African Studies

Why Take African Studies at K?

Learn about Africa’s rich histories and cultures through interdisciplinary curriculum, small class sizes, and study abroad opportunities in Senegal and Kenya. 

As an African studies student, you will take a holistic approach to learning about the continent, its societies, peoples, histories, and cultures. Over the course of your concentration, you will view contemporary global issues from an African perspective and develop a heightened awareness of the long and complex relationship between Africa and the West. 

In courses like Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa, Decolonization in Africa, and Islam in Africa, you will explore the cultures, histories, politics, economics, and ecological environments of the continent. Taking a liberal arts approach to education, your courses will draw upon social science, natural science, and humanities methodologies and perspectives for a more complete view of historical and contemporary issues. 

You will also have the opportunity to learn on location and study abroad in either Nairobi, Kenya or Dakar, Senegal. Both programs will contextualize your studies by having you observe emerging trends in business, government, politics, education, and non-profit sectors through your courses and internships with local organizations. 

These experiences will give you a solid foundation for future work or study in African studies and related fields, with alumni having gone on to meaningfully engage with the continent throughout their careers in global relations, law, communications, and government. 

What can you do with an African studies concentration?

Below are some of the careers, employers, and graduate schools of our African studies alumni.


  • Attorney
  • Grant Manager
  • Refugee Resettlement
  • Reporter


  • PeaceCorps
  • American Red Cross
  • Rock the Vote

Graduate Schools

  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Chicago
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Program Spotlight

Study Abroad in Kenya or Senegal  

While you can choose from any of the College’s 50+ study abroad options, K offers two programs in Africa: Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal. During your term in Kenya, you will have the chance to take courses at the University of Nairobi, go on field visits outside of the city, and gain experience working with a local organization that improves equity for women, children, and economically disenfranchised populations. Whereas, in your two terms in Senegal, you will enhance your French language skills and knowledge of Western Africa by living with a host family, taking courses at the local university, working with the West African Research Center, and completing an internship or research in entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.