African Studies M.A.

  • About Us

    Our Students' Testimonials:

    The intellectual objective of the African Studies M.A. Program is to provide graduate students an opportunity to engage in intensive study and research on Africa on an interdisciplinary basis. The program offers African Area courses in a wide range of disciplines, including the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and some professional fields. A concurrent degree program is also offered where students can work for the M.A. in African Studies and the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) at the same time.

    Academic flexibility draws many students to the program. Because there are more than 50 faculty members with African interest and experience in approximately 30 disciplines, students have multiple options to design individual programs suited to their specific interests.

    According to a recent survey, 50% of the program graduates continue studying at the post-graduate level, about 20% are employed in higher education, and a significant percentage work in international or foreign organizations in numerous countries.

    During their time spent completing this program, students will also have the opportunity to present their work at the Annual International Institute Graduate Student Conference. With a transnational and interdisciplinary focus, African Studies M.A. students are provided a unique experience and a specially tailored forum in which to engage experts on their research.

  • People


    Jemima Pierre, Chair, African Studies

    Andrew Apter, Ph.D. (Anthropology, History)  
    Aomar Boum, Ph.D. (Anthropology)
    Judith A. Carney, Ph.D. (Geography)
    Ghislaine Lydon, Ph.D. (History)
    Edith Mukudi Omwami, Ph.D. (Education)
    Allen F. Roberts, Ph.D. (French and Francophone Studies, World Arts & Cultures/Dance)
    Paula A. Tavrow, Ph.D. (Community Health Sciences)
    Dominic R. Thomas, Ph.D. (Comparative Literature, French & Francophone Studies)
    Harold Torrence, Ph.D. (Linguistics)
    William H. Worger, Ph.D. (History)
    Ruby Bell-Gam, University Librarian, ex officio affiliate


    Affiliated Faculty


    Magda Yamamoto, Academic Counselor
    UCLA International Institute Academic Programs
    Office of Academic Advising
    10373 Bunche Hall, Mail Code 148703
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487

    Tel: 310-206-6571

    Academic Counseling drop in hours:
    10:00 am - 11:30 am and 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm in 10373 Bunche (10th floor)

    Our Students' Testimonials:


    Kaitlyn Sanborn

    While interning at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, Germany, Kaitlyn monitored the intelligence surrounding the Kenyan elections, and coordinated with a planning team that focused on revamping the U.S. military awareness to respond to any threats to domestic embassies. This experience has equipped her with an intimate perspective at how the Department of Defense understands the challenges faced by our African partners, and how DoD plans and executes operations in accordance with our strategic goals on the continent. Additionally, she enjoys traveling and hiking. Through her experience, she was able to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, see cathedrals prior to America's independence, and hiked the German Alps.

    Natalie Dickson  

    Natalie Dickson is pursuing joint degree:  M.A. in African Studies and M.Ph. in Public Health.


    Natalie Dickson, MPH/MA student in the Department of Community Health Sciences and African Studies, interned with the Poverty, Gender and Youth Program of Population Council in Nairobi, Kenya. She worked with two projects that aim to understand how social and economic assets impact the health of adolescent girls in Kenya. These programs specifically seek to understand and address the social dimensions of poverty, the causes and consequences of gender inequality and violence, reproductive health knowledge, and the critical elements for reaching a successful, productive adulthood in developing countries. As an intern, Natalie was involved in monitoring data collection, performing data analysis, attending field site visits, and assisting with writing reports and conducting literature reviews for future projects.

     David Spielman 

    During his time in the M.A. African Studies program, David Spielman conducted research in Addis Abeba and Sebat Bet Gurage Ethiopia. The research conducted was geared towards the completion of four projects but focused primarily on the Fetha Nagast (Law of Kings), a 13th century C.E. Christian code which governed the church and the state of Ethiopia until the 20th century C.E. The research is focused on areas of overlap between the Fetha Nagast and Judaic and Sharia law, as well as the historical presence of all three of the Abrahamic faiths in Ethiopia and the contributions of each towards the religious and political landscape oft the nation. The bulk of his research was conducted at the Archives at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies library, Addis Abeba University with assistance and direction from Dr. Ghislaine Lydon (UCLA), Dr. Abraham Fanta (CSSB), Professor Mehari Zemelak and Dr. Sirgiw Gelaw of Addis Abeba University. 

