Graduate Certificate Requirements

1. Course Requirements

Students enrolled in the graduate certificate program are required to complete six African Studies courses (18 credits). Any graduate class with at least 25% or more Africa related content counts towards the certificate. Individual students can focus on an Africa related issue or a country in Africa while doing their project and/or research paper for the class. 

Out of the 18 credits, 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 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

Click here for a list of courses

2. Language Proficiency

Students must complete two years of the study of an indigenous African language. Pitt offers Amharic, Arabic and Swahili. We also accept a European language other than English that is relevant to African studies because 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 on 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. Each student will have 5 minutes to present. They are allowed no more than five power point slides of talking points and pictures to guide their presentation. Presentations happen in December or April of the graduation year, and students can choose when they want to present.


5. Research & Internships in Africa

Research and internships 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

All students are required to submit an application for graduation with us. Apply using the Graduation Form.