M.A. Program

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

The M.A. degree in African & African Diaspora Studies provides interdisciplinary, graduate level education and prepares students to develop and employ theoretical, analytical, and methodological approaches the research of critical issues pertaining to African America, the African and its diasporas. The objective of the M.A. program is to prepare scholars for professional positions in a range of fields and for further study at the Ph.D. level. The M.A. degree can be taken either on-site or online. Multidisciplinary in scope and diverse in approach, the M.A. program in AADS is ideal for candidates interested in a wide array of subjects pertaining to African America, continental Africa and the African diaspora. These include: Social and Public Policy, Cultural Studies, International Relations, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Literary Study, History, Globalization Studies, Education, Religious Studies, Trans-Atlantic Studies, Critical Race Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology. AADS offers both a terminal M.A. and three combined M.A./Ph.D. programs in partnership with International Relations, Atlantic History, and Global & Sociocultural Studies. These attract students from around the world interested in subjects that are geographically and disciplinarily diverse, including but by no means limited to: transnational policy analysis; African, African American and Caribbean history and culture; African environmental politics; transnational migrations; African and African diaspora nationalist struggles, and the Asian diasporas in Africa and the Caribbean. Our focus on African diaspora cultural studies facilitates research in Gender and Sexuality, Literatures, Popular Culture, and Religious syncretism. FIU’s strong connections with Latin America and the Caribbean make it an ideal place to study Afro-Latin cultures, with a focus in these two regions. The M.A. degree prepares graduates for further study at the Ph.D. level, as well as for professional positions in the public, private, non-profit and international arenas and for employment in education, public policy, public administration, journalism, international organization and other fields.

The MA in African & African Diaspora Studies is cohort- based and only admits students to begin their studies in the fall semester. It is a one-year degree to be completed over three terms: fall, spring, and summer C. The full curriculum comprises 30 credits. Students are expected to enroll in 10 credits of course work per semester, which includes enrollment in the AADS Graduate Colloquium (AFA 6920) each semester for 1 credit. For this 1 credit course, students will work under the supervision of an AADS faculty member to develop and complete the research paper, proposal or report that fulfills the exit requirement.

Admission Requirements

Each applicant to the African & African Diaspora Studies Graduate Program (AADS) must complete an online graduate application form and arrange to send transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate work and official reports of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and TOEFL (if applicable) to the FIU's Office of Graduate Admissions. Each applicant should also send a separate statement of purpose to the director of the AADS Graduate Programs, along with copies of the above material, a resume, and writing sample. The statement of purpose should express the applicant's academic and professional objectives as well as specific interest in African and African Diaspora Studies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include examples of academic or other relevant professional work that may support their application. Applicants must request three letters of recommendation from professors able to comment on their academic ability. The letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Director of the African & African Diaspora Studies Graduate Programs.

The application file must be complete before the African & African Diaspora Studies Graduate Committee will consider the applicant for admission. For the admissions deadline please click here. To be admitted into the AADS M.A. program a student must meet the University's graduate admission requirements (which can be found in Florida International University's Graduate Catalog), and the following minimum standards:

1. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
2. Applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher and submit official scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants must submit both grade transcripts and GRE scores for consideration. The student must also have a GPA of 3.5 on any previous graduate work.
3. Applicants should request that three letters of recommendation from individuals able to judge their academic potential be sent directly to the Director of the African & African Diaspora Studies Graduate Programs at the following address:

African & African Diaspora Studies
Attention: Graduate Program Director
11200 SW 8th Street, LC 304
Miami, FL 33199

4. Applicants are encouraged to submit examples of written work and other supporting materials.
5. International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English 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 80 on the iBT TOEFL or 6.5 overall on the IELTS is required.
6. Applicants should submit a Letter of Intent detailing why they are applying for this program, what their research interests are, what they hope to accomplish with a degree in AADS, and any other pertinent information.
7. Applications should submit an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or resume.

Once the file is complete, applicants should contact AADS to schedule a telephone interview with the AADS Graduate Program Director.

