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

Doctoral Portfolio

About the Portfolio

The objectives of the AADS Doctoral Portfolio program are to engage doctoral students in an advanced approach to interdisciplinary studies and to provide tools for mapping the intellectual, political, and creative breadth of African and African Diaspora Studies. Students in the program participate in rigorous dialogue; expand the university's resources through the development of interdisciplinary methodologies; become familiar with the diverse faculty specialties within African and African Diaspora Studies; foster UT-Austin's national and international reputation as a recognized leader in African and African Diaspora Studies; and are instructed in the application of theoretical and conceptual tools of analysis and research on African-descended peoples.

Although students can enter the African and African Diaspora Studies Portfolio Program at any point in their doctoral work, it is recommended that they complete the portfolio coursework requirements before being admitted to candidacy. Courses used to satisfy portfolio requirements may be included in the student's main Doctoral Program of Work.

Portfolio Requirements

Students must:

  • Be in good standing in an approved UT-Austin doctoral program
  • Receive approval to join the portfolio program from their faculty advisor, their department's Graduate Advisor, and the African and African Diaspora Studies department
  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.3 or better
  • Apply and be accepted to the doctoral portfolio program and submit a research statement
  • Complete 12 hours of graduate-level AFR coursework that includes the following courses:
    • AFR 390: Black Studies Theory I (Fall)
    • AFR 391: Black Studies Methods (Spring)
    • AFR 392: Black Studies Theory II (Spring)
  • Present their research to an open audience in the spring semester before they graduate, typically during their last semester
  • Attend at least one AADS Doctoral Portfolio presentation prior to conducting their own

Applying to the Portfolio Program

Interested UT-Austin doctoral students are invited to apply to the portfolio program by returning a completed Application Form to afr@austin.utexas.edu. Include the following documentation with your application:

  1. Description of research project/research (one-page limit).
  2. Personal Statement (explanation of why the portfolio is important to your academic work (one-page limit)
  3. Most recent Curriculum Vitae