The African and African Diaspora Studies graduate program is a full-time course of doctoral study for students seeking a Ph.D. The program includes an integrated M.A., which serves as the initial requirement towards receiving the Ph.D. Entering students who have attained a Master's degree from another university will automatically attain doctoral standing upon admission. Entering students whose highest degree earned is a Bachelor's degree must complete the conditions for the Master's program including required coursework and a written project in the second year of study.
For the inaugural Fall 2013 cohort AADS is primarily seeking students who have already attained a Master's degree.
Upon completion of the Master's degree requirement, all students take qualifying comprehensive exams in the third year of study. Upon successful completion of exams, students will enter into candidacy by forming a dissertation committee and submitting a dissertation proposal.
Doctoral Core Coursework
The Ph.D. in African and African Diaspora Studies requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, including dissertation research and writing. All African and African Diaspora Studies graduate students enroll in a core of required courses that explores the theoretical and methodological foundations of Black Studies. These core courses are:
- AFR 390 Black Studies Theory I
- AFR 391 Black Studies Methods
- AFR 392 Black Studies Theory II
- Students are required to take a second methods course. This course is chosen in consultation with the student's advisor and may be taken from another University of Texas department.
The AADS graduate program is interdisciplinary and includes study in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. The remainder of the coursework must be chosen from AFR courses and from courses in a variety of other fields of study. The AADS major coursework must include the following area requirements:
- 1 course in the Arts (Art, Art History, Dance, Music, and Theatre)
- 1 course in the Humanities (History, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Languages, and Law)
- 1 course in the Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Education, Psychology, Government, and Sociology)
Students entering the doctoral program without a Master's degree may elect to take up to 12 hours of conference courses in their third year designed to prepare students for the comprehensive qualifying exam. Students with a Master's degree from another institution may elect to take up to 9 hours of conference courses.
Students without a Master's degree from another institution must complete the core curriculum, the interdisciplinary coursework for a Master's report, and language requirements (as determined by the Graduate Advisor) before taking the comprehensive qualifying exam. Students with a Master's degree from another institution must fulfill these same requirements with the exception of the Master's thesis before taking the comprehensive qualifying exam.
Areas of Concentration
All students are required to identify a thematic concentration. Students may choose from the list of themes below or develop their own thematic concentration which must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee:
- Race and Urban Life
- Diaspora Studies
- Race and Political Economy
- Black Expressive Culture
- Black Feminisms and Black Queer Theory
Students take a set of required courses within these specializations in order to develop the research and interpretative skills necessary for original research.
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination
All Ph.D. candidates must pass a comprehensive examination that consists of two parts:
1) Bibliographic exam - three essays each covering an area of theoretical and/or topical focus within the chosen concentration.
2) Prospectus - a discussion of a dissertation topic, including major arguments, literature review, and methodology.
Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination and all Ph.D. coursework (including foreign language proficiency), students may file for doctoral candidacy and register for dissertation hours. The dissertation serves as a culminating original body of scholarly, independent research demonstrating the candidate's expertise in their selected area of concentration. For details on the formal application for doctoral candidacy see http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/pdn/candidacy.html. The application must be approved by the dissertation supervisor, the Graduate Advisor, the Graduate Studies Committee chair and the Graduate Dean.
In consultation with the Graduate Advisor, the candidate selects a dissertation supervisor (co-supervising is possible) and at least four other committee members (or three others, if the committee is co-chaired). At least three members of the dissertation committee must be members of the Graduate Studies Committee in AADS, and at least one member must be from an outside department or program.
An off-campus scholar may be appointed to a committee if the application for candidacy is accompanied by the scholar's curriculum vitae and a letter stating that the person is willing to serve and that the University will not pay travel expenses or provide recompense for such service. If later changes to the committee are necessary, requests must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies through the African and African Diaspora Department.
When the candidate has completed the research and writing phase of her or his dissertation, the candidate then prepares for an oral defense before faculty and other interested members of the academy. The Request for Final Oral must be signed by all committee members and submitted to the Graduate Dean's Office at least two weeks before the examination is to be held. The defense consists of an oral examination on the dissertation and the student's future research plans. At least four members of the committee must participate. For more details on the oral defense process seehttp://www.utexas.edu/ogs/pdn/inst_final_oral.html
Candidates are encouraged to complete the Ph.D. in a timely manner, however candidacy is automatically subject to review three years after admission to candidacy and annually thereafter. This review is conducted by the supervisory committee for the Dissertation, which makes specific recommendations to the Graduate Advisor, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Graduate Studies Steering Committee Chair, who, in turn, make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
For more information on dissertation requirements, guidelines and timelines, visit http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/pdn/
Ph.D. students must demonstrate proficiency in a non-English language before advancing to candidacy; ideally, this should take place before the qualifying examination. The language will be determined by the student, his/her advisor and approved by the GSC, and should reflect the student's research interests. The language requirement will be fulfilled with a translation exam administered and evaluated by AADS faculty members. The student's advisor will determine whether or not the student should also demonstrate speaking proficiency in the chosen language, in which case a proficiency exam will be required.
Non-English proficiency is not required upon admission to the AADS graduate program.
Please contact E. Nicole Thompson Beavers, the Graduate Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-471-5203 with questions.