Thank you for inquiring about the graduate program in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. This page contain information describing our academic programs and faculty research interests. Admissions requirements are also outlined. Admissions will be extremely competitive; it would be a good idea to contact us if you have any questions that these materials do not answer.
Contact your own Anthropology Advisor
or Phone: (520) 621-2585
General Information About the Graduate Program
The School offers opportunities for concentrated graduate study in all subdisciplines of anthropology: archaeology, biological, linguistic, and sociocultural anthropology. The School of Anthropology supports graduate study in many subspecialties of these subdisciplines. Study for an advanced degree consists of a combination of coursework, independent study, and research. The graduate student is expected to display considerable initiative in planning a satisfactory program of study in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and appropriate members of the faculty.
How to Approach the Application Process
Prospective students are encouraged to review the Anthropology faculty on this website (as well as the BARA and the Arizona State Museum websites, depending on your interests), and to contact faculty members directly to see if you share interests and if you might work well together. This will familiarize you with the strengths of our graduate program and it lets the faculty know of your interests in the program.
Master's Degree Program
The School of Anthropology offers one stand-alone Master's degree. This is a Master's in Applied Archaeology. To find out more about this program please read our handout about the program (.pdf file).
All other applicants should apply directly to our PhD program. If you don't have a Master's degree, you will earn one on your way to your PhD. The School of Anthropology offers a general program and special track programs (related to the subdisciplines and concentration areas) leading to the Master's degree. A minimum of 33 units of graduate work is required for a Master's degree.
Requirements for the special track programs are the same as those for the general program plus 3 to 9 additional units, including appropriate internships and practica. A thesis or paper, reporting substantive and original research, is required for the MA. The MA paper or thesis is written with the guidance of a committee of three members of the faculty. The final examination for the Master's degree is an oral examination, administered by the faculty committee. The oral examination is individually scheduled in the candidate's last semester of study for the degree. It is based on the required and elected coursework and the MA project or thesis.
For the MA degree, no more than 6 units of graduate work may be transferred for credit from another institution. The Graduate College requires that the cumulative grade point average for all work taken for graduate credit be at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). There is no foreign language or statistics requirement for the Master's degree in Anthropology.
The Doctoral Degree
The candidate for the doctorate must show a broad factual and theoretical background in the fields of anthropology, an authoritative knowledge of a special field of research, a thorough grasp of research methods, and good critical judgment. Each student in the doctoral program will be advised by a major advisor and other faculty members representing the student's major and minor foci of study. The minimum unit requirement is 36 units in the major and 12 to 15 units in the minor. Unit requirements for minors outside of Anthropology are set by the minor field department. An additional 18 units will be devoted to preparing the dissertation. A minimum of 30 units must be taken in residence.
Concentrations for Ph.D. minor in Anthropology are available in Applied Anthropology; Ecological Anthropology; Medical Anthropology; Anthropology, History and Social Memory and Southwest Land, Culture and Society; and any of the four traditional subfields of Anthropology.
In addition to the unit requirements, there are foreign language, statistics, and examination requirements for the doctorate. The examinations for the program are: a comprehensive exam, which consists of both written and oral sections, and a final exam which is an oral defense of the dissertation. The dissertation is based on original scholarly research and usually requires extensive fieldwork. Up to 30 graduate semester credits maybe transferred from an MA degree program completed at the UA or another institution (note, however, the residency requirement.) Dissertation hours cannot be transferred. The maximum completion time for the doctorate is 5 years after comprehensive exams are taken.