Requirements for the Combined Ph.D. in African-American Studies-Film and Media Studies

Program of Courses

A.  Requirements for Film and Media Studies: Seven term courses

  1. FILM 601 Films and their Study (offered every other Fall term)
  2. Five additional Film and Media Studies seminars

B.  Requirements for African American Studies: Six term courses

  1. AFAM 505 Theorizing Racial Formations (offered each Fall term)
  2. Three AfAm Electives: one each in  i) History; ii) Social Science; iii) Literature or Culture
  3. AFAM 895 Dissertation Prospectus Workshop (third year, both terms)

C.  Three additional courses selected with approval of the two DGSs


Before the candidate advances to candidacy, proficiency in a research language must be demonstrated via examination or coursework.  French and Spanish are most common.

Oral Examination

A.  Early in the fourth semester the candidate will present a spectrum of four orals topics for both DGSs to consider and approve.  Two topics must deal with issues in African-American Studies, two with issues in Film and Media Studies.

B.  The oral examination is normally taken in the fifth semester. Each of the four topics is treated for a maximum 30-minutes.  If a topic is addressed in a manner deemed unsatisfactory, the committee will determine if the deficiency is to be redressed by repeating the examination or through remedial work.


A.  Prospectus: By the end of the third year, the candidate will present a 20 minute prospectus idea to the Prospectus Workshop in African American studies. After feedback, a written prospectus will be submitted to a committee and discussed in a colloquium of one to two hours.  That committee consists of one DGS and three faculty, at least one from each unit.  The finalized prospectus must be accepted by this committee and ratified by the faculty of Film and Media Studies.

B.  Defense of Method: In the semester preceding its final submission, the candidate will present 80% of the dissertation for a 60-90 minute oral discussion of its aims and methodology.  One DGS and the three faculty members chosen as official readers, including one from each unit, provide corrections and advice to assist the candidate in bringing the dissertation to its best state for submission.