African Studies Program
"We're not just a group of scholars who happen to be located in one place; we're a real community of people who share a vision for making Africa better known and better understood."
-- Rowland Abiodun, Amherst College
The Five College Certificate in African Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue an interest in African studies as a complement to any academic major.
Drawing on the expertise and courses offered by more than 50 faculty members across the five campuses, students pursuing the Five College African Studies certificate work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a uniquely tailored course of study.
On This Page
Black Studies; Art and Art Studies
Office: 107 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5801
English; Black Studies
Office: 102 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5832
Five College Center for the Study of World Lanuages
79 South Pleasant Street, Suite 100
Telephone: (413) 559-5264
History; Black Studies
Office: 25 Chapin Hall
Telephone: (413) 542-2032
Office: 109 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5516
Anthropology, Literary Arts, and African Studies
Office: Writing Center
Office: Franklin Patterson Hall
Office: Skinner Hall 123
Telephone: (431) 538-2495
Office: Clapp 325
Telephone: (413) 538-3458
Office: 22 Ciruti Center
Telephone: (413) 538-2255
Professor Emerita (History)
Office: 314 Skinner Hall
Geology and Geography
Office: Clapp Lab 328
Telephone: (413) 538-2004
Office: 209 Pratt Hall
Telephone: (413) 532-0595
Preston Smith II
Office: Shattuck 214
Telephone: (413) 538-3528
Office: Nelson Library A/09
Telephone: (413) 585-3731
Professor Emeritus (Anthropology)
Office: 107 Wright Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3338
Office: 123 Wright Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3376
Office: Hillyer Hall 309
Telephone: (413) 585-3126
Telephone: (413) 585-3500
Professor Emeritus (Philosophy)
Office: Dewey Hall 5
Telephone: (413) 585-3652
Office: Wright Hall 227
Telephone: (413) 585-3355
Education & Child Study
Office: Morgan Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3263
Five College Dance Department (Emerita)
Office: Berenson Studio 1
Government, African Studies
Office: 10 Prospect Street
Telephone: (413) 585-3542
Professor Emeritus (Afro-American Studies)
Office: Wright Hall 213
Telephone: (413) 585-3573
Office: Fine Arts Center 112
Office: Herter 618
Telephone: (413) 545-1330
Office: 327 New Africa House
Telephone: (413) 545-1330
Office: 264 Bartlett Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-3474
Office: Thompson 206
Telephone: (413) 545-6172
Professor Emeritus (History)
Office: 705 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-1920
Languages, Literatures, & Cultures
Office: 319 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6703
Mzamo P. Mangaliso
Isenberg School of Management
Office: Isenberg 219C
Telephone: (413) 545-5698
French, Italian Studies
Office: 323 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6716
The Center for International Education
Office: Hills South
Telephone: (413) 545-4696
Economics, Political Economy Research Institute
Office: Thompson Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6359
Office: Thompson 324
Telephone: (413) 545-0725
Office: 324 Africa House
Telephone: (413) 545-2751
Office: 408 Machmer Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-4276
Office: 204 Chenoweth Laboratory
Telephone: (413) 545-1693
Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji
Office: Thompson 902
Telephone: (413) 545 1373
Students interested in the Five College African Studies Certificate should contact one of the African Studies faculty members on their campus and submit a Student Interest Form as soon as possible to begin planning course work. With your African Studies advisor, you select courses to meet the certificate program requirements.
In the senior year, students complete the Certificate Completion Form (below) in consultation with a program advisor on their campus, attaching an unofficial transcript acquired from the registrar. On the recommendation of the campus advisor, certificate requirements are reviewed and approved by a committee composed of program advisors from each of the five campuses.
- Historical Overview. Minimum of one course providing historical perspective on Africa. Not limited to courses offered in History. (Normally the course should offer at least a regional perspective.)
- Social Science. Minimum of one course on Africa in the social sciences (i.e., Anthropology, Archeology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology).
- Arts and Humanities. Minimum of one course on Africa in the fine arts and humanities (i.e., Art, Folklore, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion).
B. Language Requirement: Proficiency through the level of the second year in college in an indigenous or colonial language of Africa other than English. This requirement may be met by examination or course work; such language courses may not count toward the six courses required in Section A.
For more information about language study opportunities, see Languages in the Five Colleges.
C. Further Stipulations:
- No more than three courses in any one department or program may count toward the six required in Section A.
- A certificate candidate may present courses taken in Africa, but normally at least three of the required courses must be taken in the Five Colleges.
- A candidate must earn a grade of B or better in every course for the certificate; none may be taken on a pass/fail basis.
- Unusual circumstances may warrant substituting certificate requirements; therefore a candidate through her/his African Studies Faculty Advisor may petition the Faculty Liaison Committee (the Five College committee of certificate program advisors) at least one full semester before graduation for adjustments in these requirements. A successful petition will satisfy the interdisciplinary character of the certificate program.
D. Recommended Actions:
- Students are encouraged to spend one semester or more in Africa. Information about study abroad and other opportunities is available through the international program office at each campus.
- Students are encouraged to complete their certificate program with an independent study project that integrates and focuses their course work in African studies.
- Amherst College Study Abroad Office
- Hampshire College Global Education Office
- Mount Holyoke College McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
- Smith College Office for International Study
- University of Massachusetts Amherst International Programs Office
Fall 2023 African Studies Courses
|Subject||Course #||Sect #||Course Title||Instructor(s)||Institution||Meeting Times|
|DAN||142wa||01||T-West African Dance||Smith College||TU TH 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM|
|GOV||247||01||Internatnl Relations in Africa||Anna Kapambwe Mwaba||Smith College||W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM; M 1:40 PM - 2:55 PM|
|WLT||205||01||Contemp African Lit & Film||Katwiwa Mule||Smith College||M W 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM|
African Languages offered by the Five College Center for World Languages
Beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses are available every semester. Courses include individual tutorials and small group conversation sessions. Sessions meet on all five campuses and are individually scheduled. Instructor: Dr. Agnes Kimokoti (pictured).
Afrikaans, Amharic, Twi, Wolof, Yoruba
Supervised independent study courses. Beginning and intermediate courses are available. Courses include small group conversation sessions led by native/fluent conversation partners. Sessions meet on the home campus of the conversation partner and are individually scheduled. The availability of languages may vary, and other languages may be added.
Egyptian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Supervised independent study courses. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Modern Standard Arabic or the equivalent. Courses include small group conversation sessions led by native/fluent conversation partners. Sessions meet on the home campus of the conversation partner and are individually scheduled.
Student Resources, by campus
- African Studies Association
- African Studies at Harvard
- African Studies Center at Boston University
- African Studies Internet Resources
- African Studies Review
- African Studies Quarterly
- African Studies Thesaurus
- AllAfrica Global Media
- Engineers Without Borders UMass
- Health Alliance International (HAI)
- Michigan State University African Studies Center
- Northwestern University Program of African Studies
- Scholars at Risk Network (SAR)
- U of Pennsylvania African Studies Center
- Youth Action International (YAI)
Frequently Asked Questions
Each campus has African Studies Certificate Program faculty advisors who will help you set up your own personalized certificate program. There is no formal admissions process to the certificate program; all you need to do is to declare with a faculty African Studies advisor on your campus your intent to complete the certificate program and to submit the African Studies Certificate Student Interest Form. Characteristically, students take one or two courses on Africa and then decide to complete the program with course selection advice from an African Studies advisor.
Judyie Al-Bilali, Associate Professor of Theater, UMass Amherst
Patrick Mensah, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, UMass Amherst
Five College Staff Liaison:
Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs