PhD Program

The PhD program provides students with the opportunity to structure a course of study towards specific intellectual and practical interests. Students extend their knowledge of domains of anthropological theory and current research that are appropriate to these interests. PhD students design and carry out a major research project that forms the basis of their dissertation. The PhD degree proceeds in two stages. A student first gains full standing as a doctoral candidate within the Department by completing the following requirements:

  • 24 months residency,
  • 18 credits of coursework,
  • an acceptable research proposal, and
  • satisfactory performance in a comprehensive examination (which must be completed in the first three years of the program).

The comprehensive examination takes place in two parts:

  1. a three part, one-day written exam, and
  2. a two hour oral exam that takes place within two weeks of the written exam.

Once they have attained candidacy, students then proceed with research (often based in part upon fieldwork) and preparation of a PhD dissertation under the direction of the Supervisory Committee. The candidate completes the degree upon successfully defending their dissertation in the University examination. Students are expected to attain their degrees within six years.