Combined MA in African & African Diaspora Studies/Ph.D. in Political Science Pathway

Combined Degree Description

The Combined MA in African and African Diaspora Studies / PhD in Political Science pathway allows qualified graduate students to complete the MA in African and African Diaspora Studies (MA in AADS) en route to the PhD in Political Science. This pathway will train doctoral students within the discipline of Political Science while giving them area studies expertise in African and African Diaspora Studies.

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 can also find additional information on the department's website.

To be accepted into this pathway, applicants must submit an application for the Ph.D. in Political Science with a subplan of combined MA in African & African Diaspora Studies and PhD in Political Science by January 15 of the year in which they wish to begin their studies for funding consideration (February 15 for all others).

To be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 in undergraduate work.
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in any prior graduate work.
  3. Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores from with the last five years. *Please reach out to the PHD program regarding any updates with this requirement
  4. 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 90 on the IBT TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required.

Admission Procedure

To be accepted into this pathway, students must submit an application to the PhD in Political Science with a sub plan for a MA in African and African Diaspora Studies. This designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application, and students must indicate their intention to apply for this combined degree pathway. The application must be submitted by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies for funding consideration (February 15 for all others). Only applications to begin studies in the fall semester will be considered.

Each applicant must complete an online graduate application form and arrange to send transcripts of all prior college (undergraduate and graduate) work and official reports of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and TOEFL (if applicable) to FIU's Office of Graduate Admissions either online or via regular mail. Both departments will be able to access the documents, so applicants do not have to submit the documents twice. They will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee from both units.

Each applicant should also submit a separate statement of purpose, along with copies of the above material. The letter of application should include a statement expressing the applicant's academic and professional objectives. Applicants must include writing samples and other relevant professional work that may support their applications. Applicants must request three letters of recommendation from university professors who are able to comment on the various aspects of the student's academic ability.

In addition, an interview (in person or phone) with members of the MA in AADS Program and/or appropriate faculty in the Department of Political Science is highly recommended.

The application file must be complete before the African and African Diaspora Studies/Political Science Graduate Program Committees will consider the applicant for admission. We encourage applicants to send their application material sooner.

Required Credits

Students must fulfill the requirements for both programs. The 30 credits for the MA in AADS earned by students will count toward the required coursework for the doctoral program.

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

This 30-credit, one year, three semester program occurring over the Fall, Spring, and Summer includes 9 credits of core AADS courses, which includes 3 credits for the directed research paper exit option, 6 credits of core Political Science courses, and 12 credits of electives. Students are encouraged to select eligible Political Science courses to fulfill their MA elective requirements and must seek advanced approval from the Political Science Graduate Program Director in order to have these credits applied to the Ph.D. course requirements. There is also a Foreign Language Requirement.

MA in AADS Core Courses: (9 credits)

  • AFA 5005 African and African Diaspora Studies Theory 3
  • AFA 5855 Research Methods in African & African Diaspora Studies 3
  • AFA 6920 AADS graduate colloquium 3 (1 credit for 3 semesters)

Combined MA in AADS/PhD in Political Science Core Courses: (6 credits)

  • POS 5706 Research Methods 3
  • POS 5716 Foundations in Political Science 3

M.A. in AADS in electives (15 credits)
15 credits of elective courses with an AADS focus are required. Students are encouraged to select courses from within the Political Science Department. If students wish to take electives from outside the Political Science Department and within the Green School and/or the College of Arts & Sciences, they must seek prior approval from the Graduate Program Directors of both AADS and Political Science.

List of Approved Elective Courses

- AFA 5341 Health Issues in the African World

- AFA 5600 National and Transnational Policy Analysis: The African Diaspora

- AFA 5932 Special Topics in African & African Diaspora Studies

- AFA 6245 African Diaspora in Latin America

- AFA 6217 Sex, Race, and Power in European Colonial Times (crosslisted with SYD 6796)

- ANG 6473 Diasporas, Migration, and Globalization

- CPO 5278 Comparative Racial Politics

- CPO 5325 Politics of the Caribbean

- CPO 6350 Seminar in Brazilian Politics

- CPO 6206 Seminar in African Politics

- CPO 6376 Seminar in Central American Politics

- ECS 5406 Latin American Economics

- ECS 6436 The Economics of Caribbean Migration

- ECS 7435 Economics of the Caribbean

- HIS 5930 Special Topics: US and the Caribbean

- INR 5087 Ethnicity and the Politics of Development

- INR 5255 Seminar in African Development

- INR 6936 Seminar in Inter-American Politics

- ISS 6317 Social Science Research Quantitative Methods I

- LAH 5465 Peoples, Culture and Politics of Haiti

- LAW 6234 Race and Law

- REL 5488 Theology and Liberation Movements

- 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

MA in AADS Research Proposal or Paper Option
To graduate from the MA in AADS, students enrolled in this combined MA/PhD pathway must elect to complete either a research proposal or research paper for their exit option. Those who elect to write a research proposal must take AFA 6911 Research Paper/Proposal Writing in African and African Diaspora Studies.

Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English according to the nature of their research paper/proposal and professional interests. The Director of AADS Graduate Programs will ask a university faculty member fluent in the language of interest to the student, to evaluate the student’s fluency by asking her/him to summarize or synthesize the context of a text of between 10 to 20 pages, published in that language, in no more than one page. That exercise will have to take place at the university during a limited period of time. The text will be given to the student at the beginning of the exercise. The chosen text will have some connection to the student's research interest. Once a student has demonstrated proficiency for the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies, that proficiency will be recognized by the Political Science Ph.D. program. Therefore, proficiency in a foreign language will not be part of the candidacy exam. Credit hours earned in meeting the language requirement will not count toward the 30 credit hours required for the M.A. degree.

Students should apply for graduation with the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies as soon as they have completed all requirement for the degree — including the exit requirements, as specified for the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies. Ordinarily, students will complete these requirements and earn their M.A. before advancing to candidacy for the Ph.D. in Political Science. The research paper/proposal option is the only option available for students enrolled in this combined M.A./Ph.D. pathway.

Total credits for the M.A.: 30

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (75 credits)

The following courses are required for the PhD in Political Science. The M.A. earned credits that are eligible to be applied to the Ph.D. must be approved in advanced by the Political Science Graduate Program Director:

  • POS 5702 Teaching Political Science 1
  • POS 6918 Seminar in Political Science Methodology 3
  • CPO 5091 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3
  • INR 5007 Seminar in International Politics 3
  • POS 5045 Seminar in American Politics 3
  • POT 5007 Seminar in Political Theory 3 Two Examination Fields (minimum) 12
    Third Specialization (minimum) 9
    Approved Electives (minimum) 9

Language Requirement

The Political Science Ph.D. program requires competency in one foreign language or demonstrated competency in computer and methodological techniques when considered more appropriate. Language competency must be demonstrated prior to taking the comprehensive examinations.

Comprehensive Examinations

After satisfactory completion of coursework, students will take comprehensive exams in two chosen subfields before being admitted to candidacy and defending a dissertation proposal. The comprehensive exams require a demonstration of broad knowledge of the two examination fields. Comprehensive examinations are given twice yearly, in mid-September and in mid-January.

Dissertation (minimum 24 credits)

After passing the comprehensive exams, students are admitted to candidacy and enrolled for dissertation credits under the supervision of their dissertation advisors. Candidates will prepare and defend a dissertation proposal. Upon completion of the work, a public defense of the dissertation will be scheduled in accordance with university policy.

Cost of Attendance and Funding Opportunities

Click here to access information regarding the cost of tuition for graduate students at Florida International University.

Click here to access information on graduate funding.