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

Doctoral Portfolio in African and African Diaspora Studies

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 about African and African Diaspora Studies; 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. The portfolio program is administered by Dr. Omoniyi Afolabi, AADS Portfolio Administrator; Stacie Brodie, Student Program Coordinator; and the AADS Portfolio Steering Committee.

Portfolio Requirements

Students must submit a research statement along with their application -- this plan will help the AADS Portfolio Administrator guide the student in the completion of 12 hours of graduate-level coursework in AADS, or approved courses related to AADS. Effective March 1, 2017, participants will need to take at least one AADS core course in partial fullfillment of their required 12 hours (courses listed below). With departmental approval, 3 hours of the required 12 can be in a conference course. The student will also be required to present their work to an open audience before they graduate, typically during their last semester. It is required that program participants attend at least one AADS Doctoral Portfolio presentation prior to conducting their own. 

AADS Core Courses:

AFR 390: Black Studies Theory I (Fall)

AFR 391: Black Studies Methods (Spring)

AFR 392: Black Studies Theory II (Spring)

The certification requirements for the Portfolio in African and African Diaspora Studies differ from the requirements for graduate degrees and should be undertaken only with the approval of the student's supervising advisor and the student's departmental graduate advisor. Courses used to satisfy portfolio requirements may be included in the student's main Doctoral Program of Work.

Applying to the Portfolio Program

UT-Austin doctoral students interested in African and African Diaspora Studies are invited to apply to the program using this Application Form. Candidates must be in good standing in an approved doctoral program, maintain a grade point average of 3.3 or better, and receive approval to join the portfolio program from their faculty advisor, their department's Graduate Advisor, and the African and African Diaspora Studies Portfolio Steering Committee. 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 requirements before being admitted to candidacy. The application, which includes a statement about the student's research goals and their intersection with African and African Diaspora Studies, will be reviewed by the portfolio steering committee. 

For more information please contact the AADS Portfolio Administrator Dr. Omoniyi Afolabi or the AADS Advising Office ( 

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