Accra, Ghana

Course Information

Accra, Ghana | 2017 Spring

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You must enroll in at least 12 and up to 18 credits. While you may enroll in up to 18 credits, we recommend you enroll in 12-15 credits in order to have time to fully experience the local area's culture and people. Course availability may be subject to change for reasons beyond our control, such as student interest.

All students are required to take the designated required course for the semester and are strongly encouraged to take Twi-African Language. Students are required to a combination of USAC and University of Ghana courses for a total combined course load of 12 credits minimum and 18 credits maximum. Most University of Ghana courses are equivalent to three US credits.

USAC Courses: African and Development Studies

To request a course syllabus:

Host University Courses

Taught in English
Through our agreement with the University of Ghana, an array of undergraduate and graduate courses will be made available for you to take alongside USAC courses. Note that there is an additional fee for graduate courses offered through the University of Ghana. Areas of study believed to be of most interest to USAC students are included below as a sample of what the University offers. Courses are subject to availability and approval of prerequisites which are determined by the University of Ghana. For more detailed information or syllabi of University of Ghana courses, visit here.

Grades may not be ready until one or two months after exams are completed; in some cases it may take longer. Check your Credits, Courses, and Transcripts document in Gateway for details specific to your host university. The transcript evaluation and grade reporting process at your home university will also take time after your overseas transcripts arrives. If you plan to study here during your senior year, review your home university requirements carefully to allow enough time for grades to be posted for graduation. Plan to work ahead with your academic advisor if you will be using your study abroad coursework to meet prerequisites back at home.

Courses are available from the following areas of study at the University of Ghana; academics at the University of Ghana are organized into the following Colleges, Faculties, and Institutes, Schools, and Centers of Learning.


  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences


  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Engineering Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences


  • Business School
  • School of Communications Studies
  • School of Performing Arts
  • School of Graduate Studies


  • Institute of Continuing and Distance Education
  • Regional Institute of Population Studies
  • Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research


  • International Center for African Music and Dance
  • Center for African Wetlands
  • Biotechnology and Research Center
  • Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy
  • Language Center
  • Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
  • Center for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Center for Social Policy Studies
  • Center for Gender Studies and Advocacy
  • West Africa Center for Crop Improvement
  • Volta Basin Research Project
  • Center for Migration Studies

Field Studies

USAC helps you explore the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region with carefully planned tours. If taken for credit, added academic requirements (readings, research, written assignments, reports etc.) deepen your experience. This turns a tour into a Field Study which counts as part of your credit load. The Kumasi and Volta Eco Tours, taken together, can be a field study course.

Service Learning

Service Learning is a particular type of course offering that combines the classroom with the community and academics with action. Prepare to make yourself a part of the city where you study in a way that most visitors cannot experience. It will call for some initiative and a willingness to become involved. Service Learning is a course and counts as part of your credit load. It cannot be taken for audit. Note that non-credit volunteer opportunities are also be available.

You have the unique opportunity to experience Ghanaian culture and society through a service learning course and work in a variety of settings, which includes opportunities like teaching/tutoring at an elementary school, working at a local orphanage, assisting with advocacy and awareness programs at the West African Aids Foundation, training and fundraising opportunities at a community development NGO, working at the Accra Zoo or West African Primate Conservation Action, assisting at a local dance or theater company and others based on request. Some organizations may charge a one-time fee for the service learning or volunteering placement. You will learn more about the available opportunities during your on-site orientation and your placement will be confirmed at that time based on your interests and organizations' needs.


USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development particularly in your study abroad setting. USAC internships are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. They can be time-consuming, but are very worthwhile. Students are placed in an environment with high exposure to culture. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Internship opportunities fall into broad categories; USAC will attempt to place students in a field related to the student's interest. Possible placements include: orphanages, elementary schools, social service or community development organizations, and more. You are encouraged to request any field of interest and the Accra program will try its best to find a suitable position for you. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview with the internship sponsor on site.

Eligibility—enrollment in the Accra program, a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship. However, some organizations in Ghana will charge a non-refundable administrative fee for the placement, and this is the student's responsibility.

