Department of Anthropology

Ph.D. Requirements

An M.A. (or equivalent degree) in Anthropology, Cultural Studies, or Folklore is required for admission to the Ph.D. program. Formal application is required of all students.

Continuing Students

Students who completed their M.A. degree in the department and wish to pursue a Ph.D. should apply for entry to the Ph.D. program in the semester following their receipt of the M.A. (Students who take a leave of absence after the M.A. should apply for entry to the Ph.D. program immediately upon returning to the University.) The student will submit a "Request for Ph.D. Program Admission" form to the Graduate Studies Steering Committee (GSSC) for approval.

  • A letter of application must be attached to the form. The letter should specify the supervisor and the two additional members of the examination committee. All members must be listed members of the department's Graduate Studies Committee. The letter should indicate the student's research interests, research goals, and a proposed schedule for the completion of the degree.
  • Faculty signatures of support are designated on the form. A letter of support from the committee supervisor must be attached to this form. This letter should evaluate the quality of the student's master's report or thesis, specifically stating whether it indicates the ability to complete a dissertation. This letter is normally from the supervisor of the report or thesis, but may be from a member of the committee if the supervisor is unavailable.
  • An electronic copy of master's report or thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator.

Newly-admitted Ph.D. Students

Students admitted into the department after receiving a master's degree elsewhere should clarify their status in the program with the Graduate Advisor as soon as they arrive on campus. Students who have been admitted directly into the Ph.D. program should form an examination committee during their first year of study. Such students should follow the procedure outlined above for master's students applying for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Core Course Requirement

Demonstration of basic competence in at least three subfields of anthropology is required for the Ph.D. Competence is normally demonstrated through successfully completing at least three core courses, one of which must be in the student's primary sub-discipline. (Students continuing from the M.A. program will already have completed two of the required core courses.) Students intending to pursue a teaching career in anthropology are strongly advised to acquire basic competence in four or five subfields of anthropology.

The selection of core courses will be made in consultation with the student's individual faculty adviser. Core courses may not be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis, and students must receive a grade of B or better. Students are urged to complete the core course requirement as early as possible in their Ph.D. program.

Students who have taken a course comparable to one of the core courses may petition the GSSC for exemption from one core course requirement. The petition must be accompanied by appropriate supporting material and a letter of support from the student's adviser. 

9-hour Anthropology Course Requirement

All Ph.D. candidates are required to have taken at least 9 hours of organized courses in the department (excluding conference courses, dissertation hours, supervised teaching, archeological field courses, etc.).

Foreign Language Requirement

Each doctoral candidate must demonstrate reading and/or oral competence in a language other than his or her native language. This language should be relevant to the student's area of study, and competence will be demonstrated through a means approved by the advisory committee. At the time the student applies for admission to candidacy, the student's dissertation supervisor must document how this requirement has been met (or will be met during the course of doctoral research). The dissertation supervisor may petition the GSSC to waive this requirement through a letter that demonstrates that foreign language competeny is not necessary for the student's research. 

Program of Work

Students are required to complete 18-hours of coursework for the Ph.D., including at least 9-hours of Anthropology core courses. Courses completed in the Anthropology M.A. program at UT will count toward the doctoral program of work.

The Graduate School requires all coursework included in a student's doctoral program of work to have been taken within the six years prior to the application for candidacy (exclusive of a maximum of three years of military service).