May 28, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

African Studies - MA

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Degree Title and Name:  Master of Arts in International Studies

Program Name and Number:  African Studies – MA4206

Department/Unit:  Center for International Studies

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus

Term(s) of Entry:  Fall

Program Overview: The African Studies Program grew out of the excitement emanating from the decolonization of the continent in the mid-1960s and the awareness of the important role Africa could play in world affairs. Today the multi-disciplinary nature of the program allows the student to build a course of study reflecting Africa’s contemporary reality. Themes include the socioeconomic development of the continent in the context of Africa’s grand cultural historical traditions. Students may also view the study of Africa as an excellent case-study of the process of social change in the developing world. Current faculty members have worked in a number of nations throughout Africa including Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, The Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

The program is normally completed in 4 semesters, or two academic years.

Program Learning Outcomes:  The CIS M.A. programs provide students with a strong grounding in core disciplines while giving them the opportunity to form their course of study around their professional and academic goals. Students can enroll in courses offered by a range of schools and departments across the university in disciplines of their interest. This flexible design of graduate curricula supports individualized learning experiences across disciplinary boundaries and allows student to take courses and capstone options that help them achieve and demonstrate the CIS M.A. learning outcomes below:

  1. Students will be able to synthesize core area or international studies concepts and theories within multiple disciplinary subfields, and acquire the skills to apply and evaluate these concepts to global opportunities and challenges.
  2. Students will be able to develop effective written and oral communication skills, characterized by the ability to write and present in the styles and forms that are acceptable in the professional world and/or for research in international studies.
  3. Students will be able to develop an effective research skill and demonstrate it in their capstone experience.

Opportunities for Graduates:  Graduates of the African Studies program have gone on to pursue career opportunities all over the world  in politics, foreign service, public health, government and non-governmental organizations, and international development agencies, as well as teaching and research.

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Graduation Requirements:  A minimum of 48 total credit hours and a capstone project, with an overall minimum 3.0 GPA or better, no grade below C, and  no more than 2 grades below B is needed to complete the program.

Capstone options include:

  1. Comprehensive written exam
  2. Professional Project
  3. Thesis

To satisfy the minimum 48 hours requirement, students are required to complete the following sequence:

  1. Core Courses (12 credits):
    • Readings in African Studies
    • African Literature 
    • African History 
  2. Language (6-12 credits): At least one year of an African language at OHIO or through a summer intensive language program.  Can be waived if already fluent in an African language. 
  3. Social Science (6-8 credits): Students take at least two courses from two different departments. These include Anthropology, Economics, Education, Geography, Health, History and Political Science.
  4. Arts & Humanities (6-8 credits): Students take at least two courses from two different departments. These include African Dance, Communication, Interdisciplinary Arts, African Literature, Media, Music and Religion.
  5. Research Methods
  6. Electives (8-12 credits): Students will take electives in disciplines of choice or their area of intellectual of professional interest. Electives provide the opportunity to pursue a field or specialization or may be used to complete a graduate certificate program.

Culminating Experience: A capstone project will be due in the final semester of the program. The capstone can take the format of a comprehensive exam, professional project, or a thesis.

  • Comprehensive Exam: The examination permits a final synthesis, asking students to relate course work, research skills and literature. It is a final review of the student’s progress and an opportunity for students to draw together their disciplines. One of the major purposes of the comprehensive exam is, in fact, to cause the student to reflect upon the interdisciplinary dimensions of their program. Three possible overall results may emerge from the exam; Pass, Partial Pass where the student will have to follow-up with an oral exam; and Fail.
  • Professional Project: Students who are not planning to continue their education at the doctoral level may opt for a more practical educational experience. The professional project, typically in the form of a final paper intended for submission to an academic journal allows students to fulfill this requirement.  A committee of three faculty members must be chosen by the end of spring semester of the student’s first year of study.
  • Thesis: Students who wish to pursue this option should see the program director early in their first semester to discuss the possibilities and also consult the Thesis and Dissertation (TAD) guidelines on the Graduate College website.

Admission Requirements:  Admission requirements, beyond the university minimum of a 4-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and a TOEFL of 80 or above for non-native English speakers, are 3 letters of recommendation with at least 2 from individuals who can judge academic abilities, an autobiographical sketch  providing applicant background, and statement of purpose which addresses why this program. We do not require the GRE exam for admission.

International Students: This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

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