Graduate Certificate

We offer a Graduate Certificate in African & African American Studies for students enrolled in doctoral and master's programs at Duke. The curriculum includes course work, teaching and research. The award of a graduate certificate is carried on the student's official transcript upon completion of the program. Students enrolled in the graduate program are eligible to apply for AAAS teaching assistantships and research funds.

Recommendations & Requirements

Graduate students enrolled in the program are encouraged to participate in all African & African American Studies program events, including the program's lecture series and symposia. African & African American Studies at Duke has a specific interdisciplinary focus on Diaspora Studies and Gender Studies. This emphasis characterizes both our faculty's strength and the curriculum's critical interdisciplinary strategy. AAAS at Duke University is committed to a new model of Black Studies, one which sees race as inevitably intertwined with other social hierarchies and one which forces attention to continuities and disjunctures of social experience across the Diaspora.

Certificate Requirements

  • Complete the Program Application and Ph.D. Graduate Certificate Application
  • Required Courses*:
    • AAAS 699S—Pro seminar
    • 3 additional graduate-level courses (500-level or above), 2 of which must be taught by AAAS faculty. The third course should be cross-listed with AAAS and approved by the DGS.
  • Select either Option A, B or C:
    • Option A:  A teaching assistantship or instructorship in an AAAS-related undergraduate course. Assistantships must be supervised by an AAAS core or secondary faculty member. Instructorships must be sponsored by an AAAS primary or secondary faculty member.
    • Option B:  A fifth graduate course approved by the DGS.
    • Option C:  Submission of course proposal with syllabus for an AAAS graduate course.  All three options must be approved by the DGS.
  • Your Dissertation:
    • A dissertation in an AAAS area with core or secondary faculty represented on the dissertation committee.

* A maximum of 2 courses may originate in other departments.  They must be approved by the DGS as meeting the requirements for the Masters or Ph.D. certificate.


  • Complete the Program Application and Master's Graduate Certificate Application
  • Required Courses*:
    • AAAS 699S—Proseminar
    • 2 additional graduate-level courses (500-level or above), taught by AAAS faculty
  • Independent Study:
    • An AAAS independent study developed in association with an AAAS faculty member
  • Your Thesis/Project:
    • A final thesis/project (GLS thesis/project must address an aspect of the program's scholarly mission and be approved by the DGS.  An AAAS core or secondary faculty member must serve as either the final reader of the thesis/project or as an examiner in its final review).