Ph.D. Minor

Ph.D. minor in African Studies

The Ph.D. minor in African Studies is for students completing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who wish to focus their study on Africa.  It requires four courses or seminars in two departments outside the student’s major department.  The African Studies minor is completed under “Minor Option A” of the Graduate School regulations.


  • Complete a minimum of 12 graduate credits from the African Studies Program core curriculum in four courses or seminars outside the major field, and from at least two different departments (Agricultural and Applied Economics and Economics courses/seminars are considered to be of one discipline for purposes of the minor.)
  • Graduate credit is available only for courses with numbers of 300 or higher.
  • At least one of these four units must be a course or seminar at the 700 to 900 level.  No thesis or dissertation credits (990) may be used.

To declare a Ph. D. minor, begin by meeting with an African Studies Program advisor. To make an appointment, schedule a meeting with Aleia McCord at

Eligible students will submit the Ph.D. Minor in African Studies application form and obtain the approval and signature of major professor. After completing preliminary Ph.D. examinations, the African Studies Program director or designate will sign the warrant indicating completion of the Ph.D. minor.

Suggestions for Students Pursuing the Ph.D. Minor in African Studies

  • Early Approval of Minor Program:  It is your responsibility as a graduate student to determine that all courses/seminars being completed are eligible for inclusion in the Ph.D. Minor.  We encourage you to consult with the African Studies Program advisor before taking courses intended to be included in the Minor.
  • Language Training:  In planning your program, bear in mind the strong desirability of attaining competence in an African language. For many kinds of research, ability to use a language as a research tool is indispensable.
  • Auditing Courses:  In addition to courses and seminars formally taken for credit, you are encouraged to audit additional offerings to develop a broad competence in African Studies.
  • Introductory first-year language courses may not be used for the Ph.D. minor in African Studies even if they are numbered 300 or higher. Language courses may count for the minor only in so far as they do not overlap with departmental language requirements.  When a department requires an African language for the Ph.D., language courses may count toward the minor only above and beyond four semesters of study in one language.
  • Include no more than one independent reading and research course in the four courses or seminars submitted.

What grade point average is required for successful completion of the Ph. D. minor?

A 3.0 Grade Point Average is required for all courses submitted for the minor.

Can I use credits from previous universities towards a Ph. D. minor?

Courses from other universities which were taken for graduate credit may count toward the minor with approval of the African Studies Program.  Normally, only two of the required four courses or seminars may come from outside the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Exceptions may be proposed by petition.

Can I use credits taken as an undergraduate towards a Ph. D. minor?

Courses taken while the candidate was an undergraduate student are not eligible for credit toward the Ph.D. minor, including courses with graduate level numbers.