Reviving and expanding the vision of an earlier Institute of African Affairs, the Center for African Studies at Duquesne University is the key academic unit charged with assisting the University in realizing its academic goals regarding sub-Saharan Africa and the African diaspora. Through its engagement with members of the University's academic and co-curricular community who have experience and interests in Africa and the African diaspora, the Center will participate in shaping a shared strategic vision in the University's engagement with Africa and the African diaspora.

Gerald M. Boodoo, Ph.D.
Director, Center for African Studies.


The Center for African Studies promotes Duquesne University's constructive engagement with Africa and the African diaspora, through teaching, scholarship and service. It strives to create and encourage opportunities to experience the many rich African traditions and cultures from interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives.

  • To create and promote interdisciplinary academic programs in African Studies and Global Health.
  • To provide community engagement opportunities for faculty and students with Africa and the African diaspora.
  • To encourage and support research opportunities in African Studies and Global Health.
  • To engage the university community in critical discussions through invited speakers and other events on issues related to African Studies and Global Health.
  • To facilitate, support and coordinate agreements between Duquesne University and academic institutions in Africa and the African diaspora.

African Studies Programs

Undergraduate Major

The Center for African Studies offers a major to interested undergraduates. Any student can choose African Studies as a second major to complement her/his major in any other department. The African Studies major is not a "stand alone" major; in other words, it must accompany another major. Students taking the major are required to take a total of 30 credit hours.

  • These courses must be taken in at least two disciplines cross-listed with African Studies.
  • Students are required to:
    • Take AFST 150, Introduction to African Studies
    • Take a course in a contemporary African language
    • Fulfill a study-abroad program in Africa OR a 3 credit internship that deals with Africa, the Diaspora, or similar subjects, with the approval of the African Studies Director.
  • Students may seek permission from the Center for African Studies to substitute one course not cross-listed with the African Studies program. The course should include identifiable content devoted to the study of Africa, and the student must be able to do a significant project or assignment based within the field of African studies. The student must submit a short proposal to the Center for African Studies by mid-term of the semester in which the course is taken, explaining how the student plans to fulfill the requirement. This proposal must be approved and signed by the course instructor.
  • Students may seek permission from the Center for African Studies to take one directed reading course for AFST credit.
  • The ability for courses to count for more than one requirement (e.g. double counting) will follow University policy.
Undergraduate Minor

Students taking the African Studies minor will be required to take a minimum of 15 credits in African Studies courses that must include the 3 credits interdisciplinary Introduction to African Studies course and a minimum of 3 credits in courses outside of their departmental major.

  • Students completing the minor must have taken courses from at least two different disciplines.
  • This minor will be available to all students at the University and courses for the minor may count towards another minor/major.
  • Courses can qualify as African Studies courses if they have a minimum of 25% African focused content and students can petition the director of the Center to have courses not currently listed as African Studies (e.g. a directed readings course or a course taken while studying in Africa) count toward the minor.

Global Health

The Center for African Studies, supported by faculty from the schools of Health Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy and Liberal Arts, has created an interdisciplinary Global Health undergraduate minor.

The overall purpose of the programs will be to prepare emerging leaders in global health with the relevant skills to work within the global health environment and collaboratively with professionals and organizations to address global health challenges. They focus on giving students an awareness of the major factors influencing population health in different parts of our global communities; how to begin addressing the health issues of diverse, vulnerable populations worldwide in healthcare professions and beyond; and to gain appreciation of interdisciplinarity and interprofessionalism.

These programs, though focused on global health, are wide in scope and are meant to provide students with a broad understanding of the field with the intent that they will want to pursue studies in the area more fully.

  • To learn about health, wellness and associated topics within a global context
  • To discover alternative world perspectives on health
  • To gain knowledge to succeed in changing global environments

Undergraduate Minor

Students taking the Global Health undergraduate minor will be required to take a minimum of 15 credits. This credit total must be taken in at least two different disciplines and must include:

  1. Introduction to Global Health course (3 credits).
  2. Three courses (9 credits) in no less than two of the content areas listed below:
    - Health and Wellness
    - Global Applications
    - Languages
  3. A capstone project (3 credits) which may include:
    - Internship
    - Special topic/independent study
    - Study abroad course

This minor is open to all students in the university. Courses taken within the minor may also count toward other degree requirements and may fulfill university and school requirements in accordance with university policy. Students may seek permission to take one special topic/independent study course to fulfill the requirements of the concentration. Existing approved courses within each of the three content areas are available (See Table 2) and further outreach to departments in all schools will be made to ascertain if there are other courses currently available. Students may petition to have a course approved to meet the requirements of the concentration. Approvals for additional courses will be based on whether the course has at least 25% global health content/focus, or if the student can engage in written assignments in the course focusing on global health. A faculty committee comprised of faculty form the schools of Health Science, Nursing and Pharmacy will make decisions regarding such requests.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and define the landscape and importance of prevalent global health issues.
  2. Develop a critical understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of global health.
  3. Exhibit cultural awareness in interactions related to global health.
  4. Engage with communities, either locally or globally, regarding their health issues.