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African Studies Program

Certificate in African Studies

Students on Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020 requirements AFRIACRT1
The Certificate in African Studies provides a background for careers in foreign service, government, business, law, the academic world, and other areas. It is intended to give undergraduates both a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of the African continent (as does the minor), but it also requires that students gain a more in-depth knowledge of Africa as it relates to at least one discipline and one of its languages. Four semesters of an African language such as Akan/Twi, Arabic, Bamana, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, or Zulu are required. A Certificate in African Studies also complements a major in many departments and professional schools throughout the university.


The certificate requires at least 18 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. African Civilization. One (1) course:
    • AFRI-L 231 African Civilization
    • HIST-H 227 African Civilizations
  2. Contemporary Africa. One (1) course:
    • AFRI-L 232 Contemporary Africa
  3. Electives. Four elective courses (totaling at least 12 credit hours) from at least two different departments chosen from African Studies or cross-listed full or partial African-content courses. At least three of the four courses must be at the 300- or 400-level, and at least two of the courses must have 100 per cent Africa content. Also, at least one elective course must be taught inside the College of Arts and Sciences. Note: Language courses cannot be applied toward the elective requirement.
    1. 100% Africa Content Courses
      • AFRI-A 100 Introduction to African Studies
      • AFRI-L 100 Topics in African Society and Culture (approved topics: "Gumboot Dance: Beauty from Pain"; "Reed Dance"; "Political Leadership in Africa"; "Southern African Culture, Song, and Dance")
      • AFRI-L 202 Occultism in Africa
      • AFRI-L 210 Popular Akan Oral Art Forms
      • AFRI-L 231 African Civilization
      • AFRI-L 232 Contemporary Africa
      • AFRI-L 400 Topics in African Studies
      • AFRI-X 390 Readings and Research in African Studies
      • AFRI-X 473 Internship in African Studies
      • ANTH-E 300 Culture Areas and Ethnic Groups (approved topic: "Islam in and out of Africa")
      • ANTH-E 309 Problems in African Ethnography
      • ANTH-E 417 African Women
      • ANTH-P 314 Earlier Prehistory of Africa
      • ARTH-A 155 Introduction to African Art
      • ARTH-A 352 Art of Eastern and Southern Africa
      • ARTH-A 355 Art, Craft, and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa
      • ARTH-A 356 Art of Central Africa
      • ARTH-A 453 Art of Sub-Saharan Africa I: Arts of Africa's Western Sudan
      • CMLT-C 261 Introduction to African Literature
      • CMLT-C 361 African Literature and Other Arts
      • FOLK-E 302 Music in African Life
      • FOLK-F 301 African Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music (approved topics: "Music in African Life"; "African Music Performance"; "West African Music")
      • GEOG-G 425 Africa: Contemporary Geography Problems
      • HIST-E 300 Issues in African History
      • HIST-E 331 African History from Ancient Times to Empires and City States
      • HIST-E 332 African History from Colonial Rule to Independence
      • HIST-E 333 Conflict in Southern Africa
      • HIST-E 340 African Popular Culture
      • HIST-H 227 African Civilizations
      • HIST-J 300 Seminar In History (approved topics: "African Military History"; "Seminar on Contemporary Africa"; "African History of Technology")
      • LING-L 210 Topics in Language and Society (approved topic: "African Communication and Culture")
      • LING-L 480 Introduction to African Linguistics
      • LING-L 481 Language in Africa
      • MELC-E 201 History and Civilization of Ancient Egypt
      • MELC-E 301 Religions of Ancient Egypt
      • POLS-Y 338 African Politics
      • BUS-L 272 Global Business Immersion-business Law & Ethics (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SPEA-V 450 Contemporary Issues in Public Affairs (approved topic: "African Political Economy")
    2. Courses with 25% or higher Africa content
      • AAAD-A 100 African American Dance Company: Foundations and Practices
      • AAAD-A 154 History of Race in the Americas
      • AAAD-A 156 Black Liberation Struggles against Jim Crow and Apartheid
      • AAAD-A 210 Black Women in the Diaspora
      • AAAD-A 350 Black Atlantic
      • AAAD-A 360 Slavery: Worldwide Perspective
      • AAAD-A 407 African American and African Protest Strategies
      • AAAD-A 420 Transforming Divided Communities and Societies (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • AAAD-A 430 The Cinema of Africana Women
      • ANTH-A 107 Becoming Human: Evolving Genes, Bodies, Behaviors, Ideas
      • ANTH-A 205 Anthropology Today: Selected Topics in Current Research (approved topic: "Exploring Sustainable Agriculture and Trade")
      • ANTH-B 200 Bioanthropology
      • ANTH-B 368 The Evolution of Primate Social Behavior
      • ANTH-B 464 Human Paleontology
      • ANTH-B 466 The Primates
      • ANTH-E 300 Culture Areas and Ethnic Groups (approved topics: "Nature and Culture:Perspectives in Environment Anthropology"; "Photography and Ethnography")
