African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

AADS Undergraduate Program

I. Overview

A major in African and African Diaspora Studies required 24 semester hours of coursework in AADS, including at least 15 hours of upper-division coursework. The following courses are required:

  • AFR 303 Introduction to Black Studies
  • AFR 375 Community Internship
  • AFR 376 Senior Seminar
  • Three upper-division courses (at least nine semester hours) chosen from one of the following tracks:
    • Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality theories
    • Performance, Music, Art, and Literature
    • Language, History, and Behavioral and Social sciences
    • Law, Education, Health, and Policy
  • Six additional semester hours of African and African diaspora studies coursework

Depending on a student’s academic catalog, their degree plan may require a minor or certificate.

II. 2016-2018 degree plan

The catalog is the official publication of UT-Austin that specifies degree requirements. In general, catalog eligibility is based on a student’s first semester enrolled at UT or at another Texas public college or university. Dual credit courses taken in high school cannot count in determining catalog eligibility. Degree catalogs expires every six years. The AADS undergraduate advisor currently advises students on four open catalogs (10-12, 12-14, 14-16, and 16-18).

III. Semester credit hours

The value of semester credit hours is determined by multiplying the number of students enrolled in a course to the number of hours the course is. For example, if 100 students are enrolled in AFR 303, the semester credit hours would be 300 (3 hours x 100 students = 300 semester credit hours).

IV. Course flags

The School of Undergraduate Studies gives out flags for courses that meet specific core requirements. In the 16-18 catalog, students at UT-Austin will be required to take the following flags:

  • Three Writing (Wr) Flags
  • One Cultural Diversity (CD) in the U.S. Flag
  • One Global Cultures (GC) Flag
  • One Ethics and Leadership (EL) Flag
  • One Independent Inquiry (Ii) Flag
  • One Quantative Reasoning (QR) Flag

V. UGS core curriculum

The School of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for the core curriculum requirements for all students pursuing an undergraduate degree. These requirements are consistent with statewide guidelines; the area of the statewide core that each requirement meets is given in parentheses.

  • First-Year Signature Course (Texas core code 090)
  • English Composition (Texas core code 010)
  • Humanities (Texas core code 040)
  • American and Texas Government (Texas core code 070)
  • US History (Texas core code 060)
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (Texas core code 080)
  • Mathematics (Texas core code 020)
  • Natural Science & Technology, Part I (Texas core code 030)
  • Natural Science & Technology, Part II (Texas core code 093)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (Texas core code 050)

VI. Study abroad and domestic study

AADS offers 3 faculty-led study abroad programs and 1 domestic study program: Urban Research Fellows Domestic Study Program – San Francisco, California (spring semester) Community and Social Development – Accra, Ghana (Maymester) African Diaspora in the Americas – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (summer session) Afro-Caribbean Politics and Culture – Bluefields, Nicaragua (summer session II)

VII. Course Instructor Surveys

CIS forms are the university’s tool to gauge students’ opinions of courses. The course scheduler will coordinate the ordering of these forms. The department prefers paper CIS forms, but eCIS forms are also available. Students typically fill out the forms during the last week of class. AADS prefers that professors do not request CIS forms for individual instruction courses. CIS forms for TA are auto requested.

VIII. Grade reporting

Course grades are sent to the registrar through the grade submission system, and are due by 10am on their due date. Grade sheets are available after the last class day of a semester or summer term. A grade sheet contains the names of all students officially registered for a course on the generated date. Once generated, grade sheet information won't change, though a student's grading or registration status may. Recorded grades may be verified online through the last day of grade reporting. Grades submitted online are available for review by instructors of record and their designees.

IX. Grade disputes and plagiarism

A faculty member should attempt to resolve all grade disputes with a student as much as is possible. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s response, if the course is home for AADS, the AFR advisor is the next point of contact. The advisor will summarize the student’s situation and contact the AADS Associate Chair, who will consult both the student and the faculty member concerned. If the student is unsatisfied with the AADS Associate Chair’s response, the student can meet with the AADS Chair. If the student is unsatisfied with the AADS Chair’s response, the next step is to contact the Dean’s office in COLA. The advisor can guide students through each step of this process up to the Dean’s office. Course Scheduling Cases of plagiarism can involve Student Judicial Services, available through the Dean of Students at 512-471-2841.

