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Students walk along the canopy bridge over Ghana's Kakum National Park.

The African Studies Program offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary minor program pertaining to the histories, people, cultures, environment, literature and politics of Africa, arguably one of the world's most diverse and complex regions. UVM's small but dedicated Africanists offer a variety of courses exploring aspects of this complex and diverse continent that plays an important role in global economic, ecological and cultural welfare. 

Minor Requirements

Our minor program provides a stimulating blend of courses from disciplines including history, political science, geography, and more. The African Studies minor can be paired with whatever major you choose, and it will offer you a skillset, including writing and critical thinking, that can be applied towards any career path. Our minor program consists of 18 course credits, and most of our minor students spend time abroad. See our catalogue requirements for the African Studies minor.

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    A Lively Learning Environment

    Beyond academic courses, we offer several exciting activities ranging from visiting lecturers, film and video shows. We are particularly proud of NEWSA, the Northeastern Workshop of Southern Africa, which meets in Burlington every eighteen months and attracts internationally recognized scholars not only from North America, but Africa and Europe as well. We are also establishing outreach activities with the Vermont African Society and collaborating with several other institutions in the area where there are Africanists.

Study Abroad

Many students declare a minor in African studies after spending a semester or even a year abroad. There are several excellent (and reasonably inexpensive) ways to do this in East, West or Southern Africa. Many students use data collected on these trips for an African Studies Minor independent paper.

There are a variety of programs in Africa available to UVM students which offer different experiences. Programs range from studying politics at a South African university to working with wildlife in Kenya or Namibia. Depending upon the program, accommodations can include educational institutions, private homes, hostels, or tents. Students may have an opportunity to learn and experience aspects of African culture by living with families such as the Maasai in Tanzania or Xhosa in South Africa. While others may decide to live on-campus and become more familiar with the campus culture or stay in nearby apartments. The lengths of the programs are varied as well. Students can study for 3-4 weeks during the summer, spend a semester, or a full year abroad. Learn more about study abroad.


A key part of your success at UVM will be your relationship with your academic advisor. Think of your advisor as your academic liaison who you can rely on to clarify university policies and requirements, provide support, and navigate your undergraduate journey. As an African Studies minor, you will automatically be paired with program director, Vicki Brennan. Learn more about advising here.

Popular Courses

  • ENGS 061 Intro to African Literature
  • HST 041 Africa C-1870 to Present
  • REL 026 Religions in Africa


An undergraduate minor in African Studies, coupled with a complementary major, prepares students for graduate study in several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.  Alumni also pursue careers in policy analysis, government, research, journalism, business, law, international development and activism in the United States and Africa.