The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst offers a terminal master’s in Afro-American studies for those who do not plan to pursue a doctorate. It is excellent preparation for careers in fields that demand a thorough understanding of African American thought, history, and culture.

The Afro-American studies master’s requires 46 credits over two years. In the first year, you’ll take Major Works in Afro-American studies, a seminar that provides an introduction to the critical issues, ideas, and readings in African American studies, emphasizing the culture, politics, history, and literature of African Americans in the United States as well as other African diasporic communities in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to Major Works, you’ll choose one other course in consultation with your advisor.

After the first year, you’ll have the choice of writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam. The exam, based on the readings from Major Works, requires you to demonstrate a firm grasp of the content of these readings and a critical and analytical mind in response to the exam topics.

In your second year, you’ll take three elective courses each semester, and, if you choose, complete a master’s thesis.