Ph.D. Requirements

The PhD degree in Anthropology requires a minimum of 48 units of course work, including at least 36 units in the major field and at least 9 units in the minor. The Anthropology minor requires 12 units, and some Anthropology concentrations require 15 units.

In addition, at least 18 units of ANTH 920 (dissertation units) are required (24 units for dual Ph.D. degree students). With the prior approval of the student's dissertation committee and the Director of the School, dissertation work may be done in absentia.

Course Requirements for Major Foci

All Ph.D. students must identify a major and a minor focus. The University recognizes only one major and one minor in Anthropology. Graduate students within the School follow a major focus in one of the four traditional subfields of Anthropology.

There are five options for selecting a minor:

  1. another subfield of Anthropology
  2. a synthetic concentration as defined below
  3. another unit of the university
  4. a multidisciplinary minor (2 courses from each of two units outside of Anthropology)
  5. a synthetic minor as defined below

All anthropology majors are required to fulfill the following three course requirements:

  • Anthropology 608A – History of Anthropological Theory
  • One anthropology course outside of the student’s major and minor field
  • One quantitative methods course

Read the Graduate Handbook for course requirements for each of the four subfields in Anthropology. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2022, reference the 2017 Graduate Handbook.

Statistics Requirement

All doctoral students must complete, with a grade of at least B, a comprehensive advanced course with substantial content in modern statistical methods and techniques. This course must be 500-level or above, or the equivalent from another institution.

Foreign Language Proficiency

The foreign language proficiency requirement holds that the student must master at least one “standard scholarly language," and students in the Archaeology of the Mediterranean World concentration also need to fulfill the ancient Mediterranean language requirement. The Foreign Language Proficiency requirement should be fulfilled as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the second year after the Comprehensive Examinations.

Grade (GPA) Requirements

Per Graduate College rules all students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0-high scale) at all times. If your GPA falls below 3.00, you must raise your GPA to 3.00 or higher by the end of the following semester.

The guidelines of the School of Anthropology are more stringent. When you complete all of your required course credits for the PhD degree, your GPA should be at least 3.5. GPAs below 3.5 may disqualify you from receiving certain types of funding from the School.

Time Limit on Completion of the PhD Degree

All requirements for the Ph.D. in Anthropology must be completed within five years of passing the Comprehensive Exam. Should a student not finish within that time period, they may be invited to re-take the Comprehensive Exam with approval of the full faculty, and then proceed to complete other degree requirements, e.g., the dissertation. If additional time is needed, the student must submit a Graduate Petition and request additional time from the Graduate College. Full instructions are in the Graduate Handbook for course requirements for each of the four subfields in Anthropology. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2022, reference the 2017 Graduate Handbook.