Dec 07, 2022  
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

African Studies, M.A.S.

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The Master of African Studies is offered in collaboration with the Maryknoll Institute of African studies (MIAS) located in Nairobi, Kenya. The collaboration is referenced as the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies of Saint Mary’s University (MIASMU). The program is offered only in Nairobi, Kenya. The degree is a professional terminal degree that is not intended as a building block for further graduate studies. The student takes seven courses worth twenty-eight credits and writes a publishable quality essay of a minimum of 50 pages worth two credits.  It does not require a thesis but is rooted in systematic field research such that it requires an hour of field research, facilitated by a tutorial assistant, for every hour of lecture and is designed for the following types of students:

  1. Professionals who already have academic degrees at the master or doctoral level and for whom a professional master’s degree can complement their skills by adding an Africanist dimension to their field of expertise.
  2. Students who have no interest in an academic career or cannot afford the MA degree but wish for a master level recognition for their graduate in-depth studies in African cultural knowledge and religion.
  3. Those who did not maintain the required “AB” average in their course work but managed to maintain a “B” average.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of African Studies program, graduates are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand and address contemporary African issues as an Africanist with an adult perspective of African cultural knowledge.
  2. Apply an adult, insider’s perspective and understanding of the African issues addressed in each course.
  3. Understand, appreciate, and articulate their own cultural knowledge of origin, and remain open to participating in the cultural values, attitudes, and activities of other cultures without imposing their own values.
  4. Teach, celebrate, and critique their cultures of origin from an adult, professional perspective.


Degree Requirements

Required Courses 12 cr.
Essay Course   2 cr.
Elective Courses 16 cr.
Total 30 cr.


Essay Course 2 cr.

Elective Courses 16 cr.

Elective courses selected must include both a social science and a theological perspective to ensure students have a broad academic approach to African studies.

Admission Requirement

Only students with undergraduate degrees, who are officially enrolled as MIASMU students through the ordinary application process, may apply by a separate MAS application process to register for the MAS programs in African Studies.

The official essay proposal can be submitted as early as the end of the third course; the proposal is approved by the entire MIASMU faculty. A faculty supervisor is appointed. The maximum time for completion of course work and essay is five years from the time of registration for the MAS degree program unless an extension is granted.

Application Process

  1. After successfully completing two MIASMU courses with at least a B average the MAS candidate fills out the application forms, orders official copies of transcripts to be sent directly to MIASMU, includes a $25.00 nonrefundable application fee, and submits copies of the course papers already written. These documents and papers are handed to the Program Director.
  2. The MAS application is scrutinized by the MAS committee which recommends to the director that the candidate either be admitted to the MAS degree program without condition, admitted with certain conditions, or not be admitted.
  3. The director meets with each applicant and informs him or her of the committee’s decision. The director interviews each recommended student regarding the viability of the MAS program in terms of the student’s finances, time, and work situation.
  4. If the director finds the student able and willing to successfully pursue an MAS degree, the student is officially enrolled in the MAS program, and an official acceptance letter is sent in that regard.

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