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    African Studies
    Go to University of Toronto
    University of Toronto

    African Studies

    University of Toronto

    University of Toronto


    Canada, Toronto

    University RankQS Ranking

    Key Facts

    Program Level


    Study Type

    Full Time


    On Campus

    Application Fee

    CAD 180 


    St. George

    Program Language


    Start & Deadlines

    Next Intake DeadlinesMay-2023
    Apply to this program

    Go to the official application for the university

    Duration 4 year(s)
    Tuition Fee
    CAD 60,510  / year
    Next Intake May-2023

    African Studies


    New College courses have in common a commitment to socially engaged learning and to explorative and inventive pedagogy that widens students' experience by critically examining relationships among academic disciplines. We offer four degree programs: African Studies; Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health; and Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity. These programs are open to all students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. 

    We also offer interdisciplinary courses that can enhance any degree program. Integration of student experience is a major priority in a college with students from all faculties in the University. The Independent Studies courses provide an opportunity for students to design their own programs and to test their research, analytic, synthetic, and creative skills by writing a major research paper. The Community Engaged Learning program supports course-based service learning and independent community engaged learning opportunities. These allow students to integrate their theoretical knowledge with practical experience, while engaging in meaningful work in campus and community organizations.


    Program Administrator's Office:
    New College, Room 133 (416-978-5404 or [email protected])

    New One:
    [email protected]

    Registrar's Office:
    New College, Room 107 (416-978-2460)

    New One:  Learning Without Borders

    New One provides first year students with a comprehensive foundation for successful undergraduate study. It encourages active, engaged learning and creative forms of inquiry, and supports students in developing their research, writing and oral communication abilities. In New One, students develop skills in research and knowledge presentation, showcasing their projects at our Knowledge Fair.

    New One offers up to ten interdisciplinary small-class seminars annually. Students join the program by simply registering in one of our courses, whether in the Fall or Winter term. The courses explore themes that connect to our daily lives such as the food we eat, the languages we speak, the technology we use, the art that we create and surrounds us, and the science that impacts our lives. We encourage students to take a course in both the Fall and Winter terms for a more complete experience.

    New One gives students the tools to think deeply, critically, and creatively and to see the ways our lives are connected "beyond borders." Inspired by the social advocacy focus of New College's academic programs, the program grapples with the core question: how do we imagine responsible global citizenship and build a more equitable and just society?

    New One courses meet for 3 hours each week. The first two hours are usually dedicated to course content, while the third hour is allocated to "Learning Labs." All students come together in these Learning Labs to engage in joint activities and explore issues that are common to the themes of the courses. Both in seminars and Learning Labs, students will experience a variety of ways of learning (through, for example, guest lectures, group work, workshops, field trips to local community organizations, and panels of senior students sharing their experience and insights).

    New One does not require a specific application. All first-year students in the Faculty of Arts and Science on the St. George campus are eligible to register in our courses. Students, however, can only take courses in one College One program in the same term. For more information about the program, go to or contact [email protected].

    The African Studies Program

    (Specialist, Major, Minor) How has the evolution of societies on the African continent been integral to universal human history? What factors, in the past and in our time, account for similarities and differences among Africa societies? How are patterns and challenges of development in African societies shaped by their location within the global political economy? How do representations of Africa in popular media influence our knowledge of African societies? What are the ethical dilemmas of the various ways in which we engage with African societies?  
    The African Studies Program provides students opportunities to study the complexity and dynamism of African societies, the dynamics, challenges and processes of socio-economic, environmental and political transformations in Africa, the varied histories, societies, ideas, institutions of Africa and its diasporas through interdisciplinary lenses. Cutting across disciplines, the program offers a path to exploring how the organization of African societies has and continues to be shaped by the complex interaction of global and regionally-specific forces, encounters, and processes. The curriculum has three areas of emphasis: dynamics and challenges of socio-economic and political transformations in Africa's "modern era"; social and political thought of Africa and its Diasporas in Europe, North America and elsewhere; and African popular cultures.   
    The interdisciplinary courses, through innovative and critical pedagogies, deal with cutting edge subjects such as political economy, African inventions, development, aid, humanitarianism, NGOs, conflict and peacemaking, activism and political struggles, politics, African cultures, migration and displacement, gender and development, environment, health, black freedom, urbanization, African systems of thought, the slave trade, colonialism, the post-colonial state, Africa and its diaspora, Pan-Africanism, and globalization. Innovative pedagogies nurturing students' intellectual curiosity, cultivating engaged, creative and critical thinking and teaching cutting edge courses that recognize Africa as a living place rather than merely as a site for intellectual speculation and study inform our teaching. The program also offers practical courses in African languages. These areas of emphasis are supported by a rich menu of program courses that form the spin of the curriculum. Additional cross-listed courses with cognate disciplines and other interdisciplinary programs, drawn from disciplines in humanities, social sciences and sciences, complement the program offerings.

