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Frequently Asked Questions

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Should I apply to the PhD program if I did not major in AFAM?

A suitable background for an interdisciplinary advanced degree in African American studies will be a significant factor. This is most clearly signaled by an undergraduate degree in African and/or African American Studies, but may also be satisfied by relevant coursework in African American Studies, African Studies, Ethnic Studies (with a concentration on Blacks in the US and/or the diaspora), or Area Studies (e.g., Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies). We will definitely consider applicants with majors in the traditional disciplines that illustrate significant interest in African American Studies through their additional coursework and/or post-baccalaureate work/research.

Note: The Department of African American Studies will undertake a targeted admissions process for Fall 2021. CLICK HERE to read more.


To what office do I send my transcripts?

Transcripts should be submitted through online application.

Is there a separate application for funding?

No. Applicants for the Ph.D. program are automatically considered for funding. It is currently departmental practice to accept only those students into the programs whom we can fund fully with multi-year packages of fellowships and assistantships.

What kind of writing sample should I send?

We are looking for a sample of scholarly writing, on any subject related to African American Studies, of sufficient length to demonstrate your ability to develop an idea coherently and thoroughly. We receive writing samples as short as 15 pages and as long as 25 pages (n.b. writing samples should be uploaded to Graduate school website).

Can I visit campus, meet with faculty, sit in on classes?

In late February or early March, finalists will be invited to campus for a recruitment weekend, hosted and paid for by the Graduate School.

Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this will likely be virtual for the current admissions cycle.

Whom should I contact with additional questions?

Sherwin K. Bryant, Director of Graduate Admissions, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History
Seth Bernstein, Communications and Student Services Coordinator

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