The doctoral program in African American and African Studies (AAAS) at MSU offers exclusive advanced study in black studies with vanguard scholars who work to forward the power and scope of black lives, worlds, and world building. This boutique doctoral experience emphasizes intensive instruction and copiously supportive dissertation project supervision. Our work is informed by an expectation that the work of black studies is significant and meaningful to each student. This program is best suited for students with a strong sense of direction for postgraduate study. Cohorts are small and every graduate program of study is tailored to the individual student. We believe there are definite markers for success for each Ph.D. student and we help guide their efforts towards fulfilling those goals. The doctoral program in AAAS offers exclusive advanced study in black feminisms, genders, and sexualities studies with concentrations in Black Cultures and Institutions, Black Girlhood Studies, or Black Speculative Ecologies.Admission
To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in African American and African Studies, an applicant must:
- Submit a personal statement, written or audio.
- Submit a written statement of academic purpose stating professional goals and disciplinary interests in AAAS.
- Submit a writing sample, usually a recent research paper, or sample of creative work, to the Department of African American and African Studies 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
Upon admission, you are assigned an interim advisor and faculty member to serve on your Guidance Committee. During the first year of study, you prepare a guidance committee approved course of study document that stipulates course work, scholarly development, and dissertation/final project. The document should include the student's learning goals as well as their professional and academic background towards a rationale for their declared 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 AAAS 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research and the approved course of study as approved by the student’s guidance committee. Students will submit a dissertation proposal to the guidance committee and pass an oral examination in defense of the proposal. Students must successfully defend the doctoral dissertation.