Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

DAAS Graduate Certificate Program

The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies offers two certificates: 

  • African Studies Certificate (code 01973)
  • African American and Diasporic Studies Certificate (code 01974)

These two programs are designed for students already enrolled in a terminal degree program at the University of Michigan. These Certificate Programs, which combined with either a masters or a doctoral degree, offer distinct advantages to graduate education:

  • Participation in one of the Certificate Programs enables graduate students who are already pursuing a Ph.D., terminal master’s degree, or professional degree at the University of Michigan to supplement their disciplinary training with concentrated inquiry in a specific field of inquiry.
  • The aim of the Certificate Programs is to enable students to both widen and deepen their understanding of the key issues and debates in either African Studies or African American and Diasporic Studies.
  • The interdisciplinary focus of the Certificate Programs offers students in many fields the opportunity to broaden and enrich their analytical skills in one or more disciplines while drawing on the interdisciplinary perspectives of either African Studies or African American and Diasporic Studies.
  • Explore and interrogate currents of thought and diverse methodological approaches outside their own particular fields of specialization..
  • The comprehensive but flexible curriculum provides a solid foundation for students to engage with a wide range of programs and departments at the University of Michigan.
  • Enrollment in the core Certificate courses offers a platform for students to interact with, and learn from, fellow-students and faculty who come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Obtaining a Certificate in either program indicates a proficiency in either African Studies or African American and Diasporic Studies. This formal recognition is officially acknowledged on the student transcript.

Enrollment in One of the Certificate Programs in DAAS

  1. Requirements: The DAAS Graduate Certificate Program is for current U-M graduate students. U-M graduate students currently enrolled in either Rackham Graduate School OR another U-M Graduate School are eligible to participate in one of the graduate certificate programs in DAAS. Students enrolled in a Rackham or non-Rackham degree program must complete at least one term before applying to the certificate program.

  2. Process: Students interested in pursuing a DAAS graduate program certificate should complete the appropriate declaration form and return it to the DAAS Administrative/Project Coordinator in a timely manner. The form requires the student to indicate a course of study to meet the requirements for the certificate, including a list of DAAS courses already taken and those to be taken, as well as a brief statement explaining how the DAAS component will be integrated in the overall course of study. These application materials will be reviewed by the DAAS Graduate Committee. 

Course Requirements and Expectations 

Students intending to obtain one of the Certificates in DAAS must complete 15 course credits. These must include either one of the Core Pro-Seminars (AAS 600 for Certificate in African Studies; AAS 601 for Certificate in African American and Diasporic Studies). Both courses introduce students to a cluster of traditional and current topical questions commonly treated in the fields of African and African American Studies and explore the various interdisciplinary approaches used to address them. The DAAS professors offering these courses may enlist the support of colleagues to provide supplementary lectures.

In addition, students must complete one of the Capstone courses. For the African American and Diasporic Studies Certificate, students must complete in AAS 891 Capstone Research Course - African American and Diasporic Studies with a DAAS faculty member. For the African Studies Certificate, students must complete AAS 892 (Capstone Seminar in African Studies). If this course is not offered, students may complete the Capstone requirements in AAS 890 (Independent Study) with a DAAS faculty member.

Up to seven of the fifteen credit hours may be for courses required for the student’s degree; however, credits may not be triple-counted (e.g., the same course cannot simultaneously count towards the degree program, the GCP in DAAS, and another certificate program). Non-Rackham degree programs may have their own rules regulating double counting.


Students must select a faculty advisor, typically a DAAS faculty member or affiliate. Students have the option of changing advisors at any time. The role of the faculty advisor is to work with the student to ensure progress through the Certificate program, and to assist the student in submitting required forms in a timely manner. Generally speaking, students are encouraged to select the faculty member offering the initial Pro-Seminar course to serve as faculty advisor. A designated Graduate Program Coordinator (a member of the DAAS Graduate Committee) oversees approval of courses to meet the breadth requirement.

DAAS GCP Application

Students applying to the DAAS GCP are required to submit a singular application to Rackham, which may be submitted online via ApplyWeb or as a written document. There are separate applications for current Rackham graduate students and current non-Rackham UM graduate students. Below are the links to the online and paper applications; please select the appropriate application pathway.

For more information, contact DAAS Administrative Coordinator/Project Coordinator at

Step-by Step Process for Submission of Required Documentation for Participation in Certificate Program

  1. Submit required documentation with Rackham via the online application or paper application to enroll in one of the Certificate programs. DAAS accepts rolling admissions to the certificate program. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible in their graduate program, but Rackham requires that students wait to enroll until they have completed one full term of graduate study at U of M.

  2. For students enrolled in Rackham Graduate programs, submit an online Dual Admissions application with Rackham. For students enrolled in non-Rackham graduate programs, there is an alternative process. Deadlines are flexible, but students are strongly encouraged to submit materials in a timely manner. If a certificate student is enrolled in a Master’s degree program or has received an embedded Master’s along the way to their Ph.D., they must also complete a dual/joint degree course election form. This form is used to verify that the double-counting rules have been followed.

  3. Certificates are formally awarded at graduation. In order to be formally awarded with the Certificate, students are required to submit an application with Rackham (or their non-Rackham School within U of M). Once all requirements have been fulfilled, all certificate students must apply for graduation via Wolverine Access (under Student Business—Apply for Graduation). Students must apply for graduation with the certificate by Rackham's term-specific deadlines. Rackham prefers applications for graduation several weeks before graduation date, but will accept applications up to a week before graduation.

Double-Counting Credits

Rackham requires a Dual/Joint Degree Election Form to be completed, approved by both program departments (i.e., African Studies Certificate and Natural Resources & Environment) and returned to Rackham. The Dual/Joint Degree Election Form must be submitted to Rackham in advance in order for applications for graduation to be processed in a timely fashion.