      • ANTH-E 386 Performance, Culture, and Power in the Middle East and North Africa
      • ANTH-E 400 Undergraduate Seminar (approved topic: "Money, Materiality, and Value")
      • ANTH-E 444 People and Protected Areas: Theories of Conservation
      • ANTH-P 210
      • ARTH-A 327 Survey of Modern and Contemporary Islamic Art
      • ARTH-A 458 Topics in the Ethnographic Arts (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • CMLT-C 262 Cross-Cultural Encounters (approved topic: "Love and War across Borders")
      • CMLT-C 291 Studies in Non-Western Film (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • CMLT-C 301 Special Topics in Comparative Literature (approved topic: "Folklore and Magical/Animist Realism")
      • CMLT-C 318 Satire
      • CMLT-C 343 Literature and Politics (approved topic: "Migrants, Refugees and Cosmopolitans")
      • CMLT-C 360 Diasporic Literatures (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • CMLT-C 363 Black Paris
      • COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities (approved topic: "Ebonics: The Controversy over African American Vernacular English")
      • COLL-C 105 Critical Approaches to the Natural and Mathematical Sciences (approved topic: "Sister Species")
      • FOLK-E 112 Black Music of Two Worlds
      • FOLK-E 297 Popular Music of Black America
      • FOLK-E 496 African American Religious Music
      • FOLK-F 252 Folklore and the Humanities (approved topic: "Global Pop Music")
      • FOLK-F 450 Music in Religious Thought and Experience (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • FRIT-F 222 Media Studies in the Francophone World
      • FRIT-F 300 French and Francophone Studies: Introduction (approved topics: "Manger, boire..."; "Desire, soffrance et liberte")
      • HISP-P 290 Global Portuguese: Arts and Culture (approved topic: "Portuguese around the World")
      • HISP-P 401 Literatures of the Portuguese-Speaking World II
      • HISP-P 405 Literature and Film in Portuguese
      • HISP-P 415 Women Writing in Portuguese
      • HIST-J 400 Seminar in History (approved topics: "Indian Ocean - Cradle of Globalization"; "Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement")
      • HIST-W 200 Issues in World History (approved topic: "World War I from the Margins")
      • HIST-W 300 Issues in World History (approved topic: "Slavery and Unfreedom")
      • HON-H 237 Law and Society (approved topic: "Coffee, Culture, and Global Exchange")
      • INTL-I 206 Peace and Conflict (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • INTL-I 303 Advanced Topics in Global Development (approved topic: "Comparative Politics of Natural Resources: Linking the Global and the Local")
      • LING-L 112 Language and Politics
      • LING-L 306 Phonetics
      • LING-L 308 Morphology
      • LING-L 315 Introduction to Sociolinguistics
      • LING-L 485 Topics in Linguistics (approved topic: "Advanced Phonology")
      • MSCH-F 204 Topics in Media, Culture, and Society (approved topics: "Emerging Media: Nollywood Films"; "Migrants and Refugees in Film")
      • POLS-Y 107 Introduction to Comparative Politics (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • POLS-Y 343 The Politics of International Development (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SOAD-F 301 Dress Studies: Topics in Cultural Analysis (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SPEA-V 160 National and International Policy (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SPEA-V 450 Contemporary Issues in Public Affairs (approved topics: "Global Governance in the 21st Century"; "NGO Management in Comparative Perspective"; "Third World Development"; "U.S. Foreign Policy and Third World Regimes")
      • SPH-F 347 Hum Dev Ii:mid Chldhd Thru Adol (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SPH-H 150 Children's Health Up to Age 5 (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
      • SPH-H 414 Health Educ in Pre-k - Grade 6 (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
  4. Language requirement. Four semesters in a language other than English that is spoken on the African continent. This requirement may be fulfilled by taking African language courses, such as Akan/Twi, Bamana, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu; Arabic offered through the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures; or another language approved by the Associate Director of African Studies. In most cases, European languages cannot be used to meet this requirement. Courses used for completion of the CASE foreign language requirement do not count toward the required 18 credit hours needed for the certificate.
  5. GPA and Hours Requirements.
    1. At least 9 credit hours in the certificate must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
    2. At least 9 credit hours in the certificate must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    3. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the certificate.
    4. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the certificate—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    5. Exceptions to certificate requirements may be made with the approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.