    Consult Program Director, Professor M. Lo, 416-946-3218 or [email protected]. For general enquiries, call 416-978-5404 or email [email protected].

    The Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health Program

    (Minor) The Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health (BPMH) Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate Minor that allows students to choose from a wide range of courses in Buddhist Studies, cognitive science, medical anthropology, psychology of religion, health psychology, and sociological analyses of physical and mental health. With this training, students acquire an understanding of how Buddhist traditions have interacted with and contributed to global and diverse understandings of consciousness, mental health and distress, and determinants of health. Students study global and diverse models of mental health and well-being through a self-reflective, meta-cognitive, and phenomenological study of Buddhism and health in contexts of relational, intersectional, and global interconnections.

    Consult Program Director, Professor F. Garrett, 416-978-1020, or email [email protected]. For general enquiries, call 416-978-5404 or email [email protected].

    Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity

    (Major, Minor) Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity (CSES) is an interdisciplinary program that explores how social relations and practices of power and privilege are (re)produced locally and transnationally. In CSES we question the dominant conceptualization of equity by the state, educational programs, the non-profit sectors and community organizations as individualized and de-historicized social differences. CSES is a hub of critical disability studies teaching and learning. The program provides students with theoretical and practical tools to study social, political, economic and historical injustices. CSES takes a unique approach to undergraduate education that values student experiential learning and community knowledge. The learning goal of CSES is to provide frameworks on theories of transformative social change rooted in political activism and formations of solidarity. The program encourages students to apply theory in action through organizing and practicing solidarity in making a more just world. CSES creates a dynamic learning environment that extends far beyond the university walls. With a vibrant student body, dynamic faculty members, connection with a wide range of community partners and a bold curriculum, CSES at New College is a leader in studies of social justice, settler colonialism, race, gender, sexuality, disability, land/water and sustainability, activism, solidarity and the art of resistance, and global food equity and security.

    Consult Program Director, Professor A. McGuire, 416-978-0829 or email [email protected]. For general enquiries, call 416-978-5404 or email [email protected].

    Community Engaged Learning (CEL)

    New College offers several community engaged courses. These provide students the opportunity to integrate academic, experiential and practice-based learning as they participate in meaningful work in community or campus organizations.

    Two forms of community engaged learning courses are offered: embedded and independent. In the former, a community service component is either a mandatory or optional component of the course syllabus. (Examples of such courses are CSE342H1 and BPM232H1). In the independent community engaged learning courses, upper level students, with various academic backgrounds, are placed with a social purpose community or campus-based organization for several hours per week, contributing to the mission of that organization in program support work or research. Through seminar discussions and critical reflection on their experiences, students learn how to mobilize their academic knowledge, deepen their appreciation of community engagement and social justice, explore social and ethical issues, and build professional dispositions and work-place skills relevant to the social sector.

    Information about CEL can be found at

    Enquiries: [email protected].

