Graduate Certificate Requirements

The ASP provide students with the opportunity for the interdisciplinary study of Africa and African languages as they pursue their respective degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The overarching goal is to deepen students’ knowledge and to expand their understanding of Africa through a wide range of courses on such diverse topics as African cultures, business development, economics, education, environment, history, languages, politics, and religions.


1. Course Requirements

A total of six African Studies courses (18 credits) is required. Any Graduate Class can count towards the African Certificate if there is at least 25% African content and individual students focus on an issue or country in Africa while doing their project and/or research paper for the class. Six of these 18 credits must be taken outside of their major. In special instances, with the consent of the academic advisor, approved upper-level undergraduate courses may be accepted.

2. Language Proficiency

Students must complete one year of the study of an indigenous African language (Pitt offers Amharic, Arabic and Swahili) or a European language other than English that is relevant to African studies as a consequence of Africa’s historical experience (French, Portuguese, Spanish)
• Native speakers of an African language, or European language can have the language requirement waived
•  One year of a language spoken in Africa studied in undergrad can also fulfill the language requirement if students send in their transcripts.

3. Capstone Paper

This research paper/project is the culmination of the student’s learning experience and clearly demonstrates in–depth knowledge of African studies issues in at least one academic discipline. The capstone must be an assignment submitted as part of coursework, such as a final term paper and must have received a B or above grade.
• The paper must be at least 7 to 10 pages long and contain a minimum of 10 references
• The paper should have a cover sheet that shows the class title, the name of the professor, and the grade the paper received.
• Capstone papers must be received before graduation electronically

4. Presentation

The student will present the culmination of their African Studies Certificate through sharing about their capstone or African Studies experiences in a mini-forum to students, friends and family. Students can choose if they would rather present in December or April of their graduation year.

5. Study Abroad & Internships in Africa

Study Abroad is not required but highly encouraged.  Students can earn credit towards the certificate by studying abroad or completing an internship in Africa. Studying abroad or doing an internship in an African country is a great opportunity to enhance one's knowledge of Africa and to make invaluable connections. 


6. Graduation

Fill out this form to apply for graduation with the ASP - Graduation Form