Graduate Program

Currently, the Department of African American Studies offers a graduate certificate, mentoring of graduate students pursuing doctoral studies, and a challenging, collaborative intellectual environment. Students may come from any department in the Humanities and Social Sciences in which interdisciplinary training in African American Studies is desired. Students interested in obtaining the graduate certificate in African American Studies should declare their intention to do so when they accept their offers to come to Princeton at the end of their first year, or at the beginning of the semester in which they intend to take their general examination. Students who pursue the graduate certificate are invited to engage in our program in the following ways:

  1. The dissertation: Normally the dissertation should center on a topic of significance in African American Studies. Both the home department and the curriculum committee in African American Studies must approve the dissertation proposal and the approval process will follow the timetable of the home department. The principal advisor for the dissertation is a faculty member from the home department, with at least one reader from the Department of African American Studies who will act as a principal reader on the exam.
  2. Funding and teaching: Students are normally supported by regular graduate fellowships from their home department. Once students are accepted into the graduate certificate program, they will be eligible to apply to the Department of African American Studies for up to $1000 in research funds. In addition, graduate students with sufficient background and training may have the opportunity to precept in courses in African American Studies during their regular period of enrollment, and teaching may also provide additional financial support in year six and seven for DCE students. (Students holding outside, non-Princeton fellowships should consult with the Graduate School about the impact of accepting additional funds for teaching from African American Studies.)
  3. Faculty Graduate Seminar: Graduate students must participate in at least one year of the Faculty Graduate Seminar. The seminar combines presentations by Princeton faculty and visitors and hosts both established and emerging scholars from institutions throughout the country. The seminar is decidedly interdisciplinary and engages scholarship from multiple fields, perspectives and methodological approaches. Each meeting lasts one hour and twenty minutes. Typically, a paper will be circulated one week prior to meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, the author of the paper will present her work for about 20 minutes. Another participant in the workshop, preferably a graduate student, then has an opportunity to respond to the paper, raising questions and directing the conversation for 10 minutes. For the remaining time, we hold an open discussion about the paper and the presentation.

Please fill out and return the Graduate Certification Registration form if you are a graduate interested in entering our program.

At the time of the receipt of a Ph.D. diploma in his or her discipline, the chair of the Department of African American Studies will award the student a letter of certification.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact our Director of Graduate Studies Professor Joshua Guild at (609) 258-0553 or via email at