Special Requirements for the Combined Ph.D. Degree

Application Requirements

Prospective students intending to apply for the Combined Ph.D. in African American Studies and a participating joint department or program must also contact the respective department/program and request a description of all Ph.D. requirements and courses.

Application to the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is an online process: all application materials required for the Combined Ph.D. in African American Studies and a joint department or program are to be submitted online. No documents are accepted by the department.

Therefore, as early as possible, prospective students should review all requirements and policies for applying to Yale Graduate School and dates and deadlines that govern application to specific departments.

Students admitted to the Combined Ph.D. program will be supervised by the African American Studies Department and the respective joint department or program. A student’s academic program will be decided in consultation with an advisor, the director of graduate studies of African American Studies, and the director of graduate studies of the joint department or program and must be approved by all three.

Departments and programs which currently offer a combined Ph.D. with African American Studies are: American Studies, Anthropology, English, Film and Media Studies, French, History, History of Art, MusicPolitical Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology,  Spanish and Portuguese, and WGSS.


Core courses that satisfy requirements for the African American Studies Combined Ph.D. Degree

Students are required to take five courses in African American Studies, generally at least one course each term. Any variance in scheduling requires approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in African American Studies.

Core courses are:

  • (1) Theorizing Racial Formations (AFAM 505a), which is a required course for all first-year graduate students in the combined program
  • (2) Dissertation Prospectus Workshop (AFAM 895a and AFAM 896b), a two semester course, which graduate students in their third-year of study must satisfactorily complete. The Dissertation Prospectus Workshop (AFAM 895 & 896) is intended to support preparation for the dissertation proposal; each student will be required to present his or her dissertation prospectus orally to the faculty and to submit a written prospectus draft by the end of the spring term.

Three other graduate-level African American Studies courses are required:

  • (1) a history course
  • (2) a social science course, and
  • (3) a course in literature or culture.

The total number of courses required will adhere to the requirements of the joint department or program. Each student must complete the minimum number of courses required by the joint department or program; African American Studies courses (excepting the dissertation prospectus workshop) count toward the joint department’s or program’s total. The number of courses that will count depends on the joint department or program. For details of these requirements, see the special requirements of the combined Ph.D. for the particular department.

Students will be required to meet the foreign language requirements of the joint department. Students will not be admitted to candidacy until all requirements, including the dissertation prospectus, have been met and approved by the Graduate Studies Executive Committee of the African American Studies Department and the joint department.

Teaching Requirement

The faculty in African American Studies consider teaching to be an essential component of graduate education, and students therefore will teach in their third and fourth years.

Examinations and Dissertation Proposal

Qualifying examinations and the dissertation proposal will be administered by the African American Studies Department and the joint department and must be passed within the time required by the joint department.

Visit the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for comprehensive admissions requirements and policies regarding graduate study at Yale.

Jonathan Howard
Director of Graduate Studies

Naomi McWilliams
Academic Support Assistant (Registrar)

Graduate Student Liaisons
Speak with a student about the program
Kristine Guillaume   Devin Williams