Student learning goals are multiple, but in the main, students completing the African Studies Certificate program are expected to achieve the following by the time of graduation:
- Exposure to and ability to articulate key theories and paradigms and utilize methodologies employed in political science, anthropology, history, with secondary competence in issues of economics/development and specialized courses on regional, country or thematic issues – literature, etc.
- Ability to identify major issues pertinent to political and social life on the African continent.
- Demonstrated capacity to write effectively and persuasively, as stressed throughout the African Studies and University curriculum, but specifically evaluated through both senior capstone or thesis course requirements.
- Language facility, defined as proficiency (two years of study) of a language relevant to the continent. Students may fulfill the language requirement by completing at least beginner’s level (one year) in a relevant language and one year of study of an indigenous African language.
Various programs across the University allow students to study discrete topics on Africa—economic development, governance, humanitarian emergencies, business and investment, health, technology, energy and the environment, and security. The Certificate in African Studies is designed to facilitate a fuller understanding of the continent, beyond narrow disciplinary lenses and various “crisis narratives.” The African Studies Certificate is open to undergraduate students in all schools of Georgetown University, regardless of major.
The certificate requires a total of 6 courses (18 credit hours) plus a capstone or senior thesis seminar and proficiency in one of the following foreign languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Swahili. Students may also fulfill the language requirement by completing at least beginner level in any language in addition to one year of study in an indigenous African language. Study abroad in Africa is strongly encouraged, but not required.
Georgetown University acknowledges the importance of Africa and is committed to addressing graduate student interest in the study of the continent. The Graduate Certificate in African Studies forms a vital part of this commitment and serves an important intellectual function on our campus.
The graduate certificate requires 5 courses (15 credits), plus language proficiency. These courses will fit within the required coursework of the student’s MA/MS program. There is no thesis requirement. One of the five courses must be the required Gateway Course, Theory and Policy in Africa (INAF 559), taught annually in the Spring Semester. The other four required courses are Electives, which students will choose in consultation with the Certificate program director. Together, the student and director will design an individualized curriculum that both addresses the student’s specific interests and ensures disciplinary and thematic breadth to their study of Africa.
The African Studies Graduate Certificate is open to students in any Georgetown University degree-granting graduate program.