Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is intended to make you think about the courses you need to take in order to acquire competence as professional anthropologists, to define your long-range research projects, and to ensure you are meeting university and departmental requirements in a timely manner. It also provides faculty an opportunity to give you feedback regarding appropriate course work and other achievements essential to attaining academic goals. 

Requirements and Deadline

You are responsible for proposing a Plan of Study that describes future curriculum and other academic accomplishments necessary to meet research and professional objectives. The Plan of Study should be designed in consultation with your advisor/committee each year your are in the program. The full text should be no longer than two pages, single-spaced. The Plan of Study should be submitted to the DGS/DGSA for consideration by the faculty as a whole. You will receive feedback from your Ph.D. Committee Chair/Advisor.

Deadline: Due by the last Friday in January

Plan of Study Contents

In the First 3 Years, the Plan of Study Should Contain:

  • One or more concise paragraphs describing your ethnographic and theoretical fields of interest, including a list of the three fields you anticipate will form the basis of the Portfolio
  • Summary of the contents of your Portfolio to date and a timetable for the completion of Portfolio requirements
  • List of courses you have taken in the graduate program thus far and a list of RA/TA assignments to date
  • List of the remaining courses you plan to take to complete your 6 semesters. The proposal cannot possibly specify all courses to be taken over the next three or more semesters, since some of these courses are not scheduled in advance. But it should specify the general topics and rough order of course work
  • Description of any non-course experiences, such as fieldwork or field language study, that can reasonably be completed during your graduate career, and that will contribute importantly to your program. In order to facilitate the broadest possible feedback and to ensure your intellectual interests are known to the entire faculty, the department as a whole will review all Plans of Study

Once you are admitted to Ph.D. candidacy, your Plan of Study should focus on accomplishments in the past year including teaching and publishing activities and plans, grants applied for and/or received, an update on fieldwork and dissertation progress, any revisions to the planned structure of the dissertation, and an updated timetable for completion of fieldwork and the dissertation. With the exception of students whose defense date is set, all students are required to submit a Plan of Study.


In the spring of each year the overall progress of each student will be evaluated by the regular graduate faculty in Cultural Anthropology, meeting as a whole and using the Plan of Study written by each student as a basis of discussion. At that time you may be:

  1. Continued in the program unconditionally
  2. Continued in the program on a conditional basis, if the faculty decides that you need to develop certain background fields or particular academic skills
  3. Dropped from the program, if the faculty judge your overall performance unacceptable.

Directly following the evaluation meeting, you will be advised by your advisor of the decision of the faculty. Any specific recommendations and any conditions to be fulfilled will also be communicated by your advisor or committee chair (with a written copy of recommendations to be submitted to the DGS for your student file).