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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Anthropology, PhD

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Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requirements for the PhD also apply.

Credit Requirements:

A minimum of 72 course credits is required for the PhD (doctoral) degree. Of these, at least 42 credits must be in formal courses (as opposed to readings courses and independent study). The remaining 30 credits may be any combination of formal courses, readings courses and independent study.

Core Courses/Preliminary Examinations:

The core course system of the Department of Anthropology fills the role of the preliminary examination in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requirements for the PhD. PhD students are required to pass (with a grade of B or better) at least three of the four core courses (cultural anthropology [ANTH 2788 ], biological anthropology [ANTH 2688 ], archeology [ANTH 2587 ], and linguistics [ANTH 2491 ]), including the core course in the student’s chosen subfield of specialization. Students may also fulfill the linguistics requirement with LING 2267 Sociolinguistics. Full-time students are expected to pass the required core courses by the end of their second term in residence. A student may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to waive the core course on the basis of an equivalent course taken in an MA or PhD program at another institution.

Language Requirement:

Before students are advanced to candidacy, they must demonstrate competence in a language other than English that possesses a substantial body of anthropological literature.

Method/Theory Requirements:

All students must pass the Method/Theory requirement with a grade of B or better by the end of the second year. Students may petition for approval of other courses to satisfy these requirements.

Students in archeology must pass ANTH 2534  and ANTH 2524  (Archeological Data Analysis 1 and 2).

Students in biological anthropology must pass BIOST 2041  and BIOST 2042  (Introduction to Statistical Methods I and II), or, with the approval of their advisor, Anthropology ANTH 2534  and Anthropology ANTH 2524  (Archeological Data Analysis I and II).

Students in cultural anthropology must pass ANTH 2763  (Field Methods) and ANTH 2750  (Seminar on Contemporary Theory) or a comparable seminar approved for this purpose by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Comprehensive Examinations:

Students must pass two comprehensive examinations designed to test breadth and depth of knowledge in the chosen areas of expertise. The acceptable forms of the exam are described in greater detail on the department’s web site. Each examination is designed and administered by a faculty committee consisting of at least two members of the department and a third member. Students generally take both comprehensive examinations by the end of their third year in the program.

Dissertation Overview:

Before actively pursuing dissertation research, the student makes an oral presentation of the intended project to a dissertation committee chosen by the student subject to approval by the department chair and dean. The committee consists of three members of the department and a fourth external member. Following committee approval, the student applies for admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Students conducting research with human subjects must also have their projects approved by the IRB before advancing to candidacy.

Dissertation Defense and Graduation:

The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral committee. The defense is accompanied by a public presentation, which is open to the University community.

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