Combined M.A. in AADS/PhD In History

Combined African and African Diaspora Studies MA/ PhD in History

The Combined African and African Diaspora Studies MA / PhD in History program allows qualified graduate students to complete the MA in Africa and African Diaspora Studies (MA in AADS) en route to the PhD in History. This program will train doctoral students within the discipline of Atlantic History while giving them area studies expertise in African and African Diaspora Studies, in order to help them stay competitive in seeking careers with an international focus in today’s global, cultural and intellectual environment. In tandem, these two programs can offer students an unusually close fit and remarkably beneficial synthesis in interdisciplinary approaches to both the Atlantic world and the African diasporic experience.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should consult the FIU catalog for the most updated requirements. To access the requirements for the MA in AADS in FIU's catalog, please click here.

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution for higher education (or equivalent);
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for the last two years of undergraduate work and/or a GPA of 3.25 on any previous graduate work;
  3. Minimum score of 1120 (combined verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or, for International students, a minimum score of 525 on the EXADEP (Spanish version of the GRE); or a minimum of 590 on the GMAT;
  4. International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English and have not obtained a degree from an English-speaking academic institution are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 90 on the IBT TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version, or 232 on the computer-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required.

Admission Procedure

To be accepted into this program, students must submit an application to the PhD in History with a sub plan for a MA in Africa and African Diaspora Studies. This designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application. The application must be submitted by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.

The following documents must be submitted as part of the application. They will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee from both units.

  • Official transcripts of all prior college-level work (undergraduate Bachelor’s degree and any graduate transcripts);
  • Official GRE scores or equivalent;
  • Official TOEFL scores, if applicable;
  • A curriculum vita;
  • A detailed statement of research interests, which should include your reasons for seeking the MA/ PhD, future career goals, a summary of scholarly and extra-curricular activities, and the names of History Department faculty members who would be appropriate dissertation advisors (Note: Consult the department website for information about faculty members)
  • A writing sample (such as a seminar paper) which demonstrates the ability to conduct research and write effectively; and
  • Three letters of reference from academic sources or others able to judge academic abilities and potential. In addition, an interview (in person or phone) with members of the MA in AADS Program and/or appropriate faculty in the Department of History is highly recommended.

MA in Africa and African Diaspora Studies (MA in AADS)

Thirty-six graduate credits are required for the MA in AADS, including 9 credits of core courses, 12 credits within a concentration, 9 credits of electives and 6 credits for the directed research paper exit option. There is also a Foreign Language Requirement.

MA in AADS Core Courses (12 credits)

  • HIS 6059 Historical Methods
  • AFA 5002 African and African Diaspora Studies Theory
  • AFA 6920 AADS graduate colloquium
  • AFA 6911 Research Paper/Proposal Writing in African and African Diaspora Studies

MA in AADS Elective Courses (24 credits)

  • 12 credits of elective courses with a clear AADS focus from within the Department of History, such as those on the following list. This should include at least one two-semester research seminar (6 credits).
    • AFH 5905
    • AFH 5935
    • AFH 6915
    • AFH 6932
    • AFH 6933
    • WOH 5236
    • WOH 5237
  • 12 credits of elective courses from outside the History Department and within the College of Arts & Sciences. At least 6 of these credits will be from the Social Sciences list of AADS courses (see the Humanities and Social Sciences lists of AADS graduate courses).

MA in AADS Research Proposal option

To graduate from the MA in AADS, students enrolled in this combined MA/PhD program must elect the research proposal option and take the proposal writing course- AFA 6911 Research Paper/Proposal Writing in African and African Diaspora Studies-

MA in AADS Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English according to the nature of their thesis or research paper/proposal and professional interests.

Application for Graduation from MA in AADS

Students should apply for graduation for the MA in AADS as soon as they have completed all requirements for the degree – including the exit option. Ordinarily, the MA will be conferred before the student advances to candidacy for the PhD in History.

PhD in History

Students will begin studies toward the Ph.D. in History immediately following their satisfactory completion of MA in AADS degree requirements. Students are expected to meet all the degree requirements for the Ph.D. in History, which requires a total of 75 credits. The History PhD program will accept up to 36 credits earned toward fulfilling the requirements of the African and African Diaspora Studies MA program.

Courses required in addition to the degree requirements for the MA in Africa and Africa Diaspora Studies (minimum 39 credits)

  • 3 credits HIS 6906 Advanced Readings in Atlantic Civilization
  • 3 credits HIS 6918 Research in Atlantic Civilization
  • 6 credits outside of AADS and Atlantic Civilization (also excluding Methods), 3 credits of which must be in a comparative course (HIS or WOH prefix)
  • 12 credits electives
  • 15 credits HIS 7890 Dissertation

Language Requirements

All students must acquire reading competence in two languages other than English. The language requirement may be fulfilled in one of two ways: 1) achieving a High Pass on the department examination in one language, and at least a Pass on the second; or 2) achieving a Pass or High Pass in departmental examination in one language, and competency in social science quantitative skills, demonstrated by receiving a grade of “B” or “B+”, for Pass, and “A” or “A-“, for High pass, in an appropriate course approved for this purpose by the Director of Graduate Studies. At least one High Pass must be received. Language requirements vary, according to the concentration fields. In cases where the dissertation will be in the history of US or English-speaking countries, one language plus the quantitative skill is sufficient. In Latin American history, either Spanish or Portuguese, and a second language appropriate to the student’s field are required. Language exams will be graded on a High Pass, Pass, and Fail basis; a High pass is required in the student’s primary language. Students should check with the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies to determine which languages are appropriate for their program of studies.

Comprehensive Examinations and the Dissertation

Following completion of all course work, satisfaction of language requirements, and the constitution of a dissertation committee, students will be required to pass a written and an oral comprehensive examination. After the completion of their comprehensive examinations and the approval of a dissertation proposal by their dissertation committee, students will write a doctoral dissertation. The time needed for the research and writing of dissertations in History is variable, although doctoral candidates normally spend one year engaged in continuous field research and a second year in full-time writing.


  1. The grade of “B” or better is required for graduate credit.
  2. At the end of the second semester of residence, or upon completion of the first 18 credit-hours of work, the Graduate Committee will examine and evaluate the student’s progress and prospects. Professors will provide detailed written evaluations of the work of all first-year Ph.D. students they have taught. Students whose progress is deemed insufficient will be advised to withdraw from the program.
  3. No more than 6 semester-hours of Topics (5935) courses toward meeting the degree requirements, without permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. No more than 6 semester-hours of HIS 5908 (Independent Study) toward meeting the degree requirements, without permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.