Graduate Concentration

Description of Program of Study

The Department of African American Studies offers a Graduate Concentration (24 graduate hours) for any student enrolled in one of the following doctoral programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana: History, Educational Psychology, African Studies, Sociology, Political Science or Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. Students enrolled in the graduate program are encouraged to apply for African American Studies teaching assistantships and the Dianne Pinderhughes Graduate Travel Fellowship.

The interdisciplinary Graduate Concentration in African American Studies is designed to explore a wide range of information and scholarship in African American studies and its subfields. Students have an opportunity to work with a broad and dynamic group of African Americanist scholars across the humanities and social sciences, and the arts and professions. Graduate students enrolled in the program are encouraged to participate in all African American Studies activities, including the Department’s lecture series, conferences, and reading groups. African American Studies at Illinois emphasizes historically specific critical analyses of black racial formation, the particular experiences of Black women, gender construction, and African American agency, in the context of constantly evolving political economies, governmental policies, and popular culture. This emphasis reflects both the strength of a large and diverse group of core and faculty affiliates, and the program’s guiding principles. African American Studies at Illinois is committed to constructing a new paradigm for Black Studies, one that explores the interconnections between African Americans, transnational black populations, and other racialized communities in the United States and their relationship to other forms of social oppression. Intrinsic to this new model is a revitalization of Black Studies’ commitment to public engagement and social transformation.

Hours Requirements
12 AFRO 500, Core Problems in African-American Studies
AFRO 597, Problems in African-American Studies
AFRO 598, Res Seminar in African-American Studies
12 Graduate courses from an approved list of African American Studies courses, at least two of which must be at the 500-level.
24 Total

* At least one member of African American Studies in the area of specialization is expected to serve on the student’s thesis committee.

Prerequisites

None. AFRO 500 will be offered every Fall. AFRO 597 and 598 will be offered at least once a year.

Admission to the concentration

Applicants must be in good standing in one of the following doctoral programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana: History, Educational Psychology, African Studies, Sociology, Political Science or Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, and demonstrate an interest in African American Studies. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a brief personal essay that includes a statement of purpose that describes their background, career plans, and explains how a concentration in African American Studies enhances their primary program of study.

A student’s intent to pursue a graduate concentration must be approved by the student’s adviser and graduate program director. The student’s major department will determine how many graduate hours of the concentration may count toward the degree requirements in the student’s program.

Concentration adviser

The DAAS department head will function as graduate adviser for the concentration.

Certification of successful completion

Progress of the graduate concentration will be monitored by African American Studies in conjunction with the Records Office of the Graduate College.

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