A minimum of 72 course credits in anthropology is required for the PhD (doctoral) degree. Of these, at least 57 credits must be in formal courses (as opposed to readings courses, independent study, or thesis or dissertation credits). The remaining 15 credits may be any combination of formal courses, readings courses, independent study, and/or thesis and dissertation credits.
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 2789 ], physical anthropology [ANTH 2687 ], archeology [ANTH 2588 ], and linguistics [ANTH 2490 ]), including the core course in the student’s chosen subfield of specialization. Full-time students are expected to pass the required core courses by the end of their second term in residence. A student with an MA from another institution, or with a strong undergraduate background in one or more sub-disciplines, may petition the Committee on Graduate Studies to waive the core course in that/those sub-discipline(s).
Before students are advanced to candidacy, they must demonstrate competence in a language other than English that possesses a substantial body of anthropological literature.
Students in archeology must pass with a grade of B or better ANTH 2534 and ANTH 2524 (Archeological Data Analysis 1 and 2). Students in physical anthropology must pass with a grade of B or better: 1) Biostatistics BIOST 2041 and BIOST 2042 (Introduction to Statistical Methods I and II), or, for bioarcheology concentrators with the approval of their advisor, Anthropology ANTH 2534 and Anthropology ANTH 2524 (Archeological Data Analysis I and II); and 2) by the end of the second year, Anthropology ANTH 2614 (History of Paleoanthropology).
Students in cultural anthropology must pass with a grade of B or better ANTH 2763 (Field Methods) and ANTH 2750 (Seminar on Contemporary Theory) or a comparable seminar approved for this purpose by the Committee on Graduate Studies. Students may petition for approval of other courses to satisfy these requirements.
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 three members of the department. Students generally take their comprehensive examinations at the end of their third year in the program.
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. Following committee approval, the student applies for admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Dissertation Defense and Graduation:
The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral committee and is open to the University community.