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The Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies  Master of Arts Program is designed to provide scholars, teachers and professionals with a thorough grounding in the literature and research at one of the nation’s most prestigious centers of research and scholarship in African-American Studies. Our program focuses particularly on the cultivation of critical analytical and methodical skills required to investigate the complex and historically specific experiences of Africans in the Americas.

For students who plan to pursue careers in research, teaching, and public life, their successful career will begin with the M.A. degree in African-American Studies. Our M.A. program will provide these students with a solid foundation from which they can effectively pursue a doctoral degree and a career afterward.

For professionals pursuing careers in various aspects of African-American life (including journalism and social criticism; the arts; social advocacy; public policy; public health; library, museum, and curatorial work; etc.), the Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies  M.A. program will help  them  become better global citizens and contributors who are aware of  how the experiences of Black people in the Americas have contributed to and continue to shape the political, social, cultural, and economic landscapes nationally and globally. For many of our graduating M.A. students, this means strengthening community-based relationships and work begun and developed while at Columbia’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies.

Whether you plan on later pursuing a Ph.D. program or expanding your professional range through an engagement with African-American Studies, our philosophy of student training emphasizes the classroom as only the beginning of a fulfilling educational experience. From regular lecture series, major conferences, to individualized research projects and employment, to internships, to professional development opportunities and exposure to our alumni network, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies M.A. program prepares its students for the world.