Why African Studies?

DAS Students Drum Circle

Our program cultivates and promotes interdisciplinary approaches to studying African historical, political, economic, social and cultural issues and provides necessary skills for critically understanding, analyzing and addressing problems and potential solutions. The department prepares undergraduate majors to undertake graduate studies and prepares them for careers and service in local, national and international private, public and non-profit institutions and organizations.

Our courses focus on contemporary Africa and cover multiple disciplines. Some of our undergraduate courses include: Introduction to Contemporary Africa; African Development & Underdevelopment; Continental & Regional Organizations; Globalization in Africa; HIV/Aids in Africa; Environment & Society in Africa; African Languages & Culture; Hip Hop & Popular Culture in Africa; Literature, Film, & Society in Africa; Social Media & Political Change in Africa and Black Women and Popular Culture.

Current Students

Degree Requirements

The Degree Completion Map is an advising tool designed to assist students develop an 8-semester plan to fulfill all degree requirements. This document should be used in conjunction with the Department’s program scheme, Undergraduate Course Bulletin and semester course offering lists.

36 credit hours are required for the African Studies major and 15 credit hours are required for the minor. 


After you've declared African Studies as either a major or minor, contact Dr. Plummer at anita.plummer@howard.edu to schedule an advising meeting.

If you're a double major or declaring a minor in African Studies, seek advice from both departments you're affiliated with.

Study Abroad in Africa

The Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center serves as the primary clearinghouse for international programs on Howard's campus.

  • Attend an information session in the Bunche Center, held weekly from 3:00-4:00 pm on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.The Bunche Center is located at 2218 6th Street NW Washington, DC 20002.
  • Make a list of all unfulfilled major/minor courses & identify applicable programs from those offered through HU Program Partners (click here to find programs in Africa).
  • Identify 1-2 programs that offer a minimum of 6 courses (18 credits) that work within your HU scheme.
  • Visit the Bunche Center during advising hours [Tuesday to Friday, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm] to speak with staff about your desired program and discuss the steps forward!
  • Submit the Bison Abroad Application, a scanned copy of a course approval form, a copy of your Howard transcript and copy of the photograph page of your valid passport to studyabroad@howard.edu by the application deadline. The email subject should read: Full name, program provider name, country, city, term abroad

    Scholarships & Professional Development

    The Center for African Studies provides Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships through funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI program. FLAS Fellowships support students taking African languages (Amharic, Arabic, Somali, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba and Zulu) and area studies coursework. The fellowships support intensive for-credit study of an African language and to promote the development of competency in African Studies either in the United States or abroad.

    The Rangel Program is a U.S. State Department program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State.

    The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

    The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.  A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.

    The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

    The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001.