African Studies Professor

Teach university students about Africa and its people.
picture of African Studies Professor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$41,000 – $129,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do African Studies Professors do?

An African Studies Professor teaches students about the history, politics, and culture of the continent of Africa. As a Professor of this subject, you make it your duty to stay abreast of current topics involving the continent, and to teach students about the rich history as well as the future of the constantly changing land. African Studies Professors also teach about countries where people of African descent make up a segment of the population. You lead classroom instruction, assign homework, administer quizzes and tests, and manage your Teaching Assistants and students.

As an African Studies Professor, the topics you cover in the classroom range widely because of the breadth of your subject matter. However, you have the option to specialize in a certain area of African studies. No matter your specialty, though, it’s safe to assume that you’ll touch upon art, music, literature, economics, and health care in addition to the aforementioned history, politics, and culture.

Current wars and battles are a big subject in the classroom as well, and so are African languages, such as Swahili or Zulu. In other words, you have to let your students know all about the land and its people.

Outside the classroom, you hold office hours for your students, and attend to administrative meetings and tasks. During the summer and whenever you aren’t grading papers, you most likely pursue publication opportunities, writing papers or articles for journals and magazines. You’re at times an Anthropologist and a Social Scientist of sorts, and you take your research to the classroom and beyond.

Should I be an African Studies Professor?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Social and Political Studies Professor

    How to Become an
    African Studies Professor

    Most African Studies Professors have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaq9&chl=||||master%27s+%2821%25%29|doctorate+%2879%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,79
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