    Independent Studies

    New College Independent Study courses are designed both to complement regular offerings in New College Programs and to provide an opportunity for New College students in any program to enrich their studies. The normal expectation of a project course is that the student, aided and advised by their supervisor, will read relevant literature, and plan, analyze and report on an original and independent investigation of an appropriate topic. Written applications, including a detailed proposal, should be made through the Programs Office for approval by the Vice Principal of New College or a designate by April 15 for the Summer Session; by July 15 for the Fall Term; or by November 15 for the Winter Term. Should the deadline fall on a weekend, applications will be accepted until the following Monday. Students will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of an application. If the project requires ethics approval, please be advised that you should find and consult with a supervisor about meeting this requirement at least a semester in advance of these deadlines. For more information and application forms, please see the Independent Studies website:

    Enquiries: New College Program Administrator - Wetmore Hall, room 133; [email protected] or 416-978-5404.

    Interdisciplinary Courses on Jungian Theory

    This suite of courses offers students opportunities for sustained, interdisciplinary engagement with the thought of Carl Jung. Courses invite students to consider Jung's thought and practice in relation to a range of disciplinary and cultural issues in order to open up conversations about models of consciousness and mind.

    Enquiries: New College Program Administrator - Wetmore Hall, room 133; [email protected] or 416-978-5404.

    The International Foundation Program

    is designed for international students who need to meet the University's English language requirement. The program is offered to students in the Faculties of Arts and Science, Applied Science and Engineering, Music, and the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. The program consists of five courses that are designed to develop students' language and critical skills through the modalities of reading, writing, listening, and speaking as well as develop students' academic literacy in a course related to their admitted program of study. The program approaches language development from a social perspective and language learning is situated within authentic academic contexts. Students learn to master foundational academic skills such as research and digital literacy, time management, exam, and study skills.  Students in the Arts and Science stream take a history course, Themes in World History, which applies critical skills that have been scaffolded in the language courses (e.g., paraphrasing, summarizing, citing sources, etc.). In the history course, students learn how to understand the relationship of human beings and their environment, cross-cultural and gender relations, and how global patterns affect local developments making students better able to assess the historical context of challenges society faces today. In the engineering stream, students take five courses including a first-year engineering design course, Engineering Strategies and Practice. All courses in the engineering stream develop language skills that are required in the discipline of engineering.

    Core courses include one first-year history credit course (IFP100Y1), or one first-year engineering course (APS113Y1), three non-credit language courses and one non-credit discipline-specific course. Courses are open only to students admitted to the program. For program and admission information, please see

    The Caribbean Studies Program

    (Specialist, Major, Minor) offers a combined interdisciplinary and area studies approach to examining a wide range of issues including gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, race, development, language, colonialism, the environment and regional common markets.

    Effective July 1, 2022, the administration of the existing undergraduate programs and courses in Caribbean Studies has been moved from New College to the new Centre for Caribbean Studies. See the Caribbean Studies section of the Calendar for a complete listing of programs and courses.

    The Human Biology Programs

    offer a broad education in life sciences with courses offered by departments in both the Faculties of Arts and Science, and Medicine (see the Human Biology section of the Calendar.)

    The Women and Gender Studies Program

    (Specialist, Major, Minor) provides an interdisciplinary and culturally inclusive approach to understanding gender (see the Women and Gender Studies section of the Calendar.)


    Entry Requirements

    Secondary school education, leaving certificate

    Fee Information

    Tuition Fee

    CAD 60,510  / year

    Application Fee

    CAD 180 

    How to Apply

    Use the University of Toronto International Application if you:

    • currently reside outside of Canada, AND 
    • are not currently studying, and have not previously studied in Canada, AND
    • are not applying to any other Ontario university

    Prospective international applicants who wish to apply to other Ontario universities in addition to the University of Toronto should use the OUAC 105 Application (see below).

    If you have already applied with the OUAC 105 Application, you do not need to apply to the University of Toronto with the International Application. (If you submit both applications, your second application will be cancelled with no possibility of a refund.)

    Note that you will need to pay a non-refundable fee of $180.

    University of Toronto has contracted with the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) to provide application processing services. When you begin the application process, you will be transferred to the OUAC website where you will complete and submit your application. You will be required to create an OUAC Account (if you do not already have one). You may have only one OUAC Account. Direct any application process questions to the OUAC.

    University of Toronto

    African Studies

    University of Toronto

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