Study Abroad

The African Studies Program encourages students to consider studying abroad in Africa. Many of the credits you earn in these programs can count toward the Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates in African Studies.

Study abroad programs in Africa

The International Academic Programs and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences International Programs sponsor a variety of study abroad opportunities ranging from 3 weeks to a calendar year.

 View a complete list of programs in Africa here. For application deadlines, eligibility, and other specific details, contact the sponsoring program directly.

Scholarships

Take some time to explore scholarship and grant opportunities, especially ones that seek to support students traveling to particular world regions, like the Joe Elder Scholarship which is given to students on year-long and non-Western European programs, or the Pritzker Pucker Scholarship which is given to students studying outside of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Western Europe for an academic or calendar year. For more information on study abroad scholarships, visit the International Academic Programs scholarships page.

Grants, Fellowships and Awards

For Undergraduate Students:

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Awards are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the African Studies Program to assist students in acquiring African language and area studies competencies.

Applications are due February 15, 2021. Learn More>>


Area and International Studies Undergraduate Paper Awards
Participating area and international studies centers of the Institute for Regional and International Studies are each awarding $1,000 to the best paper/s written by an undergraduate and focused on their respective world regions.

Applications have closed for this year’s awards. Learn More >>


African Studies Undergraduate Internship Awards provide a $750 stipend from the African Studies Program in addition to a $500 stipend from the International Internship Program (IIP) for undergraduate students who apply and are accepted for internships at one of four IIP approved organizations in Africa.

The application has closed for this year’s awards.  Learn more>>


Boren Scholarships ($8,000 – $20,000) fund undergraduate students to study abroad in world regions critical to US interests. Funding can be used to study abroad in Senegal, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. This program was established by the National Security and Education Program and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Applications have closed for this year’s awards. Learn more>>


Campus Consortium Reporting Fellowships supports students (from any major) in telling stories of importance from around the world through the Pulitzer Center. You can contact Professor Lindsay Palmer for more information. Learn more>>

For Graduate Students:

The Ebrahim Hussein Fellowship for research in African expressive cultures was established in the College of Letters and Science in 2003 thanks to the generosity of Robert M. Philipson, alumnus of the College of Letters and Science (PhD’89). The College will award up to $7500 each year to one or more full-time graduate students in L&S to carry out research on African expressive cultures in Africa and/or archives outside of the United States. The research must lead to a PhD dissertation, an MA thesis, or a publishable-quality paper. Doctoral students may receive up to $7500 each; MA level students may receive up to $3750 each.

Applications for 2021 are due in the Spring. Learn More>>


Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Awards are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the African Studies Program to assist students in acquiring African language and area studies competencies.

Applications have closed for this year’s awards. Learn More>>


The African Studies Jordan Prize is awarded annually to a UW-Madison graduate student for the year’s best paper on Africa. To be considered for the prize, a paper must be nominated and submitted to the African Studies Program by a UW-Madison faculty member.

Applications are due June 1, 2021. Learn more>


The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies.

Application dates for this year have not been announced yet. Learn more>


African Studies Graduate Student Summer Fieldwork Awards ($3,000) support UW-Madison graduate students working on a master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertation pertaining to Africa. Students may propose library or field research (preliminary or otherwise) related to their thesis or dissertation during summer 2020

The application deadline has been suspended due to COVID19.


IRIS Graduate Student Summer Fieldwork Awards ($3,000)support UW-Madison graduate students planning to conduct 6-8 weeks of summer fieldwork outside of the United States. Any continuing graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may apply for these awards. Applications have closed for this year’s awards. Learn more>


The Scott Kloeck-Jenson (SKJ) Fellowship Program (min. $3000) offers International Pre-Dissertation Fellowships to support overseas travel to potential field research sites for doctoral students and the SKJ International Internship Fellowships to support graduate students (working towards a doctorate) interested in undertaking practitioner internships.

Application have closed for this year’s awards. Learn more>


The Laura Bassi Scholarship, which will award a total of $10,000 twice annually, was established by Editing Press in 2018 with the aim of providing editorial assistance to postgraduates and junior academics whose research focuses on neglected topics of study.

