African American Studies

The Department of African American Studies offers a combined PhD in conjunction with several other departments and programs: currently, American studies; anthropology; English; film and media studies; French; history; history of art; music; political science; psychology; religious studies; sociology; Spanish and Portuguese; and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Within the field of study, the student will select an area of concentration in consultation with the directors of graduate studies (DGS) of African American studies and the joint department or program. An area of concentration in African American studies may take the form of a single area study or a comparative area study. Students may focus on the history or artistic productions of any region within the African diaspora. Students are encouraged to draw from multiple disciplines in their intellectual pursuits, both in preparation for their qualifying examinations and in their dissertation research and writing. An area of concentration may also follow the fields of study already established within a single discipline, for example, race/minority/ethnic studies in a combined degree with sociology; the study of Black political thought, or voting patterns, in a combined degree with political science; a study of racial bias in a combined degree with psychology; or an ethnography in a combined degree with either anthropology, or sociology. An area of concentration must either be a field of study offered by the joint department or fall within the rubric of such a field. Please refer to the description of fields of study of the prospective joint department or program.

Terminal Degrees Offered
  • Combined PhD
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Programs and Policies

Admission Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

GRE is not accepted.

Program-Specific Application Requirements

A writing sample is required by this program. 

English Language Requirement

TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic is required of most applicants whose native language is not English.

You may be exempt from this requirement if you have received (or will receive) an undergraduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction, and if you have studied in residence at that institution for at least three years.

Combined Degree Program Application Deadline

*The deadline to submit an application to a combined program is always the earlier deadline of the two individual programs, or December 15, whichever comes first.

Academic Information

Combined PhD Information

African American Studies offers a combined PhD in conjunction with several other departments and programs including: American Studies, Anthropology, English, Film and Media Studies, French, History, History of Art, MusicPolitical Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


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