Home < Schools, Colleges, and Programs < College of Letters & Science < Majors, Certificates, and Concentration Programs < African Studies

College of Letters and Science

African Studies Program

Requirements for the Undergraduate Certificate
Study Abroad
Language Study and Careers

205 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706 608-262-2380; asp@africa.wisc.edu; africa.wisc.edu

Program Faculty Director: Sharon Hutchinson
Associate Director: James Delehanty, jmdeleha@wisc.edu
Assistant Director and Advisor: Catherine Reiland, creiland@wisc.edu

The African Studies Program is one of the major American centers for research and study about the African continent.

Faculty specializing on Africa are based in more than 40 departments throughout the university's schools and colleges. Courses on Africa are offered in the social sciences and humanities, and in professional schools.

Requirements for the Undergraduate Certificate in African Studies

Students must complete 15 credits from the African Studies Program core curriculum from at least two different departments and not use more than two courses from any one department. A list of courses for specific terms is available at the program website.

Early advising from the African Studies Program is recommended for students pursuing the certificate.


There are a variety of majors for undergraduate students who wish to study Africa. The most common and normally recommended option is to major in a discipline with faculty strength and commitment to the study of Africa.

College of Letters and Science

Popular majors include African languages and literature, anthropology, art history, French, geography, history, international studies, political science, sociology, and gender and women's studies.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Students interested in international trade and agriculture, hunger, poverty, environmental protection, and other issues that affect Africa can pursue the bachelor of science degree in international agriculture and natural resources. For this degree, students combine 15 credits in a major department with two years of foreign language study, courses in the natural and social sciences, and international experience.

School of Business

A certificate in international business allows students to focus their language and area studies course work in an Africa track.

Study Abroad

The university offers several semester- and year-long study abroad programs in Africa, including opportunities in Egypt, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. For more information visit International Academic Programs. Students interested in studying abroad in Africa can also meet with the African Studies Program advisor for guidance on selecting programs.

Language Study and Careers

The university regularly offers five African languages through the Department of African Languages and Literature. The campus is also home to the National African Language Resource Center, which advances the teaching and learning of African languages in the United States.

Advanced language training and further study of Africa are useful to students preparing for foreign service in Africa, careers in international business and development, teaching in Africa, completion of graduate study and professional research on Africa, or for students interested in the heritage of Afro-Americans and the Diaspora.