Researching and teaching the languages and expressive cultures of Africa and Africans around the world since 1964
Tips for Application
The questions below are compiled to provide detailed information designed to assist with inquiries regarding the application process. Please read them carefully.
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Am I qualified to apply for the MA or PhD in African Cultural Studies?
Admission to the MA graduate program requires a Bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) with substantial coursework related to the expressive cultures of Africa. Admitted students with an insufficient background in African cultural studies may be asked to complete additional coursework beyond the regular degree requirements.
Admission to the PhD graduate program requires an MA in a closely related field (with the thesis or another substantive piece of graduate-level writing submitted as a writing sample).
If you are unsure which program to apply to, you may reach out to email@example.com for guidance. Please do not apply to both the MA and PhD.
I am unsure if I should apply to the MA or PhD. Should I apply to both?
No, please do not apply to both the MA and PhD. Instead, please read the question titled “Am I qualified to apply for the MA or PhD in African Cultural Studies?” You may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help and clarification.
Do I need a supervising advisor/faculty member to agree to work with me before I apply?
No. However, it is very important that you review our faculty bios to ensure we have sufficient faculty to support your research interests. If you wish to clarify a faculty member’s interest areas to determine fit, please do reach out to them by email. Just know that we do not look for faculty endorsement during the application review process.
If you do email a faculty member or the Graduate Coordinator, please do not include transcripts or supporting documents unless they are requested.
What should I include in my Purpose Statement?
Your Purpose Statement should substantiate how your own interests intersect with our faculty expertise. Give a detailed account of the reasons and circumstances that led to your decision to undertake graduate work in the Department of African Cultural Studies. Include references to your academic work, your short-term and long-term goals, your personal relationship to or interests in the fields we study, and your knowledge of any African languages. If your transcripts reflect any negative episodes in your academic career, e.g., a poor grade or a dropped course, you may explain them here. We look for evidence of your developing research interests and how they relate to the research interests of our faculty.
Any applicant – including international students – offered admission is automatically offered 5 years of funding, usually in the form of Teaching Assistant positions for language or literature/culture courses. These appointments include tuition remission, stipend, and health insurance benefits.
We are able to offer fee waivers to US citizens who are members of under-represented communities and first generation college students. These waivers originate with the Advanced Opportunity Fund (AOF) and applicants are automatically considered according to a number of factors asked about during the application process.
Unfortunately, we are unable to support the number of application fee waiver requests we receive from our international applicants.
Who should I email if I have questions?
Please direct all questions about the application process to email@example.com
You may have questions specific to a faculty member’s area of expertise and in that case, please do reach out to that person directly.
Please do not email the same question to more than one person.