    After completing his M.A. degree in African Studies, David went on to pursue his Ph.D. in History at UCLA. 

     Sigin Ojulu

    During Sigin time in the program, she was able to conducted field research in Juba, South Sudan. The focus of the project was looking at nation-state building and national identity politics in South Sudan. Her work was done in conjunction with Dr. Madut Jok of Loyola Marymount University as well as the Rift Valley Institute in Juba (and its sister headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and London, England).  

  • Degree Requirements

    Starting the MAAS Program

    Getting Towards Graduation

    Starting the MAAS Program

    Area of Concentration; Course/Degree Requirements

    Besides satisfying a language requirement, a minimum of nine courses (36 units) are required for the Master's Degree (of which at least five must be graduate level, i.e., 200+ courses only).

    These nine courses must be distributed as follows:

    (1) African Studies 201A "Africa and Disciplines"

    (2) Five Courses in Student's Area of Concentration

    Comprised of a minimum of five courses of which at least three must be at the graduate level (200+). The other two courses may be either graduate level or upper division undergraduate courses (100+). In general, all major courses are from the same department (e.g., History or Political Science). There are some exceptions, i.e. Sociology and Anthropology may be taken as a combined major or Development Studies, involving courses from a variety of departments, may be considered a major. Other combined majors or changes in major must be approved by the Faculty Advisor. The Faculty Advisor must be kept informed of any alterations in the student's chosen area of concentration.

    (3) Additional Courses

    A minimum of three other courses outside the major area is required, of which two must be at the graduate level.

    (4) Optional independent study; 500-level courses

    All 500-level courses must be approved by the course instructor. No more than two  "500-level Independent Study" (8 units) courses may be applied toward the nine-course minimum degree requirement stipulated above.  Only one of the 500-level course (4 units)  may be applied toward the minimum five graduate courses required for the M.A. degree.

    Except for 500-series courses, University regulations indicate that a student in an interdepartmental degree program may not apply courses taken on an S/U grading basis toward the master's degree.

    Concurrent  Degree Program: African Studies MA/Public Health MPH

    The African Studies program and the School of Public Health offer a concurrent program whereby students can pursue the MA degree in African Studies and the MPH with a specialization in Community Health Sciences at the same time. The students enrolled in these programs are subject to different and additional minimum course requirements. Concurrent students should consult with Program Advisors for scheduling and other details. For information on the Concurrent Program with Public Health, search the site,  or call 310-825-5516.

    Foreign Language Requirement

    In addition to minimum course requirements,  MAAS students are required to satisfy the African Area Studies Foreign Language Requirement before graduation by achieving elementary proficiency in an African Language.   European languages spoken in Africa  may be substituted by petition to the chair. The Program Language Requirement may be satisfied in any one of the following two ways:

    1. Language Courses
      take three courses (12 units) in a single  African Language, Afrikaans, Arabic or Berber with an average of `B' or better (please note that language courses are not applied to the nine-course requirement). Approved Summer Language or Intensive Language courses may also be substituted. 
    2. Language Examination
      Demonstrate elementary proficiency in an examination with the African Languages Coordinator.

    Getting towards graduation

    Advancement to Candidacy; Forms

    All graduate students must formally advance to candidacy prior to graduation.

    Formal application should be filed no later than the second week of the quarter in which the degree is to be awarded.

    All required forms may be obtained from the Coordinator of Student Affairs' office or from Graduate Division (1255 Murphy Hall). Besides the Petition to Advance to Candidacy, additional forms to be obtained and submitted during or near this time include: Language Petition and Examination Committee or Thesis Committee Nomination Form.

    Additional forms for:

    Plan 1: Comprehensive Exam

    Plan 2: Thesis

    Faculty Committees

    The following instructions apply to both EXAM and THESIS options.

