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African Studies Certificate

Contact: Joye Bowman
Office: 612 Herter Hall
Phone: (413) 545-0098


Contact: Carlene Edie
Office: 325 Thompson Hall
Phone: 545-6172


Contact: Ralph H. Faulkingham
Office: 213 Machmer Hall
Phone: 545-5939

For current information on courses and calendar of Africa-related events, visit the certificate program Web site at

The Program

The Five College Certificate in African Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue an interest in African studies as a complement to their majors.


1. A minimum of six courses on Africa, each completed with a grade of B or better, distributed as follows:
One course each in the disciplines of history (providing an introductory historical survey of the entire continent); the social sciences; and the fine arts and humanities.

Three more courses, each in a different department, chosen from the disciplines of history, the social sciences, education, or the fine arts and humanities.

No more than three of the six courses may come from any one department; no more than three courses completed at schools other than the Five Colleges may be used to satisfy this requirement.

2. Proficiency through the intermediate (240) level, in an indigenous or colonial language of Africa other than English. This requirement may be met by examination or coursework; such language courses may not count toward the six courses required in Section 1.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of study abroad programs to spend a semester or more in Africa. Students are also encouraged to complete their certificate program studies with an independent study course that gives their coursework up to that point a deliberate integrative intellectual focus.

Students who complete the certificate program requirements will be given a certificate from the Five College African Studies Council, and the following entry shall be made on the student’s permanent college record: “Completed requirements for the Five College African Studies Certificate.”