Masters of Arts Degree
The Master of Arts (M.A.) program seeks to answer the personal and intellectual aspirations of the student and the particular needs of society that are not satisfied by a baccalaureate degree. Thus, the M.A. provides more specialized study in African American Studies than the B.A. or B.S. degree and often serves as the terminal degree. Many secondary school teachers, for example, desire to enhance their skills by obtaining an M.A. degree in African American Studies.
Note that the completion of the M.A. does not automatically admit the student to the Ph.D. program. The student wishing to move from the M.A. to the Ph.D. level must formally apply to the Ph.D. program, and go through the same process as external applicants. Admission is offered only once a year in the fall semester. The application deadline is January 15.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline: January 15
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:
Applicants for the Master of Arts must hold the B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a 4.00 scale or the equivalent. Some coursework in African American Studies or African Studies is expected.
Letters of Reference:
Three letters of recommendation should be obtained from instructors or other individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic work.
Statement of Goals and Objectives:
The statement should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple's Department of African American Studies; your research goals as they relate to African American Studies; your research goals as they relate to the social relevance of the discipline; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.
Standardized Test Scores:
The GRE is required. A combined minimum score of 1,000 on the verbal and quantitative sections is expected. Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.
An interview may be required.
A resume or Curricula Vitae (CV) is required.
The writing sample should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct research and to write a scholarly paper relevant to the discipline. The paper should be no more than 20 pages in length and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual such as MLA, APA or Chicago Style.
Transfer of Credit from Other Programs
The incoming graduate student, with the assistance and approval of his/her advisor, may apply to have graduate credits taken at other accredited institutions counted towards completion of the M.A. in African American Studies. The intended transfer credit courses cannot be more than five (5) years before matriculation in the Department of African American graduate program. The application for these credits is to be made during the first semester of enrollment in DAAS.
Completion of the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in African American Studies requires the fulfillment or the requirement of a minimum of 30 credit hours. The time period for completing the M.A. is three (3) years which begins with the semester of matriculation. In addition, the student must pass a written comprehensive examination testing his/her mastery of critical aspects of the discipline, or submit and defend a thesis.
Core Course Requirements consist of the following:
- AAS 8001: Proseminar in Graduate Work in African American Studies
- AAS 8002: African Civilizations
- AAS 8003: Research Methods in African American Studies
- AAS 8005: African Literature OR AAS 8006: African American Literature
- AAS 8007: African Aesthetics (offered every other spring semester: upcoming Spring 2011)
- AAS 8008: Ethnographic Methods
M.A. Comprehensive Examination
M.A. students may choose to take and pass a culminating examination that is intended to probe the student's knowledge of content, literature, theory/methodology, and methods in African American Studies and to test the student's ability to apply theoretical issues to praxis. It is a proctored, closed-book, six (6) -hour written examination.
M.A. students may choose to complete a thesis demonstrating specialized knowledge and their ability to do original research in Africana studies. The student must work with his/her committee (the advisor and another faculty) to produce and successfully defend a thesis on an approved topic. The student then submits the following to the Graduate School by the deadline listed in the Graduate School's Dissertation Handbook.
The Department offers study abroad with the Temple University Ghana program. A maximum of 6 credits may be applied toward the master's degree.
The Department of African American Studies
1115 Polett Walk
810 Gladfelter Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Header images from Digital Schomberg