Application for Spring 2021 is due by March 25, 2021 and the Summer 2021 application is due by July 27, 2021. Learn More>


Boren Fellowships ($12,000 – $24,000) fund graduate student research and intensive language study ( Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu) proposals. This program was established by the National Security and Education Program and is administered by the Institute of International Education. Applications have closed for this year’s awards. Learn more>

For Faculty and Staff:

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers U.S. faculty, administrators, and professionals grants to lecture, conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields, or to participate in seminars. There will be many awards available to UW-Madison scholars through the 2020-2021 competition.

Deadlines vary, but most are still open. Learn more >>


Support for ASA Registration 2021 is available to any affiliate wishing to attend the 2021 virtual African Studies Association meeting, regardless of if they are presenting.


Support for other conference travel ($500) is allocated for domestic conference travel on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning in December. Applicants must be presenting on a subject related to Africa. Requests are required 45 days in advance of travel. Support is currently suspended due to COVID19.


African Studies Faculty Travel Awards (up to $5,000) support faculty research travel abroad. Support is currently suspended due to COVID19. Learn More>


African Studies Collaborator Awards (up to $5,000) enable ASP affiliates to bring colleagues from abroad to campus for short-term visits during the 2020-21 academic year. Support is currently suspended due to COVID19. Learn More>


The YALI-Mandela Washington Fellows Continuing Connections Travel Awards support collaborative work between Madison-area professionals and UW-Madison YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni. Awards (up to $5,000) are intended to bring YALI-MWF alumni to Madison or to send Madison-area professionals abroad. Support is currently suspended due to COVID19. Learn more>>

The YALI-Mandela Washington Fellows Continuing Connections Travel Awards support collaborative work between Madison-area professionals and UW-Madison YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni. Awards (up to $5,000) are intended to bring YALI-MWF alumni to Madison or to send Madison-area professionals abroad. Application is currently suspended due to COVID19.. Learn more>>

The 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship Mentor Program invites former Fellows to return to Madison to serve as mentors for the 2020 Public Management Leadership Institute at UW-Madison, contingent on UW Madison receiving funding for a 2020 Leadership Institute. Application is currently suspended due to COVID19. Learn more>>


The YALI-Mandela Washington Fellows Continuing Connections Travel Awards support collaborative work between Madison-area professionals and UW-Madison YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni. Awards (up to $5,000) are intended to bring YALI-MWF alumni to Madison or to send Madison-area professionals abroad. Application is currently suspended due to COVID19.. Learn more>>

Courses

African Languages at UW

Undergraduate Certificate

Develop your interest in Africa…
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you have the opportunity to study several African languages, take classes taught by leading specialists on subjects ranging from history to politics to art, and get involved with student groups such as the African Students Association or Engineers Without Borders. You can also study abroad in Africa for an academic year, summer, or semester.

Undergraduate certificate in African Studies

To further support an interest in African Studies, undergraduates can earn a certificate in African Studies.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Requirements

15 credits from the African Studies core curriculum:

Declare

Meet with African Studies Program advisor Lauren Parnell Marino and complete a declaration form.

To schedule an appointment, email Lauren at advising@africa.wisc.edu

 

Courses

What is a Core Course?

Core courses contain more than 66 percent Africa-related content and fulfill the requirements of the undergraduate certificate in African Studies. Credit toward the certificate should be applied automatically in a student’s DARS report.

What is an Extended Core Course?

Extended core courses contain at least 25 percent African content but cannot be used towards the certificate without special approval from Lauren Parnell Marino, the African Studies Program advisor. The course’s instructor must also agree to allow the student to complete the course’s most substantial assignment on Africa, increasing the total amount of Africa-related course content for the student.

Requests must be made and approved by the second Friday of the semester in which the course in question will be taken. Download the Extended Core Course Approval form.

Upon completion of the course, students must submit the Africa-related course project to Lauren Parnell Marino before the DARS credit exception can be made.

FAQs

Q. I have not graduated yet, but DARS indicates that I completed my African Studies certificate. When will I get my certificate?

A. The Registrar will record the completion of the Certificate in African Studies when you graduate. The certificate will not be awarded until you fulfill requirements of a B.A. or B.S. degree in an established major in a school or college of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Q. How can I find out which courses count for the certificate in African Studies?

