Master in African and African Diaspora Studies with PhD in International Relations

The dual African and African Diaspora Studies M.A./International Relations Ph.D. program allows qualified graduate students to pursue both degrees at the same time.

Admission Requirements

To be accepted into this program, students must simultaneously submit applications for the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies and the Ph.D. in International Relations by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.

To be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 in undergraduate work.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in any prior graduate work.
  • International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 90 on the IBT TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version, or 232 on the computer-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required.

Applicants must follow the admission procedures for both programs (see the appropriate sections in the graduate catalog). Only applications to begin studies in the fall semester will be considered. This new designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application, and students must indicate their intention to apply for this dual program.

Each applicant must complete an online graduate application form and arrange to send transcripts of all prior college (undergraduate and graduate) work and official reports of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and TOEFL (if applicable) to FIU's Office of Graduate Admissions.

Each applicant should also submit a separate statement of purpose, along with copies of the above material. The letter of application should include a statement expressing the applicant's academic and professional objectives. Applicants must include writing samples and other relevant professional work that may support their applications. Applicants must request three letters of recommendation from university professors who are able to comment on the various aspects of the student's academic ability. The letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Program. AADS will photocopy the recommendation letters once they are all in and send them to the Graduate Program Director of the International Relations department.

The application file must be complete before the African and African Diaspora Studies/International Relations Graduate Program Committees will consider the applicant for admission. We encourage applicants to send their application material early.

Required Credits

Students must fulfill the requirements for both programs. The 36 credits for the M.A. in AADS earned by students will count toward the 75 credits required for the Ph.D. in INR.

Prescribed Required Courses and Other Requirements

In addition to the requirements for the two degrees, during their first two years of enrollment in this dual degree program, students will enroll in the following course which fulfills the African and African Diaspora Studies M.A. methods requirement:

  • INR 5615 Research Design

The following International Relations courses will also be taken by African and African Diaspora Studies M.A. students during the first two years of the program and will count toward the M.A.:

  • INR 5609 Contemporary Dynamics of International Relations
  • INR 6706 Political Economy of International Relations

Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English according to the nature of their thesis or research paper/proposal and professional interests. The AADS Graduate Program Director will ask a university faculty member fluent in the language of interest to the student, to evaluate the student's fluency by asking her/him to summarize or synthesize the content of a text of between 10 to 20 pages, published in that language, in no more than one page. That exercise will have to take place at the university during a limited period of time. The text will be given to the student at the beginning of the exercise. The chosen text will have some connection to the student's research interest. Once a student has demonstrated proficiency for the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies that proficiency will be recognized by the International Relations Ph.D. program. Therefore, proficiency in a foreign language will not be part of the candidacy exam. Credit hours earned in meeting language requirement will not count towards the 36 credit hours required for the MA degree.

Students should apply for graduation with the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies as soon as they have completed all requirements for the degree – including the exit requirements, as specified for the M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies. Ordinarily, students will complete these requirements and earn their M.A. before advancing to candidacy for the Ph.D. in International Relations. The research paper/proposal option is the only option available for students enrolled in this dual M.A./Ph.D. program.

Masters of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies Requirements

(36 credits Research Paper/Proposal Option)

  • Courses to be taken in addition to INR 5615, INR 5609, and INR 6706 (for 27 credits):
    • AFA 5002 African and African Diaspora Studies Theory 3
    • AFA 6911 Research Paper/Proposal Writing in African and African Diaspora Studies 3
    • AFA 6851 Advanced Seminar in African and African Diaspora Studies 3
    • AFA 6920 African and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Colloquium 3
  • 3x (1 credit) semesters of graduate colloquium
  • 15 credits of elective from the lists of elective courses (see MA in AADS):
    • 6 to 9 credits from the Humanities list
    • and
    • 6 to 9 credits from the Social Sciences list

Total credits for the MA: 36

Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations Degree Requirements

Students will begin study towards the Ph.D. in International Relations immediately following their satisfactory completion of MA in African Diaspora Studies requirements. A minimum of 39 credits beyond the MA in African Diaspora Studies will be necessary to satisfy the requirements of the PhD Program in International Relations.

Degree Requirements beyond the MA in African Diaspora Studies are the following:

9 Course credits:

  • GEO 6473 Space, Place and Identity
  • INR 6604 International Relations Theory I
  • INR 6608 Contemporary International Relations Theory

12 Major Field credits in either:

  • Global Institutions and issues,
  • Comparative Area Studies,
  • Foreign Policy and Security Studies, or
  • International Law

9 Minor Field credits in either:

  • A second field from the above major field list, or
  • A field offered within another PhD program at FIU (with approval of the Graduate Director), or
  • A petition field (with approval of the Graduate Director).

Elective Credits:

  • Elective credits necessary to bring total credits earned beyond the MA in African Diaspora Studies to a minimum 24.

Comprehensive Exams:

  • Once students have achieved 60 credits, they must sit for written examination on the core sequence of their fields

Students in the Ph.D. program who who have satisfied all other requirements for the M.A. apart from the exit requirement (i.e all coursework and the foreign language competency) are eligible to receive an M.A. degree. Passing the doctoral comprehensive examinations serves as equivalent to the M.A. comprehensive examination. Ph.D. students who have satisfied these requirements should consult with the Graduate Program Director about the necessary paperwork and procedures to receive the M.A. degree in the course of their Ph.D. studies.

Dissertation Credits:

  • 15 credits of dissertation research.