MSU’s doctoral program in African History has long been one of the premier programs in the nation and is ranked in the top three in the US News & World Report. Professors Nwando AchebePeter AlegiLaura Fair, and Walter Hawthorne specialize in West, East and South African history, with a focus on women and gender, sport and popular culture, and slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. Peter Limb, John Aerni-FlessnerJessica Johnson, David Wheat, and Georgina Montgomery, whose research is rooted in Africa, often work closely with Africanist graduate students, as do faculty in a variety of related fields.

Applicants to our program are considered for generous multi-year funding packages that include a stipend, tuition, health insurance, and research support. Our students benefit from MSU’s African Studies Center, which offers instruction in many African languages and often provides fellowships under the FLAS Title VI program. Students also value the research assistance of librarians Joseph J. Lauer and Peter Limb, both of whom have Ph.Ds in African History and staff one of the three largest Africana library collections in the United States. And students derive much from having the Journal of West African History in the department. In addition, MSU History leads the way in digital scholarship through close partnerships with H-NetMATRIX—MSU’s digital humanities center—and the newly launched Lab for Education in and Advancement of Digital Research (LEADR).

In 2013, African history was one of a small number of fields in the discipline in which the number of jobs equaled the number of new PhDs. The future looks bright for Africanist scholars, and the MSU Africa program’s job placement rate for graduates has long been excellent. Our PhDs hold positions at a range of institutions from Research I universities to liberal arts colleges.

Recent Graduates and Placements

We welcome inquiries about the program. Applications should be submitted through the university system.