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

African and African Diaspora Studies Master's Program

 

Program Information:

Students pursuing the terminal master's degree in African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) may choose one of two plans:

1.      Plan A, which requires thirty-three semester hours of coursework, including a thesis; or

2.      Plan B, which requires thirty-three semester hours of coursework, including two reports, one in AADS and one in another discipline.

The coursework must be chosen from AFR courses and from a variety of fields of study, but all must have African Diaspora Studies content.

Students in both plans complete a three-hour foundational seminar in African and African Diaspora Studies. 

Students pursuing Plan A then complete fifteen hours of coursework in the AADS major discipline and nine hours in a minor discipline.  They must also complete six hours in the thesis course. Plan A puts a strong emphasis on the Black Studies discipline and is designed for students intending to go on to receive a Ph.D. in Black Studies or to work with Black Studies in education (teaching at the high school or community college level, for example) or in policy (doing policy research that directly affects Black communities, for example).

The thesis is prepared under the direction of an academic supervisor, who is chair of the supervising committee, which also includes a reader of the thesis. The supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Studies Committee in African and African Diaspora Studies. The thesis should be submitted at either the end of the second spring semester or at the end of the second summer session.

Following the Foundational Seminar, students pursuing Plan B then complete twelve hours of coursework in the AADS discipline and twelve hours of coursework in a dual discipline.  They also must complete three hours in the AADS discipline Master's report course and three hours in the dual discipline Master's report course. Plan B's requirement of two reports affords students the opportunity to gain expertise in an additional discipline and is thus designed for students intending to pursue a Ph.D. in a discipline other than Black Studies or to work in an area which does not specifically focus on the need for a Black Studies background.

Both master's reports can emerge from a single research project but they must be distinct in disciplinary focus.  Each report is prepared under the direction of a supervisor, who is chair of the supervising committee which includes a report reader. The supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Studies Committee in African and African Diaspora Studies. Each report should be approximately 30 to 50 pages in length (pending the approval of the report supervisor) and is subject to the approval of the committee and ultimately of the graduate dean. The first report should be written before the end of the second fall semester; the second report should be written before the end of the second spring semester.  Both reports must be submitted to the Graduate School as one document, with the first report as Part A and the second report as Part B.

Before completing the program, each student must demonstrate reading competence in an African diasporic language (English, Yoruba, Spanish, French, or Portuguese) of which she or he is not a native speaker. Competence in an African diasporic language is not a prerequisite for admission.  Language courses taken during enrollment in the Master's program will not count toward the Master's degree in African and African Diaspora Studies unless the language is part of the student's minor or dual discipline. Competence must be evaluated via exam.

 

Please contact Joel Suarez at jsuarez@austin.utexas.edu or 512-471-4362 with questions.
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