Core research and methodology courses, reading hours and internship credits are offered through African Studies under the AFRI designation. Most graduate courses, however, are taught by our extensive, campus-wide Affiliate Faculty. These will be noted by ASP as “cross-listed” or “joint-listed courses.” Such courses’ availability will necessarily vary from semester to semester, based on the cycle of when faculty teach a course. Therefore, as always, communicate with your graduate faculty about courses you wish to take or need for meeting degree requirements. The A650 and A731 required courses offered through AFRI are scheduled once per year (usually, A650 is taught in the fall and the A731 seminar is taught in the spring; A731 can be taken more than once as the topic changes).
Under certain circumstances required courses can be substituted and, under rare circumstances, waived. Substitutions or waivers of courses must be approved by the chair of the student’s MAC/PhD committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. The student and their chair should meet and discuss what courses can be substituted or waived, and by what means, for example, courses previously taken at a different institution, courses at IU, etc. After approval from their chair, the student initiates the Request for Substitution or Waiver of Program Requirements e-doc through One.IU and must include the rationale for the substitution or waiver, and preferably a syllabus. The e-doc will be routed through the Director of Graduate Studies (and Chair if a PhD Minor) for approval. The Dean of the University Graduate School has final approval.
Check out the Graduate School Deadlines page: It has important information about paperwork and deadlines for MA and PhD degrees.
1. All students must earn a B (3.0) or better in the required basic and the required advanced courses.
2. The University Graduate School will accept no grade for graduate credit lower than a C (2.0); however, even though they will not count towards degree requirements, grades lower than a C will affect the student’s grade-point average. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation by the College of Arts and Sciences.
3. Typically, students enrolled in African Studies will be expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.2 to remain in good standing in our degree programs (note: most scholarships require this as a minimum GPA, as well).
4. Time Limit: A course may not be counted for graduate credit if it has been taken earlier than five years prior to awarding the MA degree. This includes courses transferred from other institutions at the MA level.
MA Language Requirement
Students must take four semesters of an African language; however, these credits are not counted toward the total credits required for the degree. This language requirement may be waived by demonstrating equivalent competence through an exam completed under the supervision of the African Languages Coordinator. Beyond the second-year level, up to three credits for the study of African languages may count toward electives.
PhD Minor Language Requirement
Serious scholars of Africa are proficient in at least one African language, and language proficiency improves opportunities for fieldwork and funding. In some cases, it is often a requirement for overseas research grants from organizations like the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and for Fulbright-Hays awards.
One language course in the third year of study, or higher, may be counted toward a minor in African Studies. It is strongly recommended that Ph.D. candidates who minor in African Studies take two years of an African language in addition to their course work for the minor.
Obtaining African Language Proficiency
As stated above, it is strongly recommended that graduate students with a focus on Africa undertake at least two years study of an African language. This can be done at IU through African Studies language courses, through a FLAS at another US institution during the summer or through study abroad of a language. Students may also take advantage of the IU Language Workshop (see below), and intensive, immersive summer program on the IU campus. Please note however, that classes are most often offered only at the Beginning level (equivalent to first year of a language).
The IU Language Workshop
The Hamilton Lugar School's Language Workshop offers intensive in-person, online, and overseas programs that help you make rapid and lasting progress through work with instructors from some of the best and most innovative language training programs in the world. You will also go beyond the classroom to engage with language and culture through a range of activities, including conversation tables, networking events, and alumni presentations. No matter your level, you will:
- Earn one year of coursework in 2 months
- Benefit from in-state tuition
- Have options for funding (all languages)
All Indiana University students are eligible to apply for a summer FLAS fellowship for study at the Indiana University Language Workshop, or for another summer program (domestic or abroad). All students who plan to study at the Indiana University Language Workshop will need to apply for admission directly with the Language Workshop.
Currently there is not a continuous enrollment requirement for Master’s students; rather, they must complete all requirements for the MA degree within the five-year time period (6 years for dual degrees). To be considered a full-time student at the graduate level, a student must register for at least 8 credit hours per semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer) unless they hold a fellowship or assistantship, then it is 6 credit hours per semester. If a student holds a Student Academic Appointment, the student must register for at least 6 credit hours during each semester of the appointment.
All requirements for the MA degree must be completed within five years from the entry semester. If a student passes the five-year mark, courses will expire and will not be usable towards the degree requirements unless they are revalidated. See the section on Revalidation in the University Graduate School Bulletin for more information.
Final Paperwork for the MA degree
The student must submit an MA Application for Advanced Degree form, found online on One.IU. All students must submit this application to receive their degree.
G901: Advanced Research
PhD Candidates who have completed 90 or more hours of graduate coursework applicable to the degree and who have completed all other requirements for the degree except the dissertation, may enroll in G901 for a maximum of six (6) semesters.
G901 is designed to give advanced students a break from tuition; it is a six-hour dissertation research course that currently costs $150 per semester. The mandatory fees normally associated with registering for credit hours are waived. G901 is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters only, not in the summer.
If a student is submitting their final dissertation in the summer and still has G901 left the University Graduate School will require the student to register for that. If a student has a fee remit, they should utilize the fee remit and take remaining research credits –they should save G901 for later when they do not have a fee remit.
To be listed in the commencement program, Master’s students will fill out and submit to Master’s Application for Advanced Degree form, found online through One.IU, no later than September 25 for December Commencement and no later than February 25 for May Commencement.
1. Students finishing their degrees from January-August will participate in May Commencement.
2. Students finishing their degrees from September-December will participate in December Commencement.
Students should visit the Commencement Ceremonies page for cap and gown information.
Academic Probation and Termination
Unsatisfactory progress in the graduate program, including poor academic performance, and/or excessive time in completing degree requirements will serve as grounds for initiating procedures for academic probation and/or termination. A student must be on academic probation for one full semester before the department can recommend dismissal from the program. See the University Graduate School Bulletin for Academic Probation and Dismissal information.