    It is the student's choice and responsibility to decide whether they wish to satisfy their final degree requirement by writing a Master's Thesis or by taking a Program-administered Comprehensive Examination. It is likewise up to the student to select which faculty will serve on their committee but:

    1. Thesis and Exam Committees must be formally appointed via formal petition signed by all Committee Members and the MAAS Program Chair. [forms available from the Coordinator of Student Affairs].
    2. The Committee Chair must be a faculty member from whom you have taken a graduate level course.
    3. At least two of the three faculty members (including the Chair) must be chosen  from the African Studies program's Faculty list.  (a maximum of one member does not have to be included on the  list, however, has to be UCLA ladder faculty).
    4. At least two of the faculty (including the Chair) must be from the student's area of concentration.

    These above stipulations apply to both Exam and Thesis Committee appointments but important procedural variations also appear below. Any exceptions to these stipulations must be pre-approved by the Program Chair.


    1. Comprehensive Examination Plan (form)

    Formal petitioning for the Exam option must be approved no later than the end of the second week of the student's final quarter of enrollment.

    If you choose the Comprehensive Examination Plan you will be required to take a one-day written examination in your major area of concentration. It will be your responsibility to make arrangements for the examination details (e.g., approaching faculty members for inclusion on your Exam Committee, the obtainment of Committee member signatures, the scheduling of an exam date, etc.) but all decisions must be formally approved by the Program Chair.

    If the student fails to pass this Exam, a later Exam must be rescheduled. Failure to pass the re-Exam can result in termination from the Program.

    Students are advised to monitor the progress of these procedures by remaining in touch with members of their Committee and the Coordinator of Student Affairs. Failure to submit completed forms by Program deadlines, failure to reserve an examination date at least two weeks in advance, or failure to ensure that all Exam questions have been received by the Coordinator of Student Affairs at least five days prior to the examination may result in the Exam's postponement to the following academic quarter. (Any exceptions to the above must be pre-approved through the Program Chair/Faculty Advisor)

    2.Thesis Plan (form)

    Eligibility of faculty appointments to Exam Committees likewise applies to the nomination of Thesis Committees (see above).

    It is the student's responsibility to formally appoint their Faculty Thesis Committee but all nominations must be approved in consultation with the MAAS Program Chair/Faculty Advisor. However, in addition to MAAS Program approval, your Thesis Committee must also be approved by Graduate Division and a formal petition (signed by all faculty Committee members and by the Program Chair/Faculty Advisor) must be obtained from the Coordinator of Student Affairs, completed, and submitted to Graduate Division (1255 Murphy) on or before stipulated deadlines. The Thesis must reflect the student's major discipline or emphasis and evaluation for its final approval will be at the discretion of your Faculty Thesis Committee. Consult the quarterly UCLA Schedule of Classes for all filing dates and deadlines.

    Disqualification from the Program

    Any recommendation of a student's disqualification from the African Area Studies Program will be made by the MAAS Program Chair and approved through Graduate Division. Disqualification may be recommended (though not necessarily automatic) for any of the following reasons:

    1. Failure of the student to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout their time to degree.
    2. Failing to pass the Comprehensive Re-examination upon the second attempt.
    3. Insufficient progress toward the degree.
    4. Serious infractions of academic standards (such as plagiarism.)

    Please note: disqualifications are extremely rare but not unknown.

    Coming soon...

    Graduate-level courses are numbered 200-299.

    Of the nine courses for the African Studies MA, at least five must be at the  graduate level.

    Courses in the 300 series cannot be applied to the degree. 

    400 level courses can be applied to the degree but as Electives and not as graduate courses.

    Maximum two 500 series courses are allowed for the degree.

    All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless they are in 500 series. The 500 series courses taken for S/U can be applied to the degree but only if the course has no letter grade option. 


    Rules & Regulations

    Registration and Enrollment; Course Load

    Students are advised to remain aware of all campus deadlines applicable to registration and enrollment (which appear in the CALENDAR section of the UCLA Schedule of Classes). Failure to meet stipulated deadlines can result, at minimum, in the levying of late fees or other fines.

    For each quarter (Summer session excluded), all graduate students are required to be either:

    • registered and enrolled,
    • registered in absentia, or
    • on official leave of absence

    Students register by paying registration fees by the deadline. Students are advised to enroll in at least 12 units per quarter unless approval by the Faculty Advisor stipulates otherwise. An exception to this policy exists only for graduate students, near their time to degree, who may be eligible to pay a filing fee. Students should monitor their academic progress online via My.UCLA and always check their records for accuracy. Any discrepancy should be immediately brought to the attention of the relevant faculty member.

