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

Graduate Program in African and African Diaspora Studies

The graduate program in African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) is designed to provide students with the skills and analytical frameworks necessary to engage interdisciplinary approaches for examining the lives of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, including the United States.  AADS faculty and students understand the urgent need to critically address all aspects of Black life.  The graduate program requires students to grapple with questions central to the field such as:

  • What is Blackness and how is it lived and expressed throughout the African Diaspora?

  • What is race and how has it functioned in intersection with gender, sexuality, and class in the constitution of modernity, space, and selfhood?

  • What is the relationship of slavery and anti-black racisms to capitalism, empire, and democracy, and what are the legacies?

  • What are the cultural, imaginative, and institutional forms that have organized Black communal life?

Students will pursue these and other questions by engaging key works within the subfields of Black Feminism, Black History, Black Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, Critical Educational Studies, Performance Studies, Political Economy, and Political Philosophy.  The program's objective is to provide students with the broad foundational knowledge necessary to pursue an academic career or to conduct scholarly research in African and African Diaspora Studies (also known as African, Black, African and African-American, African, and/or Black Diaspora Studies) or related fields. 

The AADS graduate program includes a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. 


AADS will be accepting applications for the PhD program in African and African Diaspora Studies for the 2018–19 academic year from September 1st - December 1st, 2017.

For more information please contact the AADS Advising Office (afr@austin.utexas.edu). 

Jump to Admissions Requirements
PhD Program


Download the Graduate Program Brochure Here

AADS Graduate Brochure

*Please note that the Graduate Admissions Committee has decided to postpone the terminal M.A. program during this application cycle for the 2018-2019 year.