How to become a Visiting Scholar in African American Studies

The Department of African at the University of California, Berkeley is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year to engage in significant independent research projects.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. 1.Graduate students are eligible to apply as "Visiting Student Researchers" when they meet the following specifications:
  2. 2.US-based and international scholars are eligible to apply as "Visiting Researcher Scholars" when they meet the following specifications:

The Application Process

1. Prospective visiting scholars and visiting student researchers should provide the department with the following:

  1. a.Current CV
  2. b.Brief description of intended research (length should be 200 words or less)
  3. c.Name(s) of an African American Faculty member they would like to request as their faculty sponsor. (Keep in mind that each faculty member hosts a maximum of two scholars per year)
  4. d.Beginning and end dates for their visit

Send the above materials to the Research Program Administrator:

The Chair of the Department will review the application and determine whether a faculty sponsor is available. If the request is approved, the applicant will receive the Chair's letter of invitation, along with an e-mail from the Research Program Administrator explaining the pre-arrival process.


There are several fees involved in the process of obtaining Visiting Scholar status at UC Berkeley.

  1. 1)A $600 departmental fee for domestic visiting scholars
  2. 2)A $1010 fee for international visiting scholars (that would include the $410 J-1 Visa fee, plus the $600 departmental fee)

NOTE: A department administrative fee reduction may be requested if a scholar is arriving without institutional support or where there is financial hardship. The request should be included with your application. Please note that the J-1 visa fee is mandatory and cannot be waived.

Information Regarding Visas

J-1 Visas

Foreign visiting scholars will need to obtain a J-1 Visa to pursue their research in the African American Studies Department. J-1 Visas are obtained by the issuance of a DS-2019 (which is the certificate of eligibility"). There are several steps to securing a J-1 Visa and each step takes time. Plan for the visa application process to take 3-4 months, depending upon your home country.

Additional Information


Visiting scholars have access to the University's libraries extensive materials and are given normal borrowing privileges. Visiting scholars do not have access to secretarial services, office space, and generally do not have the use of telephones. Visiting scholars are often able to consult with faculty members interested in their field of study, and attend presentations and colloquia.

Visiting scholars in the Department of African American Studies will be given access to the following:

  • Use of copier, fax and scanner in the department main office
  • Access to the intellectual life of the department
  • Regular contact with other scholars and faculty
  • Wireless connection to the internet
  • Attend departmental events
  • Use of our library

Health Insurance

Visiting scholars must have adequate health insurance during the entirety of their appointment at UC Berkeley. For details, see the following webpage:

There is a Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Plan that you may purchase. If you are arriving with other insurance, it must meet the stated minimum standards.


All questions about the African American Studies Visiting Scholar Program should be sent to:

Gillian Edgelow

Research Program Administrator