Our doctoral program offers students solid training in theory, contemporary research methods, and proposal writing with the aim of enabling students to develop an anthropology sensitive to the challenges and complexities of human experience and of our times.
Two PhD Tracks
Students have the option of leaving for the field after five or after six semesters. If they leave after five semesters, they will take 15 courses in total (three per semester) and convene their committee for a Portfolio workshop in December of that fifth semester. At the workshop they will discuss their grant proposals, three annotated reading lists (with 25 citations each), and a course syllabus (for a class to be taught in the future). If they leave after six semesters, they will take 18 courses in total (three per semester) and convene their committee for a Portfolio workshop in April of their sixth semester. At the workshop they will discuss their grant proposals, three annotated reading lists (with 35 citations each), and a course syllabus (for a class they will teach in the future).
If students receive external funding for fieldwork, they can spend a year and a half in the field (with one semester covered by the department and two by their grant). If they do not receive external funding, they will remain in the field for one year (with the one year covered by the department).
Funding (tuition, fees and stipend) for each student is guaranteed for five years, or five and an half for those who receive external funding for their fieldwork. The department is not responsible for the financial support of those who do not finish within these time frames, but will work closely with each student who does not finish to find external funding to cover continuation fees, health insurance, and stipends.
Students who choose the five-semester option take 15 graded courses, of which at least 10 must be graduate seminars with primary faculty in Cultural Anthropology, including CULANTH 801, 802, 803, and 804. Graduate students do have an option to take two graduate Anthropology classes at UNC-Chapel Hill. These may be counted towards the 10 required courses within the discipline. Two of the 15 classes must be in a discipline outside Cultural Anthropology, and no more than three of the 15 may be Independent Studies. Students who choose the six-semester plan will follow the above guidelines, except that they may take two additional Independent Studies (five total) towards the 18 course requirement. This amounts to five Independent Studies (if so desired), plus one more seminar inside or outside the department (or more than one course outside the department if the student does not wish to take five Independent Studies).
- Theories: The two-semester Theories course (CULANTH 801-802), taken in Fall and Spring of the first year, focuses on core debates and themes within the history of socio-cultural anthropology and related fields.
- Research Methods: The Research Methods seminar (CULANTH 803), taken in the Spring of the second year, focuses on ethnographic methods, grant writing, and reading list annotation.
- Grant Writing: The Grant Writing seminar (CULANTH 804), taken in the Fall of the third year (the fifth semester), focuses on the development of grant proposals for dissertation research support.
- Plan of Study
- Portfolio of Work
- Foreign Language Requirement
- Research or Teaching Service
- Summer Field Research
- Department Colloquia
Cultural Anthropology PhD students are encouraged to apply for a certificate in another department or field. Our students have acquired certificates in: Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies; African and African American Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Documentary Studies; International Development Policy.