A. Refer to the African Studies core curriculum.

Q. What is the difference between core and extended core courses?

A. Core courses contain more than 66% Africa-related content and fulfill the requirements of the Undergraduate African Studies certificate. Extended core courses contain at least 25% African content, but cannot be used toward the certificate without special approval from Lauren Parnell Marino, the African Studies Program advisor. Requests must be made and approved by the second Friday of the semester in which the course in question will be taken. Students must submit the final extended core course project to Lauren Parnell Marino before a DARS exception can be made.

Q. I just came back from a UW-sponsored studying abroad program in Africa. The Africa-related courses I took abroad show up on my DARS, but they are not counting toward the certificate in African Studies. What can I do?

A. DARS is not recognizing your Africa-related courses you took in Africa. Make an appointment with Lauren Parnell Marino, the African Studies Program advisor to request an update to your DARS report.

Ph.D. Minor

Ph.D. minor in African Studies

The Ph.D. minor in African Studies is for students completing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who wish to focus their study on Africa.  It requires four courses or seminars in two departments outside the student’s major department.  The African Studies minor is completed under “Minor Option A” of the Graduate School regulations.

Requirements 

  • Complete a minimum of 12 graduate credits from the African Studies Program core curriculum in four courses or seminars outside the major field, and from at least two different departments (Agricultural and Applied Economics and Economics courses/seminars are considered to be of one discipline for purposes of the minor.)
  • Graduate credit is available only for courses with numbers of 300 or higher.
  • At least one of these four units must be a course or seminar at the 700 to 900 level.  No thesis or dissertation credits (990) may be used.
Photo by Catherine Reiland / UW-Madison.

To declare a Ph. D. minor, begin by meeting with an African Studies Program advisor. To make an appointment, email Aleia McCord: aleia.mccord@wisc.edu.

Eligible students will submit the Ph.D. Minor in African Studies application form and obtain the approval and signature of major professor. After completing preliminary Ph.D. examinations, the African Studies Program director or designate will sign the warrant indicating completion of the Ph.D. minor.

Suggestions for Students Pursuing the Ph.D. Minor in African Studies

  • Early Approval of Minor Program:  It is your responsibility as a graduate student to determine that all courses/seminars being completed are eligible for inclusion in the Ph.D. Minor.  We encourage you to consult with the African Studies Program advisor before taking courses intended to be included in the Minor.
  • Language Training:  In planning your program, bear in mind the strong desirability of attaining competence in an African language. For many kinds of research, ability to use a language as a research tool is indispensable.
  • Auditing Courses:  In addition to courses and seminars formally taken for credit, you are encouraged to audit additional offerings to develop a broad competence in African Studies.

 

  • Introductory first-year language courses may not be used for the Ph.D. minor in African Studies even if they are numbered 300 or higher. Language courses may count for the minor only in so far as they do not overlap with departmental language requirements.  When a department requires an African language for the Ph.D., language courses may count toward the minor only above and beyond four semesters of study in one language.
  • Include no more than one independent reading and research course in the four courses or seminars submitted.

What grade point average is required for successful completion of the Ph. D. minor?

A 3.0 Grade Point Average is required for all courses submitted for the minor.

Can I use credits from previous universities towards a Ph. D. minor?

Courses from other universities which were taken for graduate credit may count toward the minor with approval of the African Studies Program.  Normally, only two of the required four courses or seminars may come from outside the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Exceptions may be proposed by petition.

Can I use credits taken as an undergraduate towards a Ph. D. minor?

Courses taken while the candidate was an undergraduate student are not eligible for credit toward the Ph.D. minor, including courses with graduate level numbers.

Quick Facts

Did you know?

Did you know?

  • Each year, Wisconsin students have the opportunity to enroll in more than 197 Africa-related courses from 29 unique campus departments.
  • More than 15,000 people, now in all walks of life, have taken the university’s basic Africa course, Africa: An Introductory Survey. It is offered every semester.
  • Professor Harold Scheub’s course, The African Storyteller, has enrolled more students than any other humanities course in the history of the university. It is still going strong.
  • In addition to five regularly offered African languages, students have the extremely unique opportunity for independent learning of other languages across the continent through a monitored Multilanguage Seminar offered each semester.
  • Nearly half (48%) of undergraduate African Studies certificate students study abroad in Africa.
  • Every Wednesday at noon – since 1973! – African Studies Program faculty members, students, and others have gathered for a one-hour seminar on Africa. The public is welcome.

Did you know?

