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Edmund T. Gordon, Chair 2109 San Jacinto Blvd , Mailcode E3400, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4362

Graduate Admissions for Master's and Ph.D. Programs

AADS will be accepting applications for the terminal Master's Degree and PhD Program in African and African Diaspora Studies for the 2015–16 academic year starting September 1

For more information please contact Nicole Thompson Beavers, Graduate Program Coordinator at nthompsonbeavers@austin.utexas.edu.


The AADS Admissions Committee is dedicated to recruiting and admitting exceptional students committed to the study of Black life. The Department is particularly strong in the fields of critical race theory, Black queer theory, Black political theory, Black arts and performance studies, Black Diaspora history and anthropology, and Black feminisms. We are particularly interested in working with students who want to critically engage these areas. 

The AADS Admissions Committee considers the applicant's statement of purpose, an academic writing sample, three letters of recommendation from professors who can attest to the applicant's scholarly potential, grade point average, and GRE scores. The Committee's approach to admissions is holistic and considers the totality of the application; therefore no one element of the application will guarantee admission or denial to the program. There is no separate application for financial aid. All applicants are automatically considered for financial aid and most admitted students are awarded generous financial aid and in many cases full funding (i.e. tuition assistance, health care insurance, and a living stipend).

Statement of Academic Purpose

The Committee places a strong emphasis on the statement of purpose and writing sample. Well-crafted statements that present an interesting and sophisticated research agenda are encouraged. The Committee requires that applicants identify specific current African and African Diaspora Studies Department faculty with whom they would like to work. These faculty members will be critical to assessing the application during the admission process.

Writing Sample

The writing sample should demonstrate the applicant's analytical writing skills and an ability to construct rigorous and original arguments. If applicants do not have an academic background in Black Studies, they should use both the statement of purpose and writing sample to demonstrate knowledge of Black Studies scholarship. 

Minimum Requirements

All applicants must meet the Graduate School's minimum requirements, including:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited university.
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA in upper-division coursework.
  • Official GRE score(s)
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score(s), if applicable.

African and African Diaspora Studies admits students in the fall semester only.

Application Checklist for Prospective Students

The following materials are required for application and must submitted via the ApplyTexas electronic application system. Consult ApplyTexas for instructions on document uploads:

  • Application fee: $65 for US citizens and permanent residents; $90 for international applicants.
  • Official transcripts:  Transcripts must be submitted from each senior college or university attended even if courses are recorded on multiple transcripts.  Transcripts must have been produced by the sending institution within the past calendar year.  The application process can be expedited by utilizing the Texas Electronic Transcript Network or the national ANSI ASC X12 transcript format (SPEEDE).

International Transcripts:  Documents written in languages other than English must be submitted concurrently with official English translations.  Each transcript (mark sheet) should contain a complete record of studies at the institution from which it is issued (i.e., the subjects taken and grades (marks) earned for each subject.  Allow the appropriate time for submitting international documents by the stated deadline.            

  • Official GRE score:  The standard GRE test must have been taken within five years of the application date.  The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for the University of Texas at Austin is 6882.  AADS does not require a minimum GRE score for admission.
  • Statement of purpose:  Describe intellectual interests, goals, research agenda, and reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in African and African Diaspora Studies. It is important to clearly identify AADS faculty members with whom you would like to work and why.
  • Three letters of recommendation:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit letters from academic references who can confirm the prospective student's scholarly abilities. All letter must be submitted trough the online system in order to be accepted.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Academic Writing Sample:  A piece of analytical writing, no longer than 30 pages which demonstrates proficiency.

 Application Process and Review

After you have completed your online application and submitted all required materials to Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC), your file will be reviewed and forwarded to AADS.  AADS administrators will add any documents sent directly to the Department.

Completed applications received on or before the deadline (March 15, 2014) will be reviewed by the AADS Graduate Admissions Committee. Upon a thorough review of the applicant's qualifications, the Graduate Advisor and AADS Admissions Committee will forward their recommendations for admission to GIAC, the Vice Provost and the Dean of Graduate Studies for final approval.  Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered. 

The AADS Graduate Admissions Committee may deny admission to students who have met the prescribed requirements when there are more qualified applicants that can adequately be instructed by the faculty or accommodated in the facilities.

Master's Application Instructions for Current UT Students

Students currently enrolled in other UT graduate programs are required to submit the same documents requested from external candidates:

  • A statement of purpose: Describe intellectual interests, goals, research agenda, and reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in African and African Diaspora Studies. Identify AADS faculty members with whom you would like to work.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit letters from academic references who can confirm the prospective student's scholarly abilities.
  • Academic Writing Sample: A piece of analytical writing, no longer than 30 pages.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume

All required documents, including letters of recommendation from UT faculty, must be submitted via ApplyTexas by March 15, 2014.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 



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