Nov 19, 2018  
2018-2019 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2018-2019 SGPP Catalog and Handbook

African Studies, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in 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 thirty-credit academic program rooted in systematic field research – an hour of field research, facilitated by a tutorial assistant, is required for every hour of lecture – and it is focused on African cultural knowledge and domains. The student takes six courses worth twenty-four credits and writes a publishable quality field-researched/integrated thesis of a minimum of 150 pages worth six credits.

The students become Africanists, that is, people able to teach from an African perspective, and do field research on a regular basis in order to keep up to date with the current trends in African cultures and religion. The students must show above-average competence in their field research exams, field research reports, classroom participation, and the quality of their field researched/integrated course papers. Students must maintain a “AB” average in course work in order to be accepted into the Master of Arts (MA) degree program.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Masters of Arts in 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.
Thesis Course   6 cr.
Elective Courses 12 cr.
Total 30 cr.


Thesis Course 6 cr.

Elective Courses 12 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 MA application process to register for the MA programs in African Studies.

The official thesis 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 thesis is five years from the time of registration for the MA degree program unless an extension is granted.

Application Process

  1. After successfully completing two MIASMU courses with at least an AB average, the MA candidate fills out the application forms, orders official copies of transcripts to be sent directly to MIASMU, includes a $30.00 non-refundable application fee, and submits copies of the course papers already written. These documents and papers are handed to the Program Director.
  2. The MA application is scrutinized by the MA committee which recommends to the director that the candidate either be admitted to the MA 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 MA 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 MA degree, the student is officially enrolled in the MA program, and an official acceptance letter is sent in that regard.
  5. Application is through the MIAS website:
    Or by e-mail
    Or by Post
    P.O. Box 15199 Lang’ata 00509
    Nairobi, Kenya



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