John L Warfield Center

Graduate Programs in African and African American Studies

Click Here to View the Spring 2013 Graduate Course Catalog 

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:

  • 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 its 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 Master of Arts (M.A.) degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.  M.A. students are required to complete a minimum of 33 hours and Ph.D. students must a complete a minimum of 60 hours.  The Ph.D. includes a Master of Arts that is awarded as a bridge to the terminal degree.  Coursework completed towards the Master's degree in AADS at UT may count toward the Ph.D. hour requirement. Students entering the doctoral program with a relevant Master's degree from another university may transfer up to 6 hours of coursework.

Please contact E. Nicole Thompson Beavers, the Graduate Program Coordinator, at or 512-471-5203 with questions.