Anthropology PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The Department of Anthropology is devoted to the preparation of professional anthropologists. Normally, only students who intend to pursue the PhD are accepted into the program. The MA in Anthropology is an intermediate degree granted upon application to students who fulfill second-year department requirements.

Coursework Requirements

  • See PhD Degree Requirements below
  • Total Required Units: (variable, depending upon subdiscipline)

Other MA Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: none specified
  • Research/Projects: second-year qualifying paper
  • Master's Thesis: see Research/Projects above
  • Other: none


Total Units Required: the total varies by subfield

Course Requirements: The Department of Anthropology’s core requirements for all PhD students include:

  1. the four-quarter sequence of ANTHRO 401, “The Logic of Inquiry in Anthropology;”
  2. the ANTHRO 496-0 Bridging Seminar (a topically focused, advanced course designed to integrate at least two of the four subfields);
  3. a subfield specific methods course.

Subfield Course Requirements

Cultural Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, cultural students are required to take (489) Ethnographic Methods along with three additional courses from a “cafeteria” list approved by the cultural/linguistic faculty.  The list of approved courses is distributed by the DGS at the beginning of each year.  A complete list of approved courses is available from the Graduate Student Advisor. 

Linguistic Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, Linguistic Anthropology students are required to take two advanced graduate seminars in Linguistic Anthropology (ANTHRO 484-0 Seminar in Linguistic Anthropology), one course in methods in Linguistic Anthropology (ANTHRO 361-0 Talk as Social Action ) and at least one, and preferably two or more, from a "cafeteria" list of courses approved by the cultural/linguistic faculty.

Archaeology students: In addition to the above core requirements, archaeology students are required to take seven subfield requirements: two graduate level courses in biological, cultural or linguistic anthropology, ANTHRO 322-0 Introduction to Archaeology Research Design & Methods and two graduate level Topics courses (ANTHRO 490-0 Topics in Anthropology).  All students must also demonstrate knowledge and field and laboratory methods. 

Biological Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, biological anthropology students are required to take ANTHRO 386-0 Methods in Human Biology Research, “Human Population Biology” (ANTHRO 490-0 Topics in Anthropology), and ANTHRO 486-0 Evolution & Biological Anthropology.  Biological students are also required to take at least one (and preferably) two quarters of statistics, which can be fulfilled through the Anthropology Department or elsewhere (e.g., Sociology, public health, SESP).

Required Papers and Proposals

Students are required to complete a Second Year Qualifying Paper, a Dissertation Proposal, and a Dissertation.