    Registration and Enrollment Procedure
    All students can access their UCLA Billing Statement online through My.UCLA which will alert them to all payment amounts due for each quarter (such as registration fees, fines, outstanding debts, financial awards, and refunds).

    ENROLLMENT for all courses may be done online through My.UCLA before the stipulated deadlines. Some courses (such as most graduate level seminars) may require that the student requests a Permission to Enroll number (or "PTE") from the appropriate instructor before enrolling in a course. More detailed information about this procedure is also available through various Campus publications and from the Coordinator of Student Affairs.

    A PROJECTED COURSE LIST for each academic quarter will be distributed to every student prior to the beginning of each academic term. Each quarterly list will indicate courses that may be applied to MA degree requirements. The Faculty Advisor must check and approve all courses. Approval for enrollment in courses not appearing on this list must be obtained from the Program Chair/Faculty Advisor.
    Course lists are always subject to change without prior notice and information (such as Course ID#s, class times & locations, and instructors) should always be verified by consulting the quarterly UCLA on line Schedule of Classes.

    Leave of Absence
    Students may formally petition to take a temporary LEAVE OF ABSENCE for one to three quarters during their graduate tenure. There is a maximum of three quarters of leave permitted to UCLA students. Leave of absence is not automatically granted and there must be a valid reason for the leave to be approved. Students are eligible for leave of absence only for one of the following reasons: outside employment, medical, parental obligations, other family obligations, military, emergency, financial hardship.
    Students on a leave of absence are not eligible for any financial assistance from the university and are not covered by the Graduate Students Health Insurance policy (GSHIP).

    Registration in Absentia
    A registered student can apply for Registration in Absentia when (s)he needs to conduct research outside of California. Student’s research has to be directly related to his/her degree program.
    For more information on the Leave of Absence and the Registration in absentia please click here.

    Registered students wishing to officially WITHDRAW from the Program are advised to notify Graduate Division via formal petition. Failure to do so can result in the seizure of the student's Transcripts and Official Records and/or legal action by the University.

    An "Incomplete" (appearing on the student transcript as an "I" rather than letter grade) indicates either that the student has not satisfied the minimum requirements for a given course or, alternatively (and rarely), indicates that the instructor (through prior agreement with the student) has allowed a temporary grade assignment of "Incomplete" to stand for one quarter and be immediately changed into a letter grade the following quarter (this typically occurs only with courses spanning more than a single quarter).
    Incomplete grades can become very serious!!! If the student fails to satisfy the required coursework by the end of the following quarter, the Incomplete Grade will revert to a Failing Grade of "F" (not easy to later remove from the student's transcript).
    In order to petition for any grade change or to remove an Incomplete grade, a form signed by the Chair/Faculty Advisor must be submitted to Graduate Division with a processing fee, supporting documentation, and an explanatory letter from the course instructor.

    Current fees are listed on the UCLA Graduate Division website . California residents are exempt from  Non-Resident Tuition. Non-California residency are encouraged to obtain California residency for tuition purposes as soon as possible. Students should contact the Academic Advisor for more information. International students are not eligible for California residency and should expect to pay the Non-Resident Tuition throughout their studies at UCLA.

    For more information on graduate studies rules and regulations please check the "Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA".

  • Funding Opportunities


    Graduate & Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) Database - Search Form

    GRAPES is not a fellowship or scholarship, rather it is an extensive database created by UCLA to help graduate students search for funding opportunities from institutions all over the world. Graduate students in need of funding (from all disciplines) are encouraged to become very familiar with the GRAPES database, and to reference it regularly.

    Funding opportunities stemming directly from UCLA are sometimes limited. With GRAPES, however, graduate students may search for hundreds of potential funding sources from many universities and institutions outside of UCLA.


    General Fellowship Opportunities

    Boren Fellowship

    Boren Fellowships provide funding for U.S. graduate students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. The fellowship is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only.

    Maximum awards for the Boren Fellowships are $30,000. In exchange for funding, recipients commit to working in the federal government for a minimum of one year. 


    Alice Belkin Memorial Scholarship

    The Burkle Center awards outstanding minority graduate students who have financial need and research interests relating to globalization and international relations with scholarships up to $4,000.00 each academic year. Scholarships are granted to qualified applicants who demonstrate leadership skills and academic achievement.


