Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Graduate Program Ph.D. Program in Pan-African Studies

Ph.D. Program in Pan-African Studies

An overview of the Ph.D. program structure is provided in detail.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: PH.D. IN PAN AFRICAN STUDIES

 

Students enrolled in the doctoral program in Pan African Studies will acquire a mastery of the knowledge, research strategies, and intellectual discourse of the discipline. As a distinctive part of the program, graduates of the proposed program will have (1) area specializations in African American, Caribbean and the rest of the African Diaspora, as well as (2) grounding in a traditional discipline such as history, literature, philosophy, politics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, religion, art, music, Women Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and others. Competencies in these fields will be developed in the following curriculum plan.


Requirements for the PH.D. Degree

 

To be admitted to the Ph.D. program, students must demonstrate advanced competency in research skills, as evidenced by completion of a Master’s thesis or another independent research project, such as a sole-authored research report or published articles in peer-reviewed journals or edited volumes. To be qualified for the Ph.D., completion of a minimum of 33 hours of graduate credits at the M.A. level (beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for admission), and 60 hours beyond the Master’s degree are required to complete the doctoral coursework. Since the Ph.D. is a multidisciplinary program students with a Master’s degree in Black Studies or a traditional discipline in the humanities or social sciences will be considered for admittance.  Students who apply for the program without a Master’s degree in Black Studies are required to take the PAS 601 (Graduate Research methods) and PAS 602 (Theories and Issues in Pan African Studies) as prerequisites. Students may transfer 6 hours from a previously earned master's degree toward the Ph.D., subject to the approval of the degree program and the unit dean. Students with a PAS MA degree will be allowed to transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours to the Ph.D.  In both cases students may petition for another 6 additional credit hours. Only courses in which the student earned grades of "B" or better will be considered for transfer.

  

 

 Curriculum from M.A. to Ph.D. (full time study)

 

 

 

Year I & II                                                                              Credit Hours               Other Tasks

 

Research Strategies

(9)

 

 

Quantitative Research Strategies (new course)

 

3

 

Qualitative Research Strategies (edited PAS 601)

3

 

Research Strategies – Discipline Based

3

 

(historical, social, cultural – courses not in PAS)

 

Intellectual Approaches

 

(9)

 

 

Pan-African Social Thoughts (edited PAS 614)

 

3

 

Advanced Seminar on Race (edited PAS 615/614/515)

3

OR

Seminar on Race & Ethnicity in the Diaspora (new course)

3

 

Intellectual Approaches – Discipline Based

3

 

(historical, social, cultural – courses not in PAS)

 

Major (Track Area/Discipline)*

 

(12)

 

4 courses in one of two tracks: African American Studies or the African Diaspora and within a historical, social or cultural field. At least one of these must be cross listed.

 

(Example: PAS 510, 520, 528, 531, 535,551, 577, 575, 612, 616, 618, 619, 625, 645, etc. or PAS

505, 532, 533,550, 567, 581, 618, 620, 621, 643, 657, 660, etc.).

 

Minor (Electives) **

(6)

 

 

Professional Development Seminar

 

(0)

 

 

Reading for Comprehension (Summer Course)

 

(6)

 

Comprehensive

Exam

TOTAL (Year I & II)

(42)

 

 

* Courses from this area are potential teaching/research fields. They could be cross-listed with other departments and must be discipline/subject based. For example, a Ph.D. student interested in history of the “Slave Trade,” will study this as a history class with possible specialization in the “Atlantic Slavery” or “African Slavery” or “Comparative Slavery,” etc. Upon graduation, the student can compete favorably for job in traditional history departments as well as Black studies departments.

