Graduate Information


The Department of African American and African Studies offers graduate degrees at the PhD level.  To fulfill its intellectual and pedagogical mission, in 2012 the department started its PhD program, offering doctoral degrees in African American, African, and African Diaspora Studies.

The Program maintains an international core faculty and associated faculty from a wide range of academic units throughout The Ohio State University. Particularly distinctive in the program is the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, located in the heart of the historically Black community in Columbus, Ohio. Through a variety of projects sponsored by the Center, graduate students have the opportunity to participate in community-based learning, research and service.        

We expect our graduates to accomplish the following learning goals:

  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge and the critical, analytical, argumentative, and writing skills necessary to design, conduct, elaborate, and disseminate research in the fields of African American, African, and African Diaspora studies.
  • Articulate, through a combination of empirical research, conceptual work, and theoretical reflection, the interconnections shaping the African and African-descended world in the commonality of its transnational processes and the specificity of its histories, cultures, identities, and experiences.
  • Acquire skills to design and teach courses in African American, African, and African Diaspora studies through the development of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies encompassing historical, social, political, cultural, literary, and philosophical perspectives.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and mastery of substantive information relevant to one area of concentration (African American, African or Diaspora) as a way to understand its social connections and modes of intercultural communication in an interdependent black world and in global realities.
  • Explore at a theoretical as well practical level, intersections between race, gender, class, nationality, ethnicity, and sexuality.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the historical processes, forces, and dynamics shaping the present conditions and everyday lives of African peoples and peoples of African descent.
  • Exhibit the ability to design research projects, formulate hypotheses, document and illustrate complex findings, for employment in fields connected to social and human development, community organizing and activism, media, and nongovernmental organizations, especially in relation to African American, African, and African-descended communities.
  • Gain analytical, critical, oral, and writing skills relevant to public service and policy advice and advocacy, with a focus on the complex relations of social, political, and cultural factors impacting on African, African American and African-descended communities.
  • Develop the skills to conduct original research in their field of specialization.

Our graduates have successfully pursued careers in public policy and administration, social work, international relations, and a wide range of agencies and organizations that address issues and concerns related to racial inequities within the United States of America and the economic and political welfare of the Africana World.

If you have questions pertaining to the Graduate program, please contact our graduate studies coordinator, Dr. Jerrell Beckham at