  • Each year, the African Studies Program hosts Day in Africa, a unique opportunity for high school students and teachers from across the state to learn about the continent. In 2018, 260 students and 35 teachers attended.
  • In 2017-18, 16 African Studies Outreach Scholars visited 2,034 k-12 students and 151 teachers.
  • Wisconsin is a three-year host of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a exchange program of the U.S. Department of State. Over three years, the program has brought 75 young African leaders representing 33 countries to Madison where they engage with the campus and local community, contributing their ideas and more than 400 hours of community service each summer.

 

Mission

The African Studies Program supports research, teaching, and outreach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, bringing together scholars in multiple disciplines, students, teachers, and community partners to consider all aspects of land and life in Africa.

The African Studies Program is a U. S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for Africa, a unit in The International Division, and a member of the campus consortium of internationally oriented programs known as the Institute for Regional and International Studies.

Faculty

Grounded in Excellence
The African Studies Program is home to over 70 affiliated faculty representing nearly 40 academic departments. Our faculty produce vital research on African history, politics, legal systems, health, environments, arts, cultures, and languages. They conduct this research in over 40 African countries. Each year, our talented faculty teach over 100 Africa-related courses taken by nearly 3,000 students.

Looking for a faculty expert? Start here!


 

Message From the Director

Dear colleagues,

It is an honor and a joy to welcome you to the 2018/2019 school year as the new Director of the African Studies Program. My name is Nancy Kendall. I am a professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies (School of Education), and I have been a member of the African Studies program since I arrived at UW-Madison 13 years ago.

ASP was founded over 55 years ago by Phillip Curtin and Jan Vansina—two scholars whose work has fundamentally shaped our understanding of Africa’s past and present. Most recently, Neil Kodesh held the role of Director, and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his phenomenal stewardship and vision of the Program. Neil steered and strengthened UW-Madison’s African Studies Program through the sometimes rough waters of shrinking Federal support for area studies with grace and farsightedness. Thanks to his work, and the work of our incredible Associate Director, Aleia McCord, the UW-Madison African Studies Program has been selected to receive funding under the Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC) Program and the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships Program from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are awarded competitively to area studies programs around the nation once every four years. Title VI support will be leveraged to expand the reach of our influence by sharing our African studies resources with the wider community, nation, and world; and to create innovative, cross-disciplinary area studies training that prepares our students to serve the nation.

The African Studies Program has a long tradition of securing this important source of support for area studies and language instruction. Our center first became a federally supported African language and area studies center in 1964 under the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) program, the precursor to today’s International and Foreign Language Programs within the Department of Education. African Studies has received support every year since that time. This year marks the 16th time that UW-Madison African Studies has been awarded Title VI funds, and this year, African studies received the largest Title VI grant on campus.

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program provides academic year and summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students to support African language learning and the development of area studies expertise. The African Studies Program awards 15-20 such fellowships each year, helping students study over 15 least commonly taught African languages including Luganda, Makua, Xhosa, Kinyarwanda, Wolof, and Yoruba, among others. As a National Resource Center (NRC), the African Studies Program has a federal mandate to support African language and area studies education on campus and in the wider community. FLAS Funds will be used to support African language instruction at UW-Madison, for high-quality public programming including our Africa at Noon seminar series, and to continue our successful outreach efforts. Each year our outreach programs reach over 8,000 people, bringing a little bit of Africa to K-12 classrooms and public spaces across the state of Wisconsin. I am particularly excited to strengthen the collaboration between African Studies and the School of Education, and to reach even more teachers and their students throughout the state.

Nancy Kendall is professor of educational policy studies. Her research examines the consequences of national and international policies and funding streams directed at improving marginalized children’s, communities’ and states’ wellbeing. Research projects have examined Education for All, political democratization and educational governance, structural adjustment and education, US higher education, sexuality and HIV/AIDS education, and gender and schooling. Kendall has conducted extended research in Malawi, Mozambique, and the U.S., and has conducted short-term research in Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Zimbabwe. Kendall was a 2009 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow, and has received research support from the Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, TAG Philanthropic Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, WT Grant Foundation, and Lumina Foundation, among others. She is the author of The Sex Education Debates (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and has published in journals including Compare, Comparative Education Review, Current Issues in Comparative Education, Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, International Journal of Educational Development, and Sexuality Research and Social Policy. Kendall is Chair of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the African Studies Program and Development Studies Program. She is also affiliated with the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.