Graduate Certificate Requirements

The ASP provides 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. 

Out of the 18 credits, graduate students must complete a minimum of 6 unique credits of coursework. In other words, at least 6 credits of the course work used to complete the requirements of the ASP Graduate Certificate must be in addition to the credits used to complete the student’s primary degree program. The 6 credits may be comprised of the following combinations:

  • Two language courses (see language options below)
  • A language course and a content course
  • Two content courses

2. Language Proficiency

Students must complete two years 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 or doing an internship in an African country is a great opportunity to enhance one's knowledge of Africa and to make invaluable connections. Students may contextualize non-credit bearing internships that are required in various graduate degree programs as credit bearing experiences for the ASP certificate programs. Prior approval must be received from the academic advisor to pursue this option.

6. Graduation

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

7. Enrollment
Fill out this form to be added to the program - Graduate Certificate Enrollment