Ph.D. in Africana Studies

The Department of Africana Studies will accept its first Ph.D. cohort in 2023.

Application Deadline: March 20. 

The University of Pittsburgh’s graduate program in Africana Studies is led by faculty trained in Africana Studies as well as other disciplines from the humanities and social sciences. The Ph.D. program in Africana Studies distinguishes itself with its emphasis on Race & Equity, Migration & Community Transformation, and Culture & Creative Production. Graduate students receive rigorous training in the discipline of Africana Studies. The program also encourages students to broaden their intellectual experience and maximize their professional opportunities by capitalizing on the numerous graduate certificates and courses outside the department which align with their areas of concentration.  

The Concentration on Race & Equity 

Drawing from various methodological and theoretical approaches, this research theme articulates an understanding of race as a social construct with material, intellectual, cultural, political, and bioethical implications. It aims to create and develop the tools to achieve social justice and equity t roughout Africa and its diaspora. The University of Pittsburgh is one of the world’s best institutions for the health sciences and graduate students may enhance their expertise in this field by earning certificates in Public Health Programs with an emphasis on equity.  Students can also earn a certificate in Digital Studies and Methods.

The Concentration on Migration & Community Transformation  

Building from the extensive scholarship in Africana and African Diaspora Studies, this research theme analyzes the causes and implications of the movements of people of African origin throughout time and space. Through an interdisciplinary methodological approach, it sheds light on how such movements led to transformative outcomes in both the sending and receiving spaces. Graduate Students may find support for their research with the University Center for International Studies & The World History Center. 

The Concentration on Culture & Creative Production 

This research theme seeks to illuminate the intersections between socio-economic, political, intellectual, and psychological transformation and Black cultural productions in music, literature, performing and visual arts, as well as film & media. To further develop their expertise, Graduate students may use resources from various programs, including:  

The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics 

The PhD Concentration in Jazz Studies 

The graduate program in Film & Media Studies 

The August Wilson archive& the Rob Penny papers https://augustwilson.library.pitt.edu 

Funding opportunities 

The Ph.D. program in Africana Studies is fully funded for five years. The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the University of Pittsburgh support the most outstanding incoming and continuing students through various internal fellowships. Fellowships carry a stipend plus a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. No duties are attached to these fellowships. 

Graduate students may also receive funding from research and teaching appointment 

Career opportunities 

The Ph.D. program in Africana Studies prepares graduate students for university-level research and teaching. Through rigorous pedagogical training and workshops offered by faculty members and the University Center for Teaching and Learning, students are prepared to teach at the university level, publish articles in top academic journals, and develop the foundation for an award-winning manuscript. The Ph.D. program in Africana Studies also prepares graduate students for professions in international relations & development, public policy & government, the arts, health equity & global health, non-profit organizations and other careers.