    Graduate Opportunity Fellowship Program (GOFP)

    This one-year fellowship program provides recipients with a stipend plus tuition (and nonresident supplemental tuition if necessary). Professional degree supplemental tuition, if the awardee is enrolled in a professional degree program, is not covered. The program supports a limited number of entering students pursuing either terminal or professional master's degrees.

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students who qualify for nonresident supplemental tuition exemptions under AB 540 (eligibility for undocumented AB540 students is effective January 1, 2013). The intent of this fellowship is to provide access to higher education for students who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue graduate study. Applicants should review the GOFP Application Instructions and complete both the Fellowship Application for Entering Graduate Students and the Admissions Application Diversity Statement. These forms will be reviewed as part of your fellowship application.

    Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

    The U.S. Department of State funds about 600 students for summer language institutes abroad at various skill levels. CLS is a program of the U.S. Department of State and provides fully funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen graduate students. Scholars will complete language coursework as well meeting with a native speaker language partner. Languages offered: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. Language levels are classified as Beginning, Advanced Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. The CLS Program provides undergraduate academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Upon completion of the program, participants also receive a certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score.

    All CLS Program costs are covered. Funds international and domestic travel, related costs for a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation in Washington, D.C., visa fees, language instruction, room, board, program sponsored travel within the host country. U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this fellowship

    Hilton Global Summer Scholars Program

    The Hilton Global Summer Scholars will undertake a training fellowship on initiatives focused on reducing poverty and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the summer of 2018, scholars will be placed with civil society and/or think tank partners around the world to conduct intensive fieldwork projects. Before, during, and after these summer experiences, scholars will contribute to building the evidence base on what works to improve the lives of the poor and most marginalized communities, while gaining valuable international experience and gaining the opportunity to share findings with a range of stakeholders.

    Teaching Assistantships

    Graduate students interested in teaching positions are encouraged to subscribe to the TA Marketplace group. Departments that need to fill TA vacancies post job announcements through that group.  Students need to be registered in order to have access to the group announcements. 

    African Studies Fellowship Opportunities

    Stanley J. Tarver Memorial Scholarship

    This scholarship is for graduate students of African descent (African American or African person of another nationality) who are matriculating toward a doctorate or master's degree in African History and/or Culture. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate study at a college or university in the United States.

    The Judith Boyajian Travel Fellowship

    The Judith Boyajian Travel Fellowship is designed to provide graduate students with support for purposeful travel to and cultural immersion in Africa. Electing either to pursue study in an extant program or to design an original project that would be carried out in partnership with both a UCLA faculty member and an appropriate agency based in Africa. Key for any student who applies for the grant would be a commitment to public service, and whether in an established program or under an original project, students will also be required to be engaged in it.

    The fellowship will provide up to $4,000 to cover travel and approved related expenses and fellows are expected to spend a minimum of 45-days in-country. Fellowship cannot be combined with other funding.


    East Asian Studies Fellowship Opportunities

    East Asia Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

    Academic Year and summer fellowships for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language and area studies.

    The Asia Institute administers the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program for East Asia at UCLA, supporting graduate and undergraduate training in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language and related area studies. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. FLAS Fellowships are provided by a grant from the US Department of Education Title VI program. The purpose of the program is to enrich the nation’s pool of area and international specialists. Applicants should be planning to use their training to teach, to serve in government or international agencies, or to engage in other work that advances American understanding of other countries.

    New and continuing UCLA graduate and undergraduate students in all disciplines may apply for the Academic Year FLAS awards. Continuing students only may apply for the Summer FLAS. Undergraduate students must be studying the target language at the intermediate or advanced level to be eligible.

    Taiwan Studies Graduate Research Fellowship

    Through a grant from the Taiwan Ministry of Education, the UCLA Asia Institute will offer awards of up to $6000 to UCLA graduate students for pre-dissertation or dissertation-level research in Taiwan for summer 2015 or academic-year 2015-16. Students from any discipline may apply, but research must incorporate topics or methodologies of the humanities or social sciences.

    Eligibility: According to guidelines established by the funding agency, students who are native citizens of Taiwan, Hong Kong, or the People’s Republic of China are not eligible to apply.

