Graduate Degree Master of Arts in African-American Studies

Introduction & Requirements

Our faculty expertise in the domestic and global study of race and Blackness in the traditional disciplines of African-American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Work, and Public Health makes African-American Studies at Georgia State University a significant resource for graduate students who want to engage in the interdisciplinary study of Black people in the United States, Africa, and in the African diaspora.  There are few departments or programs that match our strengths in:

  • Scholar-Activism
  • Diasporic studies in Black popular and mass culture
  • Culturally-relevant pedagogy
  • Community Empowerment
  • Gender and Social Relationships

While we have particular emphasis on Social Justice and Community Responsibility, in the United States, we support and encourage the study and liberation of Black people everywhere in the world.

African-American Studies offers a master’s degree with competitive funding, which includes a tuition waiver and moderate stipend.

Application Requirements Summary:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation on letterhead
  • Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Cost to apply is $50.
  • The deadline to apply for fall term is March 15th


Career Opportunities

African-American Studies is an inter-disciplinary field that prepares its students for professional life and social responsibility. Our emphasis on critical engagement, communication (oral and written) skills, and research provides important preparation and competencies in a variety of careers. Our alumni have successfully pursued careers in Law, Education, Historic Preservation, Public Health, Mental Health, Urban Planning, Social Work, and Human Rights Advocacy.

Check out the link below for information on what you can do with an African-American Studies degree:

What Can I Do With A Black Studies Major

Degree 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:

The M.A. in African-American Studies requires thirty-six (36) semester hours of graduate course work, eighteen hours of which are required (AAS 6000, AAS 6005, AAS 6007, AAS 6010, AAS 6012 and AAS 6052), and twelve hours of which may be taken from AAS courses or from approved courses in other departments.  (Students holding graduate assistantships (GAs) may be required to carry more hours (non-thesis hours), although this requirement does not alter the number of hours required to complete the master’s degree program.)  To get a course approved, discuss it with the AAS Graduate Program Director and get approval in writing or via e-mail.  For available courses, see the Department of African-American Studies Schedule of Courses for the current year or visit the GSU Go Solar web page. Coursework must be completed with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better; please note that B- does not fulfill this requirement.  Full-time graduate students are expected to take the core courses offered fall and spring semester.  Part-time graduate students are expected to take at least one core course each semester until they finish the core.

  1. Courses

    In order to earn a Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies, a student must complete 36 credits hours of graduate coursework:

    1. Students must complete eighteen (18) hours of core requirements:
      1. AAS 6000 Proseminar in African-American Studies (3)
      2. AAS 6005 Theories in African-American Studies (3)
      3. AAS 6007 Black Feminist Thought (3)
      4. AAS 6010 Research Methods in African-American Studies (3)
      5. AAS 6012 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
      6. AAS 6052 African Women and Socio/Political Change (3)
    2. Students must complete twelve (12) credit hours of coursework in one of two areas of concentrations: Community Empowerment or Culture and Aesthetics. These courses are decided between the student and Graduate Director. See the Recommended Timeline for Full-Time AAS MA Students.
    3. Students must complete six (6) credit hours of thesis.


*Note: This chart does not include Graduate Assistantship (GA) hours.

**Note: This chart may vary for part-time students.

Year 1
Fall Spring Summer (Optional)


·         AAS 6000

·         AAS 6005

·         AAS 6010



·         Begin thinking about your thesis topic

·         Begin getting to know faculty in order to find a thesis advisor and thesis committee members

·         Check in with the Graduate Program Director by the end of the semester to discuss how you are doing


·         AAS 6007

·         AAS 6012

·         AAS 6052



·         Select Thesis Committee Chair & committee members (Appendix D – Deadline: March 31st)

·         Submit Annual Evaluation materials (Deadline: March 31st) (Appendix E)

·         Update CV



·         CE/CA course



Year 2
Fall Spring Summer


·         CE/CA courses

·         Thesis Hours



·         Thesis Proposal Defense (Deadline: October 31st) (Appendix E, F, & G)


·         File for graduation (2 semesters in advance)


·         CE/CA courses

·         Thesis Hours



·         Submit Annual Evaluation materials (March 31st) (Appendix E)

·         Thesis Defense (Deadline: March 15th) (Appendix H & I)

·         Update CV

·         Exit Interview w/ Graduate Program Director

·         Graduation