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Graduate Certificate

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. No additional coursework is usually required as courses completed for the African Studies Certificate also usually fulfill requirements toward students’ degree programs.

Stanford University acknowledges the importance of Africa and is committed to addressing graduate student interest in the study of the continent. The Graduate Certificate in African Studies forms a vital part of this commitment and serves an important intellectual function on our campus.  The Certificate is open to students in any Stanford University degree-granting graduate program.

Various programs across the University allow students to study discrete topics on Africa—economic development, governance, humanitarian emergencies, business and investment, health, technology, energy and the environment, and security.  The Graduate Certificate in African Studies is designed to facilitate a fuller understanding of the continent, beyond narrow disciplinary lenses. The Graduate Certificate in African Studies enables graduate students interested in specializing in Africa to demonstrate a regional or functional specialization in Africa, both to pursue intellectual interests and to attain qualifications for post-graduate careers or study.

The Center for African Studies is uniquely positioned to bridge this gap between disciplinary specialists and Africa specialists in a way that will help them more effectively engage with the African continent.  

The Graduate Certificate in African Studies is awarded to individuals already admitted to a Stanford University graduate program who have completed the relevant requirements.

Graduate Study in African Studies

For those who wish to specialize in Africa at the graduate level, African Studies can be designated a field of concentration within the master's and doctoral programs of some academic departments. Students in such departments as Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology, and in the School of Education, may declare African Studies as the area of specialization for their master's and Ph.D. thesis work. Some other departments, programs, and institutes such as the International Comparative Education Program also permit students to specialize in African Studies.