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

Graduate Advising

1. Role as faculty advisor/mentor

Upon admission to the AADS graduate program, students are assigned a faculty supervisor. The supervisor helps acclimate the new student to her/his work in AADS by assisting with selecting courses, reviewing AADS requirements, and providing formal and informal professional guidance during the M.A. process for five-year PhD students, and the qualifying exam and dissertation process for both five-year and three-year PhD students. The faculty supervisor will subsequently serve as the student’s dissertation committee chair when the student enters the dissertation phase of the program.

2. Role as dissertation committee chair/member

The dissertation chair of a student’s dissertation committee works closely with the student in preparing for the qualifying examinations and in researching and writing the dissertation. The chair works with the student to select the dissertation committee which must consist of at least four members, including three AADS Graduate Studies Committee members, and one non-member. A full list of AADS GSC members can be found at on the AADS Graduate Catalog page. The chair completes all paperwork required of the dissertation chair for the student’s dissertation defense and graduation. The dissertation committee agrees to review the student’s work using the format and schedule provided by the student and the dissertation chair.

3. Role in student recruitment

AADS faculty is the most significant attraction of the AADS graduate program. Faculty is encouraged to recruit prospective students to the program to insure a continuous pipeline of exceptional student scholars. The Graduate Admissions Committee (GAC) heavily considers applicants recommended by AADS faculty members.

4. Graduate student milestones checklist

All doctoral students at The University of Texas at Austin are required to adherence of university-wide and departmental milestones. These milestones serve as benchmarks for progression through programs of study at a satisfactory rate for timely degree completion. The Office of Graduate Studies has adopted 10 general milestones to be completed during various phase of the doctoral study. The AADS supplementary milestones should generally be completed prior to degree completion. The AADS Graduate Advisor and AADS Graduate Coordinator will assist students with completion and documentation of both sets of milestones. The detailed checklists for both five-year and three-year PhD students can be found on the Graduate School website.

PhD in African and African Diaspora Studies – 3 Year track

PhD in African and African Diaspora Studies – 5 Year track

5. Five-year degree plan

Students without a MA must complete coursework to receive the AADS MA on the way to the Ph.D. (i.e. the Master’s report courses and 12 additional hours of electives). Please note: an on-track student will accumulate 90 hours with the plan below.

Year in Program Fall Spring Summer
1 -AFR 390: Theory I-Subjects in Professionalization-Area course -AFR 391: Black Studies Methods-AFR: 392: Theory II-Area course
2 -AFR 397R: Literature Review-Outside Methods-Area course -AFR 398R: Masters Report-Area course-Supporting course Preparation for Qualifying Exams
3 -AFR 395Q (Syllabi exam) - Supporting course- Supporting course AFR 395Q (Prospectus exam)- Supporting course- Supporting course Research for dissertation
4 -AFR 999R: Dissertation (Research) -AFR 999W: Dissertation (Write) Research for dissertation
5 -AFR 999W: Dissertation (Write) -AFR 999W: Dissertation (Write)

6. Three-year degree plan

Students entering with an MA will be put on the three-year PhD track. The Graduate Advisor and the faculty supervisor should work to waive as many supporting AADS courses and electives as possible so as to allow three-year students to focus on the qualifying and dissertation semesters. The ideal number of waived credits would be 6-9 hours.

Year in Program Fall Spring Summer
1 -AFR 390: Theory I-Subjects in Professionalization-Area course -AFR 391: Black Studies Methods-AFR 392: Theory II-Area course Preparation for Qualifying Exams
2 -AFR 396Q (Syllabi exam) -AFR 396Q (Prospectus exam)-Outside Methods -AFR 999R: Dissertation (Research) Research for dissertation
3 -AFR 999W: Dissertation (Write) -AFR 999W: Dissertation (Write)

7. Role in student assessment

At the end of the student’s first academic semester, each of the faculty members who have taught that student will be asked to complete an assessment of the student’s writing, class participation, and general acclimatization into graduate study. If there are any concerns expressed in those assessments, the student and her/his advisor will meet with the AADS Graduate Advisor to discuss strategies for improving the student’s work.

8. Annual review of graduate student progress

At the end of the student’s first academic year, the Graduate Advisor will review each graduate students’ grades from both the fall and spring semesters. If a student has fewer than 4 out of 6 possible “A” grades, the student and her/his adviser will meet with the Graduate Advisor to determine the best strategies for moving forward.