Black Studies PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


Students entering the Black Studies doctoral program are eligible for a Master of Arts degree when they complete the program’s 18-course requirement and a Second Year Paper that has been approved by the Graduate Committee. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the required 18 courses to be eligible for the master's degree. Up to 6 courses can be transferred from other graduate institutions to count towards the 18-course degree requirement. To obtain a master's degree, students should submit the Application for Degree and a Master's Degree Completion form via TGS Forms in CAESAR by the published deadlines for degree awarding for a given quarter. Students must complete all the requirements for the master's degree within five years of the date of their initial registration in The Graduate School.


Total Units Required: 18

The track is one of the three areas of research training in the Department of Black Studies:

  1. History
  2. Expressive Arts, Literature, and Cultural Studies
  3. Politics, Society, and Culture
The program offers a graduate curriculum that provides a range of graduate students with a firm grounding in a variety of essential texts, materials, methodologies, and traditions. We believe that graduate students in departments addressing social inequality, race, gender, sexuality, political movements, culture, and migration, among other topics, will benefit from taking classes in our graduate program (and be able to satisfy some of their course requirements). At the same time, we have built in a degree of flexibility that enables our students to achieve a higher degree of proficiency within a specific sub-field. Consequently, we require all our students to take eighteen (18) courses total over two years (an average of three courses per quarter). The specific breakdown of the 18 required courses goes as follows:
  • 6 core courses
  • 4 track courses
  • 4 courses within one’s chosen discipline of specialization
  • 3 elective courses
  • 1 research methods course