There are not many online graduate programs for African American studies. However, you can find many on-campus graduate programs in this area, or you can pursue an online degree in the related field of interdisciplinary studies.
Online versus On-campus Programs
It's rare to find an online graduate program in African American studies, so in most cases, you will need to find a program on a university campus to attend. However, African American studies is an interdisciplinary field, and you can find online graduate programs in interdisciplinary studies. Here is a comparison of what to expect in an online interdisciplinary program versus an on-camps program in African American Studies.
Online Graduate Programs in Interdisciplinary Studies
Online graduate programs in interdisciplinary studies are designed to be flexible, and both master's-level and doctoral programs are available online. Students can take courses on their own time on either a full- or part-time basis. Because interdisciplinary studies touch on a number of subjects, students can combine their African American studies coursework with courses in practically any other discipline, such as literature, business, education, or even health services. These programs may ask you to choose a specific focus area within African American studies, which is something that your advisor can help you with. Choosing a concentration will also help you narrow what topics you study during the course of your program. The online master's program can take between 30 and 40 course hours to complete, which is around two years of study. Doctoral programs typically require at least 60 credits and 3-7 years of study.
On-Campus African American Studies Graduate Programs
On-campus African American studies graduate programs can award either a master's or doctorate degree depending on where you attend. These programs are interdisciplinary in nature, and so students can look forward to taking a broad range of courses in areas such as African-American literature, politics, and culture. The program also requires students to be able to critically analyze the experiences of Africans living in the Americas. Some programs offer concentration options in areas like ethnomusicology, women and gender studies, linguistics, history or cultural studies. A master's program in the field can be completed in two years, while a doctorate degree in this area can take up to six years to complete.
Regardless of whether you're applying to an online or on-campus graduate program, there will often be high standards for acceptance. While each university has its own admission standards, you will commonly find some of the same requirements for application. Students will sometimes be asked to submit a statement of purpose that asks them to describe why they're pursuing a graduate degree in African American studies, and schools will often request a writing sample as well. Universities also often ask for letters of recommendation. Typically, three letters are requested. You will also need to submit your official transcripts for admission, and you will need to submit your GRE scores in most cases.
To pursue African American studies at the graduate level, you can choose from on-campus programs in the field or self-tailored online programs in interdisciplinary studies that focus on African American studies. Both master's degrees and doctorates are available, and online and on-campus programs have similar admissions requirements.