X. Faculty Course Loada

<>The typical course load for a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts is a 2-2 (2 courses per long semester, i.e. two courses in the Fall and two courses in the Spring). 50% faculty (those with appointments in more than one department) “owe” AADS two courses each year. The EC has stipulated that it is highly recommended that 50% faculty “give” AADS their two courses in one semester.AADS EC rules and course balances: (Is this still correct/necessary?)The EC has stipulated the following rules regarding course balances:
  • The course scheduler is instructed to try and keep a faculty member’s teaching schedule limited to three days a week only
  • Each 100% faculty member should teach at least one MWF and one lower division course each academic year
  • Each 50% faculty member should teach one MWF and one lower division course every two academic years
  • Each 100% faculty member may teach one graduate course every three semesters.
  • Each 50% faculty member may teach one graduate course for AADS every six semesters (graduate courses offered by the 50%er’s other department will be cross-listed with AADS if the 50%er so wishes)
  • Graduate courses offered by 0% faculty will not be cross-listed except on a case-by-case basis (as decided by the AADS Chair)
  • • For the Core Courses (Theory I, Theory II, AADS Methods), first priority is given to those faculty who developed the courses. Next priority is given to 100% faculty members. Faculty teaching these courses will be allowed to teach them for two consecutive semesters. Once any faculty member has taught a Core Course, she or he will not be permitted to teach that course again until all eligible faculty have had an opportunity to teach that course.
  • • For Supporting Required Courses (Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Diaspora), first priority is given to 100% faculty in each area so that one course in each area is offered each semester. Faculty must also follow the rule of rotation that is already in place—100% faculty can teach a grad courses every three semesters; 50% faculty can teach a grad courses every six semesters
  • Review of rotation for Core Courses and Supporting Required Courses, along with a review of content for Core Courses will take place in 2019.
The course scheduler will keep track of each individual faculty member’s objectives and will work with faculty members individually to ensure that their course offerings line up with EC objectives.

XI. Course scheduling policy

Most “new” undergraduate course titles printed in the course schedule are unnumbered topic titles offered under a base topics course number. All “new” undergraduate course titles must have an approved course description on file with the Dean's Office before they can be published in the course schedule. Course descriptions are course number- and instructor-specific and are valid for two academic years. For more information, please see: Course Description Policy.

Undergraduate courses offered in a fall or spring semester should be scheduled at standard meeting times between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Courses meeting at a non-standard time need the prior approval of the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. For more information, please see: Non-standard Meeting Time Policy.Faculty should note any preference they have for times, but courses will ultimately be scheduled based on departmental need. The following are considerations that the UCC, GPC, Chair, and Associate Chair take into account when creating a semester’s course schedule:

  1. AADS schedules courses on standard timelines, with respect to the EC course scheduling guidelines and individual faculty adherence to those guidelines. This means that the following course timelines are available for undergraduate courses: MWF 8:00am – 5:00pm (for one-hour blocks: for instance, MWF 12:00 – 1:00) TTH 8:30am – 5:00 pm (for 1.5 hour blocks: for instance, TTH 2:00 – 3:30) Any time outside of these are considered non-standard and are unlikely to be approved by AADS administration.
  2. AADS graduate courses are scheduled in three-hour blocks, and typically not on Fridays.
  3. 3. AADS will make every effort to avoid the following scheduling issues: • Scheduling two courses that meet the same area requirements on the same timeline • Scheduling two lower-division courses on the same timeline • Scheduling two required courses (including Yoruba language courses) on the same timeline • Scheduling two courses with similar flags on the same timeline • Scheduling graduate courses to overlap with each other, even by an hour (i.e. no M 3-6 and M 5-8 courses) • Scheduling a faculty member for more than three days of teaching a week
  4. AADS administration has requested that a two-hour block be held for departmental meetings and that this time not be scheduled with classes. This block is typically in the late afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

XII. Course scheduling process

There are three phases of scheduling preparation.