Course Descriptions

Contemporary Issues in Africa - Sustainable Economic Development

Fall (Economics, Environmental Science, Political Science; 200-level; 3 credits)

The issue of how the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally friendly is of crucial interest. Economic growth and sustainability must not necessarily be mutually exclusive. Human activities such as farming, land use, urbanization, population growth, pollution, energy production and its use are affecting the environment resulting in climate change, deforestation and land degradation among others which affect economic activities.

The course will introduce students to the interactions between the economy, society and the environment with particular reference to Africa and Ghana. It shall give insights into the key challenges and remedial actions needed to ensure sustainable economic growth in this age of globalization. The course includes examples of how economic activities affect the environment and vice versa, together with mitigating measures and adaptation to the changes occurring. Students who take this course will develop a deeper mindset about how economic growth can be maintained without creating other significant problems for future generations.

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Family, Society and Development in Ghana/Africa

Spring (Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

The characteristics of the family and society in Africa (sub-Saharan Africa in particular, including Ghana) are quite distinct in several aspects. Social Anthropologists have studied and recorded these among the various peoples in the region. The study of African families and societies has been of interest since its contact with the West. In more recent times, the attention of students and scholars in Africa and elsewhere who study African families and societies has been on the socio-cultural transformations that have been taking place in them. To a large extent, the transformations have been consequences of the processes of modernization or development.

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Ghanaian Culture and Natural Resources Field Study

Fall (Political Science; 400-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Political Science; 400-level; 1 credit)

USAC offers a one credit field studies course in Ghanaian culture and natural resources. The USAC encourages every student to participate in the field studies course. However, this segment of the program is optional and enrollment in the field studies course is necessary to participate on the trip itself. A fee is charged for the field trip to cover transportation, and room and board.

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Fall (Internships; 300-level; 2 credits)
Fall (Internships; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (300-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Internships; 300-level; 2 credits)
Spring (Internships; 300-level; 3 credits)

Description not available at this time.

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Service Learning

Fall (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 1 credit)
Fall (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 2 credits)
Fall (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 2 credits)
Spring (Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

Service learning combines community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in activities that address community-identified needs, while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.

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Society, Government and Politics in Ghana and Africa

Fall (Political Science, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course will analyze the social, cultural, political and economic issues in Ghana, which have originated from historical circumstances but have impacted the current status of the country and its people. We will examine how Ghana and its people were shaped by their history, as well as how their status both on the African continent and globally is affected by their culture, politics, and continued economic stability. This course will provide an opportunity to explore Ghana’s culture and prosperity through contact with members of its business and political community.

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Twi - African Language I

Fall (Twi; 200-level; 3 credits)

This language course is designed to provide basic communicative competence in oral and written Twi for beginners. It will focus on the structure of the language as well as the culture of the people. The areas covered include:

• orthography

• parts of speech, e.g. nouns, verbs, pronouns, particles, determiners

• greetings and responses, bargaining, giving directions

• elements of Akan culture and acceptable behavior

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Twi Conversation and Culture I

Spring (Twi; 100-level; 3 credits)

This language course is designed to provide basic communicative competence in oral and written Twi for beginners. It will focus on the structure of the language as well as the culture of the people. The areas covered include:

• orthography

• parts of speech, e.g. nouns, verbs, pronouns, particles, determiners

• greetings and responses, bargaining, giving directions

• elements of Akan culture and acceptable behavior

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Twi Conversation and Culture II

Spring (Twi; 100-level; 3 credits)

This class builds upon your basic knowledge and communication skills in Akan language. You will learn more about the social contexts of greetings, how to talk about time, the family, food, games, travel and more. Cultural lessons are part of language learning and you will learn how to appropriately find out information from others, understand various symbols used in specific social contexts and how one is expected to behave in a given social context. You will also learn more about the pattern of pronunciation of Akan words, how to produce and recognize tonal contrasts, forming, understanding and using different kinds of complex sentences, complex tense/aspect/mood combinations.

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