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African Studies Certificate


Students who wish to graduate with a certificate in African Studies or African American and Diasporic Studies must file for graduation by the first Friday in February and submit their materials to the DAAS Administrative Coordinator/Project Coordinator at or the Director of Graduate Studies, Benedicte Boisseron at

Advisors and Application
Graduate students interested in applying to this program should contact the DAAS Graduate Certificate African Studies Subcommittee members Omolade Adunbi: and TBD.

A total of fifteen credit hours is required for earning the Graduate Certificate. Up to seven of the fifteen credit hours may be for courses required for the student’s degree; however, credits may not be triple-counted (e.g., the same course cannot simultaneously count towards the degree program, the GCP in DAAS, and another certificate program). Non-Rackham degree programs may have their own rules regulating double counting.

Pro-Seminar: AAS 600 (3 Credits)

All GCP students must enroll in the pro-seminar AAS 600, “Interdisciplinary Approaches to African Studies.” The course introduces students to a cluster of traditional and current topical questions in the field of African Studies, and it explores the various interdisciplinary approaches that can be used to address them. Designed to provide a strong interdisciplinary foundation and familiarize students with a wide-range of methodological approaches, the course is based on a program-approved syllabus reviewed annually by the DAAS Curriculum Committee. It is taught and graded by the professor, who may draw on U-M colleagues and visiting experts for a revolving co-teaching structure. This course is generally offered in the Winter term.

Capstone Research Course: AAS 890 (Independent Study) or AAS 892 (Seminar)

GCP students must also enroll in AAS 890 (Independent Study) or AAS 892 (Seminar). The course enables students to complete a culminating, interdisciplinary research project—such as a dissertation chapter, a prelim, or a Master’s thesis—that is subject to approval by the student’s faculty advisor and the DAAS Graduate Curriculum Committee.

Breadth Requirement (9 credits total)

In addition to the pro-seminar and AAS 890, all GCP students must complete three additional graduate-level courses in African Studies. At least one of those three courses must be in a field or discipline clearly outside the student’s primary department.


Students are initially assigned an individual faculty advisor, generally a DAAS faculty member or affiliate. They may request reassignment to an advisor of their choice at any time. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with these advisors as they move through the program. The program also has a designated Graduate Program Coordinator, who is generally the faculty member teaching the pro-seminar. The Coordinator oversees the assignment of students’ individual faculty advisors and handles petitions to have courses approved as part of the breadth requirement.

Past Graduates of an African Studies Certificate

Winter 2020
Timnet Gedar
Amanda Ndaw

Fall 2019
David Suell

2019 Winter
Colleen Hill

2018 Fall
Marisol Fila

2018 Winter
Julie Buser
Abigail Celis
Thomas O'Mealia

2017 Winter
Amanda Kaminsky
Andrew McIntyre
Claire Poelking

2016 Fall
Jessica Worl

2014 Fall
Amir Sarvestani

2014 Summer
Anna Mester

2014 Winter
Anne Compton
Margaret Czerwienski
Theodore Lawrence
Bristol Mann
Baruani Mshale
George Njung
Erin O'Brien
Cara Steger
Jennifer Williams

2013 Summer
Lisa Fouladbash
Doreen Kembabazi
Mamadou Moustapha Ly

2013 Winter
Johannes Norling

2012 Winter
Cameron Gokee
Menan Jangu
Amanda Logan
Elizabeth Renckens
Trinity Pierce

2011 Fall
Walker DePuy

2009 Summer
Cristy Watkins