.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate certificate in Pan-African Studies is open, potentially, to any student who has completed at a minimum baccalaureate degree. Post-baccalaureate students wishing to pursue the certificate outside the framework of a graduate degree program must apply for admission through and meet the general requirements for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.  These requirements include the submission of:

  • An official transcript reflecting previous degrees earned
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of the General Test Section

If resource limitations necessitate the imposition of restrictions, the PAS Graduate Programs Committee will select students based on the following criteria: 1) undergraduate record; 2) letters of recommendation; 3) personal interview; and 4) GRE scores.

Graduate students wishing to pursue the certificate program in Pan-African Studies in conjunction with a graduate degree must meet the requirements for admission to that degree program and should then apply for the certificate program by consulting the PAS Director of Graduate Studies after admission.  Depending on the structure of the degree program, coursework toward the certificate may be either additional hours beyond those required for the degree or elective hours toward the degree or a combination of the two.  The PAS Director of Graduate Studies shall then inform the student's degree program chair and work to coordinate the completion of degree and graduate certificate program requirements.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Pan-African Studies

Approved PAS Courses (available in the Department of Pan-African Studies) 19
Historical Studies (3 credits)
Cultural Studies (3 credits)
Social Studies (3 credits)
Approved Electives 26
Minimum Total Hours15

 Courses must be approved for graduate credit in accordance with the policies of the Graduate School. Students may not apply 500-level courses taken for undergraduate credit. 

At least 3 hours must be at the 600 level.

Coursework toward the Graduate Certificate in Pan-African Studies may also count toward the student's graduate degree.