Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Study

African American and African Studies - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy in African American and African Studies is an interdisciplinary program of study devoted to advanced exploration and analysis of the social, cultural, and political experiences of African descendant peoples in the United States, in other parts of the African Diaspora and of peoples and communities in the diverse continent of Africa. The objective of the program is to develop scholars committed to academic excellence and social responsibility in the Black world and the broader community. Comparative, integrative, and applied approaches to the acquisition and use of knowledge are given emphasis.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in African American and African Studies, an applicant must:

  1. Have a 3.0 grade-point average in their last 30 credits of course work.
  2. Have the results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test forwarded to the African American and African Studies Program in the College of Arts and Letters.
  3. Submit a writing sample, usually a recent research paper, to the African American and African Studies Program in the College of Arts and Letters.

To be admitted, the applicant must have a master’s degree in an appropriate field or have completed at least 30 credits of approved course work beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Guidance Committee

Three of the four guidance committee members must be selected from the core faculty of the African American and African Studies program. One member must be from the student’s concentration area.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in African American and African Studies

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Arts and Letters, students must complete 24 credits of doctoral dissertation research, and the requirements specified below:

               
1. Complete 30 credits of course work including:  
  a. All of the following courses:  
    AAAS 829 Introduction to African Studies

3

    AAAS 830 Introduction to African American Studies

3

    AAAS 831 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies

3

    AAAS 832 Multicultural Pedagogy in African American and African Studies

3

  b. Both of the following courses for a total of 3 credits as approved by the guidance committee:
    AAAS 893A Domestic Internship in African American and African Studies

1 or 2

    AAAS 893A must be performed in an African American community.  
    AAAS 893C International Internship in African American and African Studies

1 or 2

    AAAS 893C must be performed in an African or African Diaspora community outside of the United States.  
  c. A minimum of 3 credits in research methods in the area of concentration.  
  d. An additional 12 credits of course work in an area of concentration  selected from an approved course list and approved by the guidance committee. The concentration is determined in consultation with the student's guidance committee.  
2. Choose either an African or African-related language to fulfill the language requirement. Students selecting an African language must attain spoken and written second-year proficiency in at least one language from the following list: Yoruba, Hausa, Zulu, Shona, or Swahili. Second-year proficiency will be measured by completion of two years of university-level course work in the language or by passing oral and written examinations equivalent to those given at the end of second-year course work. For African-related languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, or other languages approved by the guidance committee) there must be demonstrated advanced reading proficiency relevant to the student’s area of concentration.  
3. Pass two comprehensive examinations: a general examination in African American and African Studies and an examination in the area of concentration. An oral examination will be scheduled within one month of the comprehensive examinations.  
4. Assist faculty in one offering of AAAS 495 Advanced Research in African American and African Studies.
5. Submit a dissertation proposal to the guidance committee and pass an oral examination in defense of the proposal. This examination must be passed before the student may begin dissertation research.
6. Prepare and successfully defend the doctoral dissertation.