African American and African Studies Doctor of Philosophy

About us

The Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University offers graduate courses leading to the Master of Arts, and a PhD degrees in African American and African Studies.

Originally established as an academic division in October 1969 as Black Studies, it is a proud product of the 1960's Black freedom movement.The department achieved formal department status in 1972. Today, it enjoys the reputation of being one of the strongest African American and African Studies programs in the nation.

The department's primary mission is:

  • To stimulate teaching and research about the Black experience in the United States, Africa and throughout the African Diaspora.
  • To encourage students and others to assess various strategies for advancing human progress through the examination of the global struggle for Black freedom.

Our courses are taught by more than 18 full-time faculty members who each hold the doctoral degree in their respective disciplines.The comprehensive multidisciplinary curriculum includes courses in:

  • Literature
  • Music
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Political science
  • Community development
  • The most extensive offering of African languages found at any university in the U.S.
    • Swahili
    • Zulu
    • Twi
    • Somali
    • Yoruba)

Study Abroad programs to South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana offer our students an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the black experience from a range of perspectives, which include opportunities to participate.

The African American and African Studies Department also has a Community Extension Center which serves as both our outreach arm into the large Black community in the city of Columbus as well as a significant resource for faculty and student research and community engagement.

For more than 20 years, the Department has also been the home of Research in African Literatures, one of the most prestigious journals in African Studies. In 2012 we introduced a second journal, Spectrum: a Journal on Black Men.

As a part of the Diversity and Identity Studies project at The Ohio State University, our courses and faculty research reflect our longstanding interest in diversity and identity studies. For complete information, visit the Department of African American and African Studies website.