Ph.D. Minor Requirements

All Ph.D. students in the School of Anthropology are required to have a major and a minor component in their academic program, following the rules of the UArizona Graduate College.

Minors recognized by the Graduate College

  1. Minor in one of the four anthropology subfields other than the chosen major. Anthropology subfield minors usually require 12 credit units.
  2. Minor in another UArizona department or instructional unit (e.g. Geosciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Computer Science, Latin American Studies, Art History).
  3. Multidisciplinary minors that combine two distinct disciplines. The multidisciplinary minor is a special case in which 6 units are done in each of two different departments for a total of 12 units. One of these may be in the student’s own department, but more commonly all of the 12 units of coursework are taken outside the major department. Only one faculty member from one of these two units then serves on the comprehensive examination committee.
  4. Minor in a Graduate Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program (GIDPs; e.g., American Indian Studies, Arid Lands). Interested students should consult the list of GIDPs at the University of Arizona, and then go to the individual program to learn their requirements.
  5. A synthetic minor in anthropology, which is explicitly interdisciplinary and guided by the student’s Ph.D. advisor and committee. Synthetic minors allow students to build a unique regimen for training that focuses on a particular set of issues. As such, these minors may span multiple anthropology subfields or other disciplines.

More Information on Synthetic Minors

Synthetic minors can help students build a broader sense of intellectual community within and outside of anthropology. Synthetic minor course requirements vary (see below) and may range from having very specific course requirements (e.g. Medical Anthropology) to those with only one common course requirement around which other courses from within or outside Anthropology are added in consultation with the student’s Ph.D. committee (e.g. Ecological Anthropology).

Each synthetic minor is open to students majoring in any subfield. General descriptions of synthetic minors available to Ph.D. students are described in the remainder of this section.

Applied Anthropology

The profession of anthropology extends far beyond the walls of academic employment. The School of Anthropology offers training in applied anthropology through coursework and guided research opportunities in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) and the Arizona State Museum (ASM).

Students participating in this minor are given broad training in both academic and applied settings. At present, applied training focuses on sociocultural anthropology and archaeology. While most research experience is gained through BARA, interest in applied training is growing in other anthropological subfields and all students are welcome to participate. A

total of 12 units is required for this minor. Courses in applied anthropology are taught by faculty members with research interests in problem-solving and policy-making. A student’s choice of minor courses is made in consultation with their advisor.

Ecological and Environmental Anthropology

The relationships between human societies and their environments are among the oldest concerns in anthropology. As the human footprint on the Earth expands, the topic of human-environment interactions becomes an ever more urgent problem. Anthropology at the University of Arizona has historically been a leader in ecological and environmental anthropology, and many members of the current faculty have research interests in this area.

Students participating in this minor are required to complete the core seminar, ANTH 611 Ecological Anthropology. This seminar integrates subfields within anthropology and forges strong links between anthropology and other disciplines concerned with human impacts on the environment, sustainability, conservation, evolutionary ecology, among other issues.

This minor also accommodates students interested in a wide variety of evolutionary themes. In consultation with their advisor, each student designs an individualized suite of relevant courses that may straddle multiple UArizona departments. With a requirement of 12 credit units in total, the student in consultation with their Ph.D. committee must make every effort to create a diverse curriculum, meanwhile avoiding excessive topical replication between their chosen major and minor.

Medical Anthropology

Medical anthropology examines how cultural, historical, economic, and political forces shape ideas about health, wellness, illness, and disease. It studies how these forces influence health disparities, healthcare seeking, health related practices and perceptions of risk, the structure of medical systems, and much more.

Medical anthropology employs methods and materials from all anthropological subfields and numerous other scholarly disciplines. The Medical Anthropology minor at the University of Arizona is a nationally-recognized hub for critical studies of medicine in the U.S. and abroad, including established research on political ecology and global health.

Our current faculty have expertise in reproductive technologies, clinical and laboratory ethnography, surgical practice, evolutionary and embodied approaches to health disparities, transgender studies, medical expertise, nutrition, environmental health, and science and technology studies.

The concentration requires 12 credit hours of training within medical anthropology, composed of:

  • ANTH 536 and ANTH 571 (3 credits each, 6 total);
  • one approved graduate seminar in medical anthropology (3 credits) relevant to the student’s research interests
  • an independent study (3 credits) in which the student produces a research report based on primary or secondary research, a grant proposal deemed competitive for funding, or a publishable paper on which they are a sole author or co-author.

The University of Arizona also offers MD and MPH degrees from the College of Medicine and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, respectively. Students not enrolled in the School of Anthropology may complete a 12-unit course of study to earn a graduate certificate in medical anthropology. Candidates interested in obtaining these dual degrees must apply separately to each program.

Southwest Land, Culture and Society

The Southwest Land, Culture, and Society (SWLCS) Program offers a Ph.D. minor for students in anthropology and related disciplines. Students minoring in this program are expected to adopt a broad interdisciplinary approach that conceptually integrates land and societies.

The SWLCS minor provides a formalized node that interconnects faculty and students within the university while strengthening their relationships to external communities. Bridging 13,000 years of history in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the program also provides a visible point of contact for constituencies outside the university seeking expertise and outreach in anthropologically-oriented regional issues.

SWLCS faculty involve students in on-going regional research and sponsor direct involvement through internships. The SWLCS minor brings together faculty from the School of Anthropology, Arizona State Museum, Arid Lands, Geography and Regional Development, the Laboratory of Tree-ring Research, Latin American Studies, and the Southwest Center.

The SWLCS concentration requires 12 units of coursework. 

  • All students must enroll in the SWLCS core course, ANTH/ARL/LAS/GEO 518, Southwest Land and Society.
  • At least six units must be in anthropology and at least six other units should come from outside the student’s major field, not including the 518 core class.

A proposed program of study should be discussed with the student’s minor advisor. Courses used in the minor may be drawn from relevant classes in departments and programs across campus. Anthropology courses that may be included in the student’s program of study are:

  • ANTH 518 – Southwest Land, Culture, and Society (required)
  • ANTH 547 – Pueblo Archaeology
  • ANTH 552R – Topical class in Archaeology of the Southwest
  • ANTH 542A&B or 555A&B – Advanced field course in Archaeology
  • ANTH 542A&B is a spring semester course with fieldwork near Tucson
  • ANTH 555A&B is a summer field school based outside Tucson
  • ANTH 696A – Seminar in Archaeology