Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Kiswahili Studies


Kiswahili PhD programme is designed at providing an in-depth understanding of the various areas in linguistics and literature. The program facets and the literary aspects are aimed at helping learners in achieving the national, regional and global developmental goals for the common good. This way participants will acquire Kiswahili language skills that will enable them to interact easily in all spheres of life.
The Department of Kiswahili at The University of Nairobi recognizes that,
constitutionally, Kiswahili is a national and official language. It is also an African
language that is spoken across East African States. Kiswahili is one of the official languages of the East African Community and the African Union. Given the multiple roles the language plays in the world, there has been great interest in learning and mastering of this language globally.
The Undergraduate Kiswahili syllabus is meant to update and improve the existing knowledge in the areas of Kiswahili linguistics and literature for it to be a better training tool. In view of the importance of Kiswahili as Kenya’s official and national language, PhD degree programme is designed to train candidates that will be able to teach, research and publish their findings in this subject at all levels of learning.


Within a few years of graduation, the graduates of Doctor of Philosophy in Kiswahili at the University of Nairobi will:

  • Practice the profession of Doctor of Philosophy in Kiswahili, make progress toward conducting research, teach at the university and venture in translation and interpretation avenues.
  • Serve society and the Swahili profession through involvement in community and professional organizations.
  • Pursue life-long education through professional training and/or independent inquiry and study.
  • Possess the expertise that allows graduates to make judgment-based decisions with confidence.
  • Contribute new ideas and innovations that empower advancements in their profession.

    Application Information

    Applications for admission are open throughout the year through the online platform. The requirements for submitting your application are detailed in the link provided

    Schedule of Intakes 

    The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September).

    Mode of Delivery

  • Face-to-Face Mode
  • This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

  • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning
  • In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made to learn online. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

  • Blended Learning
  • This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.

Notable Alumni 

1. Mhe. Mary Seneta- Seneta na mbunge wa zamani

2. Hon. Sabina Chege - Mbunge mteule

3. Mr. Kamau Kiarie CEO, EAEP

4. Prof. Rayya Timammy - Assoc. Dean,

5. Prof. John Habwe- Renowned award winning author,

6. Prof. Kyallo Wamitilla - Renowned award winning author, Prof. Kisw, UoN

6. Prof. Mwenda Mbatia - Renowned award winning author, Prof. Kisw, UoN

7. Ms. Margaret Mwachanya - Former commissioner, IEBC

8. Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha - chairman CUE

9. Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia-Director General, NMK

10. Prof. Ken Walibora - Renowned award winning author

11. Prof. Kitula King'ei - Renown award winning author

12. Prof. Kimani wa Njogu - CEO, Twaweza Communications

13. Prof. Naomi Shitemi (late) - Former DVC, Moi University

14. Hon. Tola Kofa - Former Assist Minister,

15. Dr. Assumpta Matei  - KNEC

16. Prof. Miriam Bageni Mwita - Former VC, Baraton University

17. Dr. Mungania UoN

18. Ngulamu Mwaviro - KBC

19. Mwandawiro Mghanga - Taita County & Former MP 

20. John matiangi - National Treasurer KNUT

21. Jacktone Winstone Nyonje,


22. Prof. Iribe Mwangi - Chairman, Kiswahili Dept. UoN

23. Prof. Kineene Wamutiso - Prof. of Kiswahili UoN

24. Dr. Sarah Ngesu - Lec Kisw, SEKU

25. Dr. Hannah Mwaliwa - Lec Kisw, UoN

26. Dr. Mary Ndung'u - Lec Kisw, UoN

27. Dr. Samson Ongarora - Lec Kisw, UoN

28. Dr. Rose Kawira - Lec Kisw, SEKU

29. Dr. Jefwa Mweri - Lec Kisw, UoN

30. Dr. Priscah Jerono - Lec Kisw, UoN

31. Dr. Ayub Mukhwana - Lec Kisw, UoN

32. Prof. Mbuthia - Prof. of Kisw, UoN

33. Prof. Tom Olali - Prof. of Kisw, UoN


Department of Kiswahili

P.O Box 30197-00100, Nairobi 



Tell: 0204913251

Physical location: 1st Floor, Rm 101, 8.4.4 Building

Find us on Google Maps

(a)The Doctoral programme shall normally consist of Research and Thesis.

(b) Where a doctoral student is found further deficient in areas necessary for Ph.D research work, the student shall be required to select relevant courses from level 8 courses.

(c) The student in consultation with the department shall select relevant level 8 courses for the student’s specialization.

(d) In consultation with their advisors/supervisors students will select a topic on which to carry out library guided reading, and research and present the results of their work at a series of seminar.


Ili kujiunga katika somo la uzamivu unahitaji kutuma maombai kupitia tovuti ya Chuo Kikuu cha Nairobi ( Utapata mwongozo unaofaa kufuata hatua kwa hatua. Katika ombi lako unafaa kuambatisha:

  1. Nakala ya Cheti chako cha Kidato cha Nne kama ulipata alama ya C+ au bora zaidi, au

nakala ya Cheti chako cha Kidato cha Nne na cha stashahada kama ulipata alama ya C,


nakala Cheti chako cha Kidato cha Nne, stashahada na cheti kingine kama ulipata alama ya C-

  1. Nakala ya Cheti chako cha Shahada ya kwanza (Ni lazima uwe ulisoma Kiswahili katika shahada hiyo, kama ulipata Kiwango cha Pili (chini) Unafaa kuwa umekamilisha miaka miwili tangu kufuzu.
  2. Nakala hizo lazima ziwe zimethibishwa kuwa nakala za Cheti asili.
  3. Pendekezo la utafiti.

The programme of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Kiswahili Studies seeks to strengthen the knowledge base of Kiswahili scholars, enabling them to undertake critical analysis of important Linguistics and Literary issues, to conduct and co-ordinate multi/inter-disciplinary research, and to disseminate information and data for sustainable use of the language. The knowledge gained by those specializing in Kiswahili Studies will enable adequate Analysis, Translation, Research, teaching and examination of the language leading to effective rehabilitation and restoration of Kiswahaili as a National and International language.

Tuition                     192,000                       192,000                     192,000                        576,000
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                         7,000                           7,000                         7,000                          21,000
THESIS EXAMINATION                               -                                   -                         50,000                          50,000
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                         4,500                           4,500                         4,500                          13,500
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                         1,000                           1,000                         1,000                            3,000
CAUTION - (ONCE)                         5,000                                 -                                -                              5,000
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                         6,500                           6,500                         6,500                          19,500
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                         2,000                           2,000                         2,000                            6,000
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                         5,000                           5,000                         5,000                          15,000
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                         1,000                           1,000                         1,000                            3,000
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                               -                                   -                                -                                   -  
Grand totals                     224,000                       219,000                     269,000                        712,000