    Hiroshi Wagatsuma Memorial Fellowships

    The Wagatsuma Fellowship was created in honor of the late UCLA Anthropology Professor Hiroshi Wagatsuma, who for many years served as an important bridge of mutual understanding between students and academics in Japan and the United States. He pursued cross-cultural studies in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and law until his death in 1985. Applications should be submitted online.

    Awards of up to $7000 will be made to students working on a dissertation or comparable research project with a substantial cross-cultural or comparative dimension, preferably one concerning Japan or other Asian country and North America. Applications should discuss how the proposal meets the requirements of the award to continue in the spirit of Prof. Wagatsuma's work. 

    Korean Foundation, Korean Studies Scholarship Program

    The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annually offers 10 yearlong scholarships to graduate students majoring in Korean studies in North America. These scholarships support a master or PhD student's coursework and/or research while enrolled at their home institutions. It covers students only through the year that they are advanced to candidacy and only if they are in residence (not overseas research). Scholarships are for one academic year only. Scholarship recipients may reapply in succeeding years for additional support. Fellowship recipients are required to submit reports on their research or coursework at the conclusion of their one-year fellowship period. 

    Latin American Studies Fellowship Opportunities

    Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

    The Latin American Institute administers the federally-funded Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program supporting language training in Quechua, Nahuatl, Portuguese, and Advanced Spanish for graduate and undergraduate students at UCLA. Separate awards are available for summer language study and for academic year study.

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. New and continuing UCLA graduate students and continuing undergraduates may apply for academic year and/or summer awards. Incoming undergraduate transfer students may apply for academic year awards.

    UCLA Blum Center Summer Scholars Program

    Through this program, graduate students live and work in a region of Latin America and work with universities,international institutions and/or community organizations involved in activities focused on improving health and social conditions of local populations.

    Each student will be mentored both by a faculty member from their respective university and a representative from the sponsoring host organization in Latin America.

    Salina's Scholarship 

    Currently enrolled in UCLA Latin American Studies Graduate MA Program. Departmental Scholars are eligible. Applications will be available Winter quarter. 



  • Admissions Information

    *Important Message Regarding the Application Deadline*

    Because the online application system was unavailable for a few days in November,  the African Studies M.A. program will extend the application deadline to December 5, 2017.   We will be accepting letters of recommendation until December 15.   Please contact us if you have questions.

    Note that the African Studies graduate program offers a Master's degree (M.A.) only.  There is no Ph.D. in African Studies offered at UCLA.

    General admissions information, instructions about applying, and the online application for admission can be found at UCLA’s Graduate Division Website.

    The deadline to apply to the African Studies interdepartmental graduate program is December 1.   All applicants must apply electronically for graduate admission.    The applicants will be notified about the admission decision by mid-March. 

    The following materials are required components of the admission application:

    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Statement of purpose (two pages maximum).   Your statement of purpose should describe academic, Africa-related and/or professional experience
    • An academic writing sample, or otherwise published work
    • Graduate Record Examination scores . Please use Institution Code 4837 and Department Code 5199
    • Official   transcripts.  An unofficial transcript may be uploaded via on-line admission application, however,  we require one copy of official transcripts to be sent to our office in a sealed envelope.   If transcripts are not in English, an authorized  translation has to be provided.   
    • International applicants have to submit TOEFL scores.  Applicants who hold a degree from a university located in U.S. or another country where English is both a primary spoken language and the language of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full time study at such institution are not required to submit TOEFL scores.  For more information please review English Requirements


    African Studies M.A. Program Inquiries:
    Telephone: (310) 206-6571

    UCLA International Institute
    African Studies Graduate Admissions
    10373 Bunche Hall
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487 


  • Information for Incoming Students

    Housing Options

    For students seeking housing near UCLA’s campus, there are a number of options provided by the university and by independent housing offices. Incoming students who have recently accepted an offer of admission will be contacted directly by the university via e-mail with details about how to apply for university housing. In general, most graduate students seeking university housing near campus will be competitive for housing agreements in the Weyburn Apartments.

