Skip to Content

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

MIRS: African Studies Specialization

The African studies specialization of the Masters in International and Regional Studies (MIRS) is designed for students seeking to gain advanced, interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of African studies. The specialization offers courses in African languages, literature, arts, history, politics, law, and economics but also public health, environmental studies, and development from across the university's many schools and colleges. The comprehensive but flexible curriculum of the specialization provides a solid foundation for those students wishing to volunteer or work on the African continent, to serve in government, or to pursue a doctoral degree.

Anchored in the African Studies Center (ASC) and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), the MIRS African studies specialization draws upon their strategic guidance and coordination for Africa-related research and programming on campus, and on the continent. DAAS offers a diverse curriculum of enriching and rigorous courses taught by award-winning faculty. The DAAS faculty produce innovative scholarship and instruction on the history, societies, and creativity of the peoples of Africa and its diaspora. DAAS is also the home of the South African Initiatives Office (SAIO). Through SAIO, DAAS has supported research and travel for scores of U-M Africanist graduate students in a wide range of departments and schools. 

Curriculum (36 credits)

MIRS students will complete a total of 36 credits, distributed over at least two academic disciplines, at the 400-level or above. 27 of these credits are determined by the specialization. The remaining 9 credits are required for all MIRS students. MIRS requirements include two core courses and a graduate colloquium. In addition, MIRS students will have access to a graduate professional development workshop.

AAS 892 “Capstone Research Course: African Studies”

Winter 2021 – Prof. Kelly Askew

This seminar fulfills the capstone requirement for the DAAS Graduate Certificate in African Studies, and for the Master’s in International and Regional Studies (MIRS) African Studies specialization. Students work on independent research projects that can form the basis of a master's thesis, dissertation chapter, analysis of a practicum experience, or publishable article with a focus in African Studies. Weekly readings will center on theoretical and methodological issues deemed relevant to the projects pursued by seminar participants. We will collectively devise the reading list after the initial seminar session.

For more information, contact