** The two elective courses could be taken outside the PAS as part of the student‟s potential teaching fields.

 

 

Year III                                         

Credit Hours

Other Tasks

 

Semester 1

Special Topics Courses

 

Semester 2

Dissertation Research

 

9

 

9

 

Special Topics Exam

 

Total (for year III)

 

(18)

 

Defend dissertation proposal

 

Year IV                                         

 

Credit Hours

 

Other Tasks

Semester 1

Dissertation Research

2

Documentary/Fieldwork

& Writing

 

Semester 2

Dissertation Research

2

Defend dissertation

 

Total (for Year IV)

 

(4)

 

 

TOTAL FOR PROGRAM

 

(64)


 

Based on this structure students will take at least 5 courses in a specific discipline at the end of the first two years. This includes 1 in research strategy, 1 in intellectual approaches, 2 electives, and at least 1 cross listed course with PAS. These courses can also be in another area study such as Women Studies, Latin American/Latino Studies and others.

 

The Professional Development Seminar (0 credit hours) is a required and will be offered every semester.  Students must complete the seminars with a Pass- Fail grade before registering for degree candidacy.  The seminar will meet once per month (approximately 4 sessions per semester) and inclusive (not exhaustive) of the following areas: research of graduate students and faculty, grant writing, special discussion sessions on issues that relate to Pan-Africanism, writing for journal publications, presentation at conferences, teaching and technological developments, etc).  These sessions will be organized by the Director of the PAS Ph.D. program and involve faculty members within and external to the department as well as other specialists in the field. Part–time students will be expected to attend at least 2 seminars per semester until they get to the degree candidacy stage.  In total, the meetings that part-time students attend should cover the range of professional development topics in order to meet the seminar requirements. In order to accommodate the working schedules of our part-time students, we will hold these seminars after working hours and if necessary on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings.

 

 The above structure is based on the enrollment of a student on a full-time basis.  For Part-Time Students  the program will follow the following steps to ensure that all part-time doctoral students in the program will have access to an intensive and immersive educational experience.  From the beginning of their enrollment in the Pan-African Studies Ph.D. program, part-time students will be included with full-time students in all aspects of our program, except serving as graduate teaching assistants or receiving a university fellowship. The part-time student is expected to enroll in the Professional Development Seminar where provisions have been made for their participation. In order to be properly advised we require all part-time students to be in contact with the Director of the Ph.D. Program at least twice per month via email or telephone and face to face every semester and when in degree candidacy to meet with the Chair of their committee at least once per month until successfully completing their degree.  Additionally, faculty members are encouraged to mentor part-time students as they will for full-time students and the department will support their efforts to present at professional meetings and conferences.

 

Course descriptions. Most of the classes will be structured as graduate seminars aimed at helping students move from generalized research areas to more subject specific content-based approaches. The goal is to have doctoral students gain mastery of both research strategies and intellectual discourse in an area of expertise. This approach, we believe, will hasten graduation and position our graduates favorably in the highly competitive academic job market.  Part-time students will follow a schedule appropriate to their needs.  Students will also enroll in courses in other departments in accordance to their discipline interests and needs for both the M.A. or Ph.D. programs.

 

Comprehensive and Special Topics Exams. Students are required to take and pass two exams: a Comprehensive Exam and a Special Topics Exam in order to qualify for degree candidacy. The Comprehensive Exam will be coordinated and supervised by the graduate studies committee and administered at the end of Year II and/or upon completion of all required coursework.  The purpose of both the Comprehensive Exam and Special Topics Exam is to demonstrate expertise in research strategies, intellectual approaches, and content knowledge in a major area of study.  It is designed to cover an area larger than the dissertation and to qualify the student to teach in a given field.   The committee will decide, with input from the student, on whether the exam will take a written take-home format to be completed within 72 hours or a closed-book six hours exam in a secure room taken in one day. Contingent upon passing the written exam, after a period of one week and not longer than two weeks, the chair of the graduate studies committee will schedule an oral exam of a duration of not less than one and not longer than two hours, during which the student will respond to questions presented by members of the committee about the written essays. To render a passing grade, all committee members must agree to pass the student on both the written and oral exams.  Only on successful completion of this exam will the student move to the next phase of the program that prepares him/her to take the special topics exam. Students can appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee to re-take the comprehensive exams only once and this must be taken at the end of the following semester.

