African Studies Joint Degree (MA)

Students in the three-year joint program earn a Master of Arts degree (MA) in African Studies from Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and one of four degrees from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES):
  • Master of Environmental Management (MEM)
  • Master of Environmental Science (MESc)
  • Master of Forest Science (MFS)
  • Master of Forestry (MF)
African Studies

The Master of Arts Program in African Studies is a two-year interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences designed to provide a broad understanding of African affairs. The program is designed for students wishing to go on to the doctorate as well as for those students seeking a terminal M.A. degree before entering the business world, the media, government service or a professional school.
The Master's program generally welcomes 4-6 students each year. Since students differ in prior academic preparation and experience, each student plans an integrated program with the Director of Graduate Studies that conforms to her or his needs and interests.

A student may choose one of the following areas of concentration: history; anthropology; political science; economics; sociology; arts and literatures; languages and linguistics; religion; environmental and development studies. The joint program requires twelve non-F&ES courses: two compulsory introductory interdisciplinary seminars, Research Methods in African Studies (AFST 501) and Topics in African Studies (AFST 764), four courses of instruction in an African language, four courses in one of the above areas of concentration, four other approved courses offered in the Graduate School or professional schools, and two terms of Directed Reading and Research (AFST 900 a or b) during which students will complete the required thesis. A student who is able to demonstrate advanced proficiency in an African language may have the language requirement waived and substitute four other approved courses.
Fields of Study
African Studies considers the arts, history, cultures, languages, literatures, politics, religions, and societies of Africa as well as issues concerning development, health, and the environment. The program offers considerable flexibility and choice. Enrollment in the M.A. program in African Studies provides students with the opportunity to register for the many African studies courses offered in the various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools. In addition, the Program in African Studies offers two interdisciplinary seminars to create dialogue and to integrate approaches across disciplines.

For more information, please see the African Affairs website.
Forestry & Environmental Studies

For information on the curriculum for the four master’s degrees at FES, see Masters Degrees.
All joint-degree students must complete the three-week FES summer training program, which imparts field skills and techniques considered indispensable to students pursuing careers in environmental research, management, and policy. Students in the joint program must also complete a summer internship arranged through FES, as well as 36 credits.
Candidates must apply to, and be admitted by, each program separately. An offer of admission to one program is made independently of an offer to enroll in the other. Prospective students are encouraged to apply to and enter a joint-degree program from the outset. It is possible, however, to apply to the second program once matriculated at the first.

Financial Aid
Fellowships awarded to joint degree students from the African Studies program are applied to the semesters in which the student is enrolled through Yale’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. For information on fellowships offered to African Studies students, see MacMillan Center’s Funding website.

For information about financial aid at FES, see FES Financial Aid.

For information on scholarships at FES, see: FES Scholarship Aid.

Contact Info

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
General information: 203 432.5100
Prospective students: 800 825.0330
African Studies Program
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8206
Telephone: 203.432.9903

David Simon, Director of Graduate Studies (African Studies)
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