Department of Africana Studies

Applying to Our Programs

Doctoral Program

The goal of the graduate program in Africana Studies at Brown is to rigorously prepare students to develop new and innovative scholarship that explores and analyzes the distinct contributions of Africana cultural, intellectual, political, and artistic productions as well as critically investigate and develop new methods and theories of critical interdisciplinary scholarship. The program is fully funded for five years, but funding for a sixth year--if needed--is usually found.

Application Components

  • Writing Sample: Required (20-25 page research paper)
  • Research Statement (700 words on your primary areas of interest and central research questions)
  • Personal Statement (250 words on your intellectual and personal journey, and how they have led you to Africana Studies at Brown)
  • GRE General Subject: Required 
  • GRE Subject: Not Required 
  • Application Deadline: December 15

Have Questions?

Internal Open Masters Program

Students enrolled in other departments who seek the tools to analyze issues of the historical and contemporary Diaspora to employ in their individual fields of research may apply to the Open M.A. program. Any course of study will benefit from fluency in foundational theories of race and society.

Students admitted to the Open M.A. in Africana Studies must complete eight courses, including two of the core classes in the Africana Studies graduate program. At least four of the remaining courses must be with core Africana faculty.


Students should meet with the Director of Graduate Studies, Matthew Guterl, and Director of Graduate Admissions, Ainsley LeSure, to discuss a path forward before routing their application through the Graduate School. 

  • A self-taken photo of Professor Guterl in a restaurant.

    Matthew Guterl

    Professor of Africana Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Africana Studies, Chair, Department of American Studies, Professor of American Studies

Internal Certificate Program

The Certificate in Africana Studies requires students to take four courses total: the three core courses (2001, 2002, and 2101), and one additional course taught by an Africana Studies faculty member. Also, students will be expected to demonstrate their learnings in their dissertation via a dedicated chapter, or otherwise significant theoretical or methodological inclusion of Africana Studies principles. If this is not possible, students will be expected to take an additional course taught by core faculty.


Students should use UFUNDS and include a statement detailing their interests and rationale for undertaking the requirements. The Department will discuss and reply promptly. Students are encouraged to take courses within the Department before applying.