    Weyburn Terrace Apartments

    While university housing is not guaranteed, many students in the MA program are able to secure housing in the Weyburn Terrace Apartments next to campus. The Weyburn apartments are located right next to UCLA and are within walking distance of the main campus. In addition, a very convenient university bus route connects Weyburn to the university with shuttles arriving every few minutes.

    Weyburn offers individual studio housing and housing for students seeking a roommate. Furnished and unfurnished housing options are both available. For detailed information about rates for Weyburn Terrace housing, please click here.

    Parking is available for students who obtain housing in Weyburn Terrace. A parking permit for Weyburn may be applied for during the online application process.

    Student housing is not managed by the MA program, however. As stated above, students who have recently committed to UCLA will be contacted by the university directly with information about how to apply for housing. To explore more UCLA housing information, including off-campus university housing options, please click here.

    Non-University Housing Options

    There are plenty of non-university housing options for incoming students. Craigslist is an excellent option for many students seeking housing near UCLA. Many UCLA students successfully find housing using websites such as Zuma Housing ,  Westside Rentals, Trulia  and Zillow.

    The neighborhoods that are located in proximity to UCLA and have good bus connection to UCLA include:

    • Beverly Hills
    • Brentwood
    • Culver City
    • Mar Vista
    • Palms
    • Santa Monica
    • West Hollywood
    • West Los Angeles
    • Westwood

    Parking options

    A daily parking permit for on campus parking is $12.  

    Students may also apply for quarterly parking permits, known as orange permits. Orange commuter permits are $231 each quarter. Commuter permits only secure parking at on-campus locations. Detailed information concerning parking permits including deadlines to apply may be found here.

    Public Transportation

    Students who find off-campus housing may also use the many convenient bus routes that connect UCLA to the greater LA area:

    • Students residing in Culver City and Palms will find the Culver City Bus very accessible.
    • Students residing in Santa Monica, Mar Vista, West Hollywood may easily commute to campus by using the Big Blue Bus.
    • Los Angeles County Metro (bus and rail) allows students to commute from many other areas of Los Angeles.
    • You can use Metro Trip Planner to find the best bus connection when traveling around Los Angeles.

    The practicality of commuting to campus using city bus lines will be determined by the distance between the student’s housing and UCLA. While extremely affordable, some students may experience commutes of up to an hour in each direction to and from campus. Students are encouraged to consider all these factors while selecting appropriate housing.

    Obtaining California Residency for Tuition Purposes

    Out of state students can apply for California residency after completing their first year at UCLA. If approved, students will be able to pay the in-state tuition during their second or any subsequent year at UCLA. For more information, such as required documentation and deadlines to apply please visit the Registrar’s website.

    Please note that this information does not apply to international students.

  • Affiliated Research Centers

Alumni Profile Spotlights

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    MA '07

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Use the degree and exposure as a starting point for further learning and understanding of the most pressing issues. Understand the differences between theory and practice. Be open. Travel. Question and challenge.

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    Nicole Abeckett

    BA '03

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Be a citizen of the world. It is greatly rewarding. Get out and live in another country that challenges your comfort level. Your perspective on human relations will become greatly enriched. Most importantly - learn another language!!!

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  • John Arboleda

    BA '96

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: I would encourage students to become truly global. One is not born global but becomes global, and it is vital that we understand the world in which we live in. And, to do so requires that we

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    Natalya Berenshteyn

    BA '07

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Focus less on classroom learning and more on learning out in the real world. Study abroad. Intern. Use college as a platform to explore interesting hands-on opportunities.

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  • Tiffany Cantrell-Warren

    BA '06, MA '16

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: International Development Studies is a very unique major that can prepare you for multiple careers that require critical thinking, creativity, and cultural sensitivity. I took my degree to a hospital in the US (national, healthcare, nonprofits)

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    Rafael Cardona

    BA '96

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Travel as much as possible and take yourself out of your comfort zone as often as you can. These practices will enable you to understand the world better and give you fresh perspectives about where humanity has

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  • Sarah Chenault

    MA '11

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Be involved with your cohort! What they are studying is pertinent to your experience as a graduate student and developing professional relationships after your program.

