Courses: In their first year of study, students are required to take a colloquium in African history in which they will produce a historiography paper. They are also required to take GR8910 Introduction to History and Historiography in the first year. All students are required to take a total of 10 courses for credit: 6 in the first year and 4 in the second.

Languages: Study of one African language is mandatory. Two language exams must be passed before the oral exams. One of the languages may be a European language, such as French, German, or Portuguese. The other must be an African language, such as Arabic, Bamana, Pulaar, Swahili, Wolof, Zulu, or another, as regional and research specialty may demand.

Orals: Comprehensive exams are to be taken in the fifth or sixth term. Fields are to be developed in consultation with the Africanist faculty. One field may be in a discipline other than history. Failing a field will require re-sitting that portion of the exam.

Dissertation Prospectus: Students are required to produce a preliminary proposal for dissertation research in the first weeks of the fifth semester. This proposal will serve as the core of funding proposals and of the eventual dissertation prospectus. The defense of the prospectus itself takes place after the oral exams.