The AAADS PhD is an interdisciplinary doctoral program focusing on the experiences of people of African descent in the United States, in the African diaspora, and in the world. These shared experiences — among them, slavery, emancipation, imperialism, decolonization, and racism — warrant close attention and mark this field as a discrete unit of study that bears directly and powerfully on history, literature, and politics.
The degree offers graduate students two different specializations to focus their course work: "Power, Citizenship, and the State" and "Race, Representation, and Knowledge Systems." Within each of these tracks, the degree emphasizes the importance of transnational, global, and comparative perspectives, with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary analysis of race in the world. Classes and cohorts are kept small to help ensure the quality of the students' academic experience. Students from the state, the nation, and the world are welcome to apply for admission into the program.