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    Aerin Cho

    BA '08

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: As broad as the field of international development is, there are so many opportunities and you will never be bored in it (if not overwhelmed with amount of information). What I found helpful for myself is

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  • Cecily Couture

    BA '06

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Take all the classes you can! Don't just do the bare minimum to graduate. There is such a wealth of knowledge there that you can draw on in your future endeavors! Go to office hours when

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    Karla Galdamez

    MA '03

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: I'm so happy that I chose to attend UCLA and study Latin American studies. The degree provided me with opportunities to examine the world from a broad range of perspectives. Because of the degree I feel

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  • Alejandro Garcia

    BA '11

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Go to office hours! Letters of recommendation will are crucial for future applications so build relationships with your professors early! Study abroad and consider double majoring.

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    Gayle Gienger

    BA '03

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Spend some time abroad! It is an incredible, eye-opening, soul-searching experience. Go at least for a semester, a year if you can. Consider going to a smaller city - it's easier to integrate into the local

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  • Kimberly Grano

    BA '15

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: If you can't get away for a quarter during the school year because of work or campus activities, make the most of your summers! Some of my favorite memories from my four years as a UCLA

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    Kaitlin Highstreet

    BA '15

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Make the most of your time here! It really goes so quickly and the opportunities for learning and having fun are incredible. Work hard, but remember that you learn so much out of the classroom and

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  • Zachary Jarvinen

    BA '06

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Get out there and DO STUFF. Bring things to completion, whether in your own hood, or internationally. You can come back to your friends and family (no ones getting married that quick in the 21st century),

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    Kristin Kalla

    MA '92

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Find a supportive mentor, take risks, travel and volunteer, be a positive role model, stay humble and motivate others.

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  • Kalani Matthew-James Wonyou Kim

    BA '11, MA '14

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Use your time wisely and don't let the opportunities that present themselves to you to slip through your fingers. Be proud of your accomplishments that have made you a Bruin and always be an excellent representative

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    Nancy Knowles

    BA '90

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Get a degree in a field you like and are good at. The type of bachelor's degree doesn't matter too much to most employers and graduate schools. Many like the breadth of a degree in one

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  • Tanya Lara

    BA '07

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Definitely study abroad - even if it's just for a summer term. There is nothing better for the development of your language skills and cultural awareness than being immersed into your country/region of study.

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    J. Eric Lomeli

    BA '00, MA '02

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: First, dedicate yourself into learning a wide perspective, then narrow down your focus to become an expert.

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  • Emily Marsh

    BA '09

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: An international degree is one of the most well-rounded and relevant degrees you can earn today. The Global Studies major, in particular, examines the every day trends and movements of today's world with a strong ties

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    Angela Mc Duffie

    BA '10

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Never think that you will be limited to what you learn in school. Remember that what you may think is useless now will become helpful one day and make a huge impression on someone. UCLA is

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  • Laurel McAndrews

    BA '07

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Take advantage of ALL UCLA resources while you are there. Take as many classes as you can and be sure to utilize the UCLA Career Center BEFORE you graduate. It costs money to use it afterwards!

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    Ray Minjares

    BA '02

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Definitely do a semester or year abroad through EAP. This changed my life. Take classes that interest you, and think outside the box. Don't get buried in books. Go have fun.

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  • Caley Moffatt

    BA '14

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Travel, expand your worldview, and examine different cultures. The Global Studies Travel Study program in Paris was one of the most memorable parts of my time at UCLA. Also, writing a senior thesis was by far

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    Conor Moore

    BA '10

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Go to office hours! Meet your professors and develop those professional connections that you will need whether you decide to pursue graduate studies or jump straight into the workforce. Spend time with your peers and colleagues

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  • Ben Moore

    BA '10

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Pursue some of the more unique niches within UCLA's expansive course offerings; follow your heart and give your all. Take chances and enter every experience with a positive attitude. Don't forget to have a sense of

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    Gael Murphy

    MA '82

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Apply a human rights framework to what you choose to do and where you choose to do it!

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  • Jennifer Patton

    BA '11

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Take advantage of the opportunity to participate in travel study programs and other study abroad opportunities. Also explore the wonderful language programs at UCLA, which offer many courses that cross over with the Global Studies major.

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    Jessica Salgado

    BA '10

    ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Develop strong study habits; go to office hours; develop relationships with Professors and Teaching Assistants, and fellow classmates; be the first to say, "hello!"; challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone; expose yourself to

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