African Studies

The Minor

The minor in African studies allows students to complement their major with a program that provides a systematic introduction to the complex historical, political and social issues of the African continent. The minor is structured to give the student interdisciplinary training within key fields of knowledge: literature and the arts, social science and historical studies.


Six semester courses on Africa are required.

One course must be drawn from each of the following three fields, described on the Courses page:

No more than two courses from a student's major may be counted toward the minor. At the discretion of the adviser, equivalent courses at other colleges may be substituted for Five College courses.


Students interested in African studies are encouraged to study French or Portuguese. In addition, a student who has achieved intermediate level competence in an African language may petition for this to count as one of the required courses in the field of arts, literature and humanities.

Students with required language component may apply for the Five College African Studies Certificate (see Resources page on this website).

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to spend a semester or more in Africa. Information on current programs may be obtained from the African studies director and the Office of International Study, and should be discussed with the minor adviser.