Financial Aid

Each academic year a limited number of graduate students are hired as graduate assistants. Graduate assistantships are allocated on a competitive basis and typically pay a substantial portion of tuition expenses and provide a stipend. To be considered for an assistantship the applicant must make such a request in writing to the Director of AADS Graduate Programs. The Director of the AADS Graduate Programs will make the awarding of teaching assistantships in consultation with the AADS Director. Students receiving an assistantship are required to perform approximately (but not more than) 20 hours of teaching and research related duties per week and are required to participate in a one-hour seminar related to teaching at the beginning of their first semester.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates must obtain a grade of “B” or higher in all courses and achieve a cumulative point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) and present a satisfactory research paper, proposal or report with scholarly citation styles admitted in the discipline. The selection of the citation style must be made with the research paper/proposal/report advisor. The FIU faculty eligible to serve on a research paper/proposal/report committee are the faculty members who have achieved graduate faculty standing as established by the University Graduate School. Other FIU faculty not identified in that list may be considered to serve on a committee (but not as chairperson of that committee) based on research, identified interest, and publications after approval from the AADS Graduate Program Director.

Research Paper/Proposal Option

To fulfill this requirement, a student must compose a research paper/proposal committee (three members) with a least two AADS graduate faculty members. The student will work closely with the chairperson of the committee, who must be chosen from the list of AADS graduate faculty (all either AADS Core or Affiliate Faculty). The submission of the final draft subsequently to the other members of the committee will logically follow the approval of the committee chairperson.

The FIU faculty eligible to serve on a thesis or research paper/proposal or internship reports committee are the faculty members who have achieved graduate faculty standing as established by the University Graduate School. Other FIU faculty not identified in that list may be considered to serve on a committee (but not as chairperson of that committee) based on research, identified interest, and publications after approval from the Director of AADS Graduate Programs.

The MA in African & African Diaspora Studies is cohort- based and only admits students to begin their studies in the fall semester. The MA in AADS curriculum unfolds over three terms: fall, spring, and summer C. The full curriculum comprises 30 credits. To graduate on time, students are expected to enroll in courses for 10 credits every term. During the AFA 6920 sessions (AADS Graduate Colloquium; three times 1 credit), enrolled students work closely with the AADS faculty of their choice to prepare their exit requirements (internship report, or research paper, or research proposal). Students will be assigned such as faculty mentor by the AADS Graduate Program Director (GPD) upon admission. Students may request to work with a specific AADS faculty member. Such selection must be requested by the third week of the fall semester. Before placing such request to the AADS GPD, a student must approach and get the approval of the chosen AADS faculty member. That AADS faculty member will serve as the chairperson of the student’s research paper/proposal or internship report committee.

Required Credits

Total: 30 credit hours
Term 1 (Fall)
AFA 5005 African and African Diaspora Studies Theory 3
AFA 5855 Research Methods and Scholarly Writing in Africana Studies 3
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
AFA 6920 African and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Colloquium 1

Term 2 (Spring)
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
AFA 6920African and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Colloquium 1

Term 3 (Summer C)
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
One Elective from the list of Humanities or Social Sciences 3
AFA 6920 African and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Colloquium 1

Language Requirement

Students will be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English according to the nature of their research paper/proposal and professional interests. Credit hours earned in meeting language requirement will not count toward the 30 credit hours required for the degree.

List of Electives I: The Humanities

Students must choose between 9 and 15 credits from the list below.

With approval of the Graduate Director, students may also select other courses not listed below after submitting the appropriate syllabus.

- AFA 5932 Special Topics in African and African Diaspora Studies
- AFA 5107 Teaching the African American Experience
- AFA 5341 Health Issues in the African World
- AFA 5600 National and Transnational Policy Analysis: The African Diaspora
- AFA 6851 Advanced Seminar in African and African Diaspora Studies
- AFH 5905 Readings in African History\ - AFH 5935 Topics in African History
- FRE 5508 La Francophonie
- HAI 5235 Haitian Creole Seminar
- LAH 5465 Peoples, Culture and Politics of Haiti
- LAS 6025 Seminar: The Humanities in Cuba
- LIN 6602 Language Contact
- LIT 5359 African Diaspora Women Writers
- LIT 5358 Black Literature and Literacy/Cultural Theory
- MUH 5025 History of Popular Music in the United States
- MUH 5067 Music of the Caribbean
- RLG 5122 African American Religion
- RLG 5372 The Globalizing of African Spirituality
- RLG 5384 Rasta, Vodou, Santeria
- RLG 5488 Theology and Liberation Movements
- SPN 5536 Afro-Cuban Culture
- SPN 5539 Special Topics in Afro-Hispanic Culture
- SPW 5776 Black Literature in Latin America
- SPW 6368 19th Century Spanish-Caribbean Narrative
- WOH 5236 The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the African Diaspora, 1441-1807
- WOH 5237 The African Diaspora Since the End Of the Slave Trade

List of Electives II: The Social Sciences

Students must choose between 6 and 15 credits from the list below.