Advancing to candidacy

Each student admitted to the program must complete a required total of 90 hours, the minimum degree requirements. All requirements must be completed before a student is admitted to candidacy.

These include:

A minimum base of thirty-two (32) credit hours with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average composed of the following:

  • Complete six (6) required courses for a total of 24 credit hours
  • A500 Intro to AAADS (3-4 credits)
  • A556 Race and Culture (4 credits)
  • A557 Race and Politics (4 credits)
  • A605 Race and the Global City I (4 credits)
  • A606 Race and the Global City II (4 credits)
  • A696 Interdisciplinary Methods (4 credits)


Topically appropriate electives offered in AAADS or by adjunct faculty (5 credits), choosing from the following AAADS courses:

  • A691 ProSeminar on Historical and Cultural Studies (3 hours)
  • A692 ProSeminar on Writings and Literature (3 hours)
  • A693 ProSeminar on Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 hours)
  • A694 ProSeminar on Performing, Visual and Material Arts (3 hours)

Discuss your choices of electives outside of the department with the graduate advisor.

Core courses

Twenty-four core credit hours, taken through six core courses: A500, A556, A557, A605, A606, and A696.

If core courses are not offered in a rotation that allows students to complete core requirements in a timely manner, the student may seek permission from the Director of Graduate Studies to substitute as many as two courses.

The substituted courses may be offered through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies or through another department that offers a course with relevant and appropriate content, as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Twenty-one elective hours, which include overseas study

Three credits in an overseas study abroad class, with graduate content, approved by the DGS and completed before examinations.

The overseas study course can be completed by:

  • Enrolling in an overseas study course offered by the Office of Overseas Study
  • Creating your own overseas study course. Students may arrange their own travel and lodging and decide on the length of time to conduct research. Upon returning students should enroll in an independent study course with an AAADS professor. The professor will communicate to students what they will need to do in order to receive a grade for the overseas study course.
  • Creating an overseas study course with a professor with whom you will work. Please note that if you travel with a professor, the student and professor must notify Overseas Study to make sure policies are followed.

Please notify the DGS about which option you select to fulfill the overseas study requirement.

  • Six hours in disciplinary methods courses offered outside the department and chosen in consultation with the DGS
  • Twelve additional hours in related course work
  • Six hours of foreign language
  • Fifteen hours for an outside minor

Process for creating an outside minor

Each graduate student will select at least one minor subject. A minor provides additional breadth and depth to the individual’s program. It must be taken outside the major department from among those areas of study listed in this bulletin or in a specifically approved inter- or intradepartmental area. To request that an outside minor not listed in the graduate bulletin be created, the student should follow the initial process outlined below.

  1. Student submits proposal to create an outside minor to the AAADS Graduate Committee, DGS, or Chairperson, or student’s advisory committee.
  2. The proposal is reviewed and recommendations are made.
  3. If recommended for approval, the AAADS graduate advisor submits recommendation to approve the proposal to the Director of Graduate Studies for the department's major program.
  4. After the Director of Graduate Studies approves the recommendation, it is submitted to the graduate school for final approval.
  5. The graduate school approves the recommendation and informs the department of the proposal's status.

Twenty-four hours of dissertation research

Foreign language requirements

Graduate students pursuing the doctoral degree in AAADS are required to have working knowledge in at least one language of the African diaspora (e.g. traditional or Creole languages, French, or Spanish). The choice of language should be related to the student’s area of concentration and approved by the director of graduate studies.

Any student whose native language is not English may, with the permission of the department, either demonstrate the required proficiency in that native language or use English to meet the foreign language requirements. Proficiency in English may be demonstrated by taking the TOEFL examination.

Those students who want to demonstrate proficiency can do so by taking a test given by the university or by showing satisfactory completion of coursework with a grade of B or above. Consideration will be given to prior language training and current academic interests. Emphasis will be placed on a clear connection among the research area, the site of research abroad, and language skills.