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Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology

The Doctor of Philosophy program in Anthropology combines academically rigorous studies with individual mentorship of students in their areas of interests. Students received advanced training in theory, contemporary research methods, research design and implementation, and proposal writing. After gaining foundational theoretical and topical knowledge relating to the field of anthropology in general and to their specific research foci in particular, students work intensively with faculty members to design and implement an advanced research project. Senior doctoral students are encouraged to participate in the larger academic community through the submission of grants, presentation of papers, and publishing. These extracurricular activities ensure that students acquire the necessary skills and accomplishments to compete at national and international levels for academic and other advanced jobs.

Our program is explicitly cross-disciplinary, and students are encouraged to work with a variety of faculty members and to approach anthropology through a broad lens.   Our program focuses on four broad areas: childhood and parenting; food, subsistence, and nutrition; human adaptive strategies; and sexuality, gender and identity.  Faculty and students explore these issues from a variety of approaches, including archaeology, bioarchaeology, hormonal studies, and psychological anthropology.  Our faculty are active field workers, with research programs in areas as diverse as Africa, Alaska, the American Southwest, China, Cyprus, and Turkey.  Students are encouraged to work with faculty in these geographical areas and fields of study or, if they prefer, to develop research projects in related areas.  Our emphasis on rigorous training and intensive mentorship has resulted in an unusually high success rate for the placement of our doctoral graduates.     

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a substantive knowledge of anthropological theory and information, including a thorough understanding a particular theoretical, topical and regional subject. Obtain mastery of a specific subject area.
  • Be able to critically evaluate anthropological theories and arguments, and be able to construct sound anthropological interpretations.
  • Be able to conceive of, implement, and complete original anthropological research that makes a substantive contribution to the discipline.
  • Be able to excel in written and oral communication. Be able to make presentations to professional audiences, and understand how to successfully write grants and publish in the academic community.
  • Obtain experience in the application of anthropological theory and methods, and gain leadership skills in carrying out anthropological projects independently.
  • Become knowledgeable of the ethical standards involved in conducting anthropological research, and develop a substantive understanding of the social, political, and ethical issues related to the practice of the discipline.

Career Possibilities

Our rigorous doctoral program prepares students to to be competitive against other applicants for a variety of research and teaching positions that require an advanced graduate degree. Our past graduates have obtained jobs as professors at universities and community colleges, principle investigators at private archaeological and historic preservation firms, and researchers in museum and government settings.