Doctoral Requirements

Our doctoral program prepares you to meld grounded field research with theoretical sophistication in doing anthropology sensitive to the challenges and complexities of making sense of human experience. You will receive a strong training in theory as well as in contemporary research methods and proposal writing.

Requirements:

  • 18 graded courses
    • At least 10 must be regular courses listed or cross-listed at or above the 500 level, including:
      • 2 Theory Courses:  focused on core debates and themes within the history of socio-cultural anthropology and related fields.
      • 1 Research Method Course: Taken in the spring of your second year, this course focuses on ethnographic methods, using the students summer fieldwork as the basis of the exploration.
      • 1 Grant Writing Seminar: Taken in the fall of your third year, this course focuses on the development of the dissertation research proposal and the preparation of grant proposals; it will also allow students to work further on their portfolios.
    • 8 additional courses
      • No more than 5 (non CULANTH) courses may be Individual Research/Individual Reading courses (independent studies).
        • We recommend that 3 independent studies courses be reserved for the spring of the third year, when you are preparing for the Portfolio Workshop.
      • At least 2 courses in a discipline outside of Cultural Anthropology. You may, however, take more than 2 courses outside of Cultural Anthropology.
  • Plan of Study
  • Portfolio of Work
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • Research or Teaching Service
  • Summer Field Research
  • Department Colloquia
  • Dissertation

NOTE: Up to two graduate-level anthropology courses at UNC-Chapel Hill can also count toward this 10-course requirement. Individual reading and research courses (independent studies) cannot be included within the 10 regular courses. Second- and third-year students can count their 1 course TA credit toward the 10.

Typical Course of Study

Year 1

  • Students begin assembling materials for their portfolios
  • Plan of Study due by last Friday in January
  • Provide research assistance to faculty
  • Identify at least one Ph.D. committee member by end of year
  • At end of year, successful completion of CULANTH 802 (Theories in Cultural Anthropology) final exam required for continuation in graduate program
  • In Summer after Year 1, conduct preliminary research

Year 2

  • By February 1, identify and establish remainder of Ph.D. committee
  • In April, participate in a Field Specializations Workshop with Ph.D. committee
  • Provide teaching assistance
  • In Spring, at least one independent study recommended
  • In Spring, overall progress evaluated by regular graduate faculty, utilizing the Plan of Study
  • In Spring, students should collect information about relevant grants for their field dissertation research in the fourth year
  • By September 30, submit portfolio contract for DGS approval
  • In Summer after Year 2, conduct preliminary research

Year 3

  • Finish assembling portfolio, with a focus on writing the dissertation prospectus and the synthetic essays
  • Provide teaching assistance
  • In Fall, apply to all relevant sources of external funding for fourth year dissertation research
  • In Spring, overall progress evaluated by regular graduate faculty, utilizing the Plan of Study
  • In Fall, students required to take CULANTH 804 (Grant Writing Seminar)
  • By December 15, complete at least one field section of portfolio
  • By March 15, remaining sections of field sections of portfolio must be submitted
  • Final version of dissertation prospectus to all committee members at least 2 weeks prior to Portfolio Workshop (typically in April)
  • Students notified if they can proceed to oral Portfolio Workshop

Year 4

  • Field dissertation research
  • In Spring, overall progress evaluated by regular graduate faculty, utilizing the Plan of Study

Year 5

  • Provide teaching assistance
  • In Spring, overall progress evaluated by regular graduate faculty, utilizing the Plan of Study
  • Final semester, dissertation defense