The first phase of scheduling is called “Original.” During this phase, the scheduler submits room and time requests based on the unit’s choices and needs. It is during this first phase of scheduling that all classrooms are assigned by the Registrar's Office. For a presentation on preparing for this phase, please see Training Resources.

The second phase of scheduling is called “Chair's Proof.” This is when units find out which rooms and preferred times were scheduled by the Registrar's Office based on the schedulers' original requests. At this point, it is difficult to find an alternate room or time, as all available classrooms may have been assigned. For a presentation on preparing for this phase, please see Training Resources.

The third and final phase of scheduling is called “Post-publication”, or the "Course File Update" period. This occurs after the initial web publication of the Course Schedule and runs through the twelfth class day.

The period during which each phase is open varies. Original phases last approximately 4 weeks. Chair’s Proof phases generally last only a few working days.

XIII. Flag proposals/renewals

Faculty must apply for flags during the course scheduling process. The course scheduler will often contact faculty members individually about flags that might work best for their course. Flags may be approved at either the instructor level or the course level. • Instructor-level approvals are attached to the course number, topic number (if applicable), and instructor EID. Instructor-level approvals are active for three years and are appropriate for courses that only meet the flag criteria when taught by particular instructors. Individual instruction courses may not be flagged at the instructor level since there is no instructor EID connected with this type of course. • Course-level approvals are linked to the course number and topic number (if applicable), and they apply to all sections taught under the flagged course number or topic. Course-level approvals are active indefinitely. • Course-level flags can be added to course numbers or numbered topics. All sections offered under this number will be automatically flagged each semester. Unnumbered topics courses require additional consideration to be flagged at the course level as all topics under that course number must meet flag criteria. • A department must designate a faculty contact person for a course-level flag. The faculty contact should be part of the regular departmental faculty who serves as the primary point of contact for questions about the flag proposal. In addition, the faculty contact is responsible for ensuring that all sections of the flagged course meet flag criteria.

The Center for the Skills and Experience Flags (CSEF) works closely with faculty across the university on identifying, developing, teaching, and assessing flagged courses. Instructors should use the CSEF’s online system to submit Flag proposals for their courses. The proposal process helps the faculty Flag committee determine whether a course meets the criteria for that Flag. A single course may carry up to three Flag, but a separate proposal must be submitted for each Flag.

To complete a Flag proposal, instructors will need the following information:< • First semester the course should be flagged < • Course number and, if applicable, topic number < • Course title and, if applicable, topic title • Approval Level • Upcoming Flag proposal deadlines< For most academic years, the deadlines for submitting Flag proposals are:< • Mid-August for courses to be flagged beginning the spring semester of the same academic year< • Mid-December for courses to be flagged beginning the summer semester of the same academic year and the fall semester of the next academic year< The CSEF offers a variety of resources in order to assist instructors with the Flag proposal process on their website:

XIV. Course Inventory

Official Publications maintains the University’s course inventory. The course inventory is the set of courses that the University is authorized to teach by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Here are some important facts about the course inventory: • A new course or a change to an existing course must be recorded in the inventory before it may appear in a University catalog or Course Schedule. • Changes to the course inventory can only be made by submitting requests to Official Publications via the online Course Inventory Management system (CIM). • Changes submitted and approved during the fall inventory editing cycle will be effective the following fall semester; changes submitted and approved during the spring inventory editing cycle will be effective the following spring semester. • You can view the most current course inventory information using the mainframe application *NRCRIN. To get authorization to view your courses in *NRCRIN contact Official Publications at

The Course Inventory Management system opens approximately in mid-September. Although deans often set earlier deadlines for their departments, the Official Publications (OP) deadline to submit inventory changes for the following academic year is approximately the beginning of November. (An academic year includes fall, spring, and summer). The graduate catalog goes into production phase during even-numbered years. The undergraduate catalog goes into production phase during odd-numbered years. Changes to the requirements for bachelor's programs are administered by the Academic Affairs office in the College of Liberal Arts. Changes to the requirements for Master's or Ph.D. programs are administered by the Office of Graduate Studies.