 

If successful with the Comprehensive exam the student will prepare and be tested on a topic specialization. The committee Chair will be selected by the student as well as the members of the exam committee all of whom the student has been working with in a specialized research area. Topic Specialization indicates the field of the student’s research interest. This exam will be based on a reading list selected by the student and his/her faculty who will chair the Special Topic Exam and who would most likely direct the student’s doctoral dissertation.  The reading list will also include other suggested readings from other members of the Special Topics Exam Committee. Preparation for this exam will also include materials from some of the courses taken in a track area, a specific discipline, elective courses, and from the student’s dissertation research efforts.  This exam will take the form of a written take home exam to be completed within 72 hours or a major research paper to be submitted by a date and time frame agreed to by the committee and the student. After the Special Topics Exam committee has assessed the written work and determined that the student has passed, ideally within a two-week period, the chair of the exam committee will schedule an oral exam of a duration of not less than one and not longer than two hours, during which the student will respond to questions presented by members of the doctoral committee about the written essays or research paper. Students can appeal to the Graduate Studies Committee to re-take the Special Topics exams only once and this must be taken at the end of the following semester.


Only on successful passing of both the Comprehensive and Topic Specialization Exams will the student proceed to the next step of degree candidacy and can defend his/her dissertation proposal. It is anticipated that the dissertation committee will closely resemble the Special Topics Exam committee.


Grades. Doctoral students are expected to produce high quality work.  No student may take the qualifying exams until he or she has completed all Incompletes or grades of X, except for dissertation or research hours. No student who has more than 6 hours of a grade of C+ or below may take either of the two exams. Students who fail the exams may re-take the work judged unsatisfactory within the following semester.  Students failing the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.

Dissertation Proposal. Upon successful completion of the written and oral

Comprehensive and Special Topics Exams, students will be admitted to candidacy. Students are required to write and present a dissertation research proposal to a dissertation committee for approval. The dissertation committee will consist of at least 4 faculty members one of which must be external to the program and qualify as a graduate faculty.  The proposal will include a summary of research literature on the topic to be researched, the ways in which the proposed research is expected to expand upon the literature in meaningful ways, an explanation of the theoretical framework and/or relevant concepts that will, or is likely to, inform the analysis, the data collection methods to be used, and the source of the data to be analyzed. After the proposal is completed, the dissertation committee chair will schedule a defense of the proposal, at which the student will address questions and concerns presented by committee members.  Such concerns will be included in a final draft of the research proposal, which the student will distribute to all committee members. After approval of the research proposal, the student will conduct research for the dissertation, which will include the elements required in the research proposal, as well as a section on findings, analysis and discussion, and summary and conclusion.


Documentary /Fieldwork Requirements.  To qualify for documentary and/or fieldwork, students will be required to have successfully completed all prerequisite exams with a minimum grade of B-. Additionally, the student must have successfully defended her/his dissertation topic proposal. Documentation/Fieldwork research can only be embarked upon when the student is ready, with the approval of the major dissertation advisor or supervisor. The documentation/fieldwork may consist of collection and analysis of primary or secondary data. The Graduate Advisor, who serves as the director of graduate studies, will work together with the student and the chair of the dissertation committee to coordinate the research work preparation and logistics. Each student’s committee Chair/mentor will supervise the documentation process and/or fieldwork. The documentation/fieldwork report will consist of the following sections: I. Summary of the Research Topic, Purpose of the Research, Research Questions and/or Hypotheses, Summary of Assumptions and Concepts; II. Research Strategies; III. Findings; IV. Summary and Conclusions.


Dissertation Defense.  Upon completion of a defensible draft of the dissertation, the student will submit the draft to all members of the dissertation committee. The student will also place a copy of the dissertation at the front desk in the Pan African Studies Department, where it may be read by interested faculty. The committee chair will schedule a defense to be held not less than one week after distribution of the final defense draft and its placement at the front desk of the Pan African Studies Department. Enough time will be allowed for a university-wide announcement and the dissertation defense should be held not more than two weeks after its distribution. In the defense, the student will present his or her work and then respond to questions and critiques from members of the committee.  The student will be responsible for making any final changes required by committee members.  Upon completion of the final document, it will be distributed to committee members and submitted to the University, following its applicable guidelines.

   

 

null
Document Actions
Personal tools