Graduate Program

The Graduate Group in Africana Studies offers both the Ph.D. and a Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies.

Our innovative Ph.D. program trains students in an interdisciplinary, three-fields approach to African, African American and African Diaspora Studies. Students critically examine the cultural, political, economic, and historical factors that have created and shaped the African, African American and African Diasporic experiences. The Program's in-depth training in the field of Africana Studies prepares students for the challenges of the globally interconnected world of the 21st century. The Program positions students for careers in the academy and professions, enabling them to make ground-breaking contributions to national and global discourse and problem solving.

*We regret to announce that the Graduate Group in Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania will not accept applications for the PhD program during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Arts of Sciences made the difficult decision to focus resources on supporting current students and ensuring that we are in a position to fully support future cohorts of Penn graduate students.  Therefore, we will pause bringing new students into the program for one year, with the expectation of welcoming a new cohort of graduate students in the fall of 2022. 

The Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary, comparative, cross-national approach to the social sciences and humanities. This approach enables participants to address their research interests from a wide variety of perspectives than is typically allowed in traditional academic disciplines. The Certificate Program expands the professional options of its graduates by providing interdisciplinary training and exposure to the totality of the African Diasporic experience.