The program in African Studies considers the arts, history, cultures, languages and literatures, politics, and development of Africa. Students in the program gain a cross-disciplinary exposure to Africa while focusing their studies in a particular discipline such as anthropology, art history, economics, history, languages and literatures, political science, or sociology, or in an interdisciplinary program such as African American Studies; Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; or Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Other areas of concentration (e.g., diaspora studies, development studies) may be chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS). Yale has unusually rich resources for the study of Africa; the Yale Library, notably, has one of the world’s largest collections of African materials.
Courses required for the major include one African Studies course in the humanities and one in the social sciences. Students must also complete the equivalent of two years of college-level study of an African language (Arabic, Kiswahili, Yorùbá, isiZulu, or others with permission of the DUS), as well as four courses in the field of concentration. In addition, students must complete a research methods course and write a senior essay.
Students should begin their language study as soon as possible. Those considering a major in African Studies should consult the DUS.