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African Studies Program

The African Studies Program offers many opportunities for students to learn about important historical, social, political, and economic features of the African continent. Our able faculty teach courses that provide interdisciplinary perspectives on Africa’s complexity, significance, and rich diversities. Although the media have often portrayed Africa through the stereotypical lens of famine, war, and disease, the African Studies Program seeks to expand student knowledge of Africa by, among other things, highlighting Africa’s place in the global community, the vital geo-resources sustaining the world’s ecosystems, the depth of its artistic creativity and the resourcefulness of its peoples.

African Studies offers both a major and minor for undergraduates. Students often take concurrent majors, focusing on major(s) of their own choice and African Studies. Many of our graduates go on to careers in either the private or public sectors. Broad cultural knowledge about Africa is a necessity to accomplish this, and familiarity with an African language is most helpful. We therefore offer advice about language training, study abroad opportunities, and funding/scholarship opportunities.

African Studies also offers dual-title PhD degrees in Political Science, Comparative Literature, French and Francophone Studies, and Geography. The degree is awarded to students who are admitted to a primary doctoral program and then subsequently into the dual-title degree in African Studies.  We are exploring partnering with other departments and expanding our graduate offerings in various ways.

Please see our Student Activities page for upcoming events, such as the annual Model African Union conference. Also check out our faculty and their research interests and publications on our People page. The list also includes graduate students, and links to others at Penn State doing research in Africa. Upcoming events, such as our annual conferences, are featured on our News and Events section. Be sure to check it often as events change quickly over the course of the year.