Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

Students must complete thirty-six semester hours of coursework, including a prescribed number of hours in core coursework, professional development, and supporting coursework. As part of the thirty-six hours, students must complete a two-part Master’s Report that consists of African and African Diaspora Studies 397R and 398RAfrican and African Diaspora Studies 398R must be taken in the final semester of program enrollment. Core coursework explores the theoretical and methodological foundations of black studies. Additional information about the Program of Work is available from the department. 

Doctor of Philosophy

AADS offers a fifty-four semester hour PhD degree plan for students entering with an MA in a related field, and a ninety semester hour PhD degree plan for students entering with a BA. Coursework for the PhD varies based on a student's preparation in the field of Black Studies. This most often affects students entering with an MA; students who enter without an MA in a related field must complete the African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) MA degree requirements before taking the PhD qualifying examinations. Each student's degree plan will be determined by the AADS Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), the AADS graduate adviser, and the student's faculty adviser upon entry to the program. Students must complete a prescribed number of hours in core coursework, professional development, supporting coursework, and dissertation reading and writing, in addition to qualifying examinations. Core coursework explores the theoretical and methodological foundations of Black Studies.

Non-English proficiency is not required upon admission to the program, but doctoral students must demonstrate proficiency in a non-English language before they are allowed to advance to candidacy. The language and method of evaluation (which could include a translation examination evaluated by departmental faculty members, a speaking proficiency exam, or another method) should be determined by the student and their faculty adviser, and then must be approved by the GSC and the AADS graduate adviser. The fulfillment of the language requirement must reflect the student's research interests.

To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, all PhD candidates must pass qualifying examinations. Upon successful completion of the PhD coursework and qualifying examinations, students may apply to advance to doctoral candidacy and register for dissertation hours. The dissertation culminates in an original body of scholarly, independent research demonstrating the candidate's expertise in a selected area of concentration. In consultation with their faculty adviser, who serves as dissertation committee chair, the candidate selects a dissertation committee, including at least four committee members. At least three members of the full dissertation committee must be members of the AADS GSC, and at least one member of the committee must be from an outside department or program. More information about the doctoral coursework requirements, foreign language requirement, qualifying examinations, and dissertation process is available from the department.