Anthropology Ph.D.

The PhD in Anthropology with General Option requires 60 credits total beyond the bachelor’s degree, completion of the coursework for one of the UM Anthropology MA Options or an equivalent 30+ credit master’s degree from another institution, completion of courses in specific areas of the curriculum, a comprehensive examination consisting of a defense of the student’s research proposal, a dissertation on a topic of relevance to Anthropology, and a defense of the dissertation.

Doctor of Philosophy - Anthropology

College of Humanities & Sciences

Required Credits: 60 (30 + 30 from M.A.)

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0

Catalog Year: 2020-21

Degree Requirements

The General Option requires coursework, a reviewed portfolio, a comprehensive examination, and a defended dissertation. The faculty expects completion of the Ph.D. within three years of earning the master’s degree. All students entering the Ph.D. program must have the equivalent of an M.A. degree before they can proceed to Ph.D. status. For students accepted into the program with only an undergraduate degree, they must complete the requirements of an M.A. degree prior to moving into the Ph.D. program. Students initially accepted into the M.A. program can continue into the Ph.D. program, but they must complete the M.A. degree prior to continuing; those students must also apply for the Ph.D. program during the regular application cycle (even though they are extant M.A. students).


Coursework for the Ph.D. General Option requires 30 credits beyond those required for the master’s degree, for a total of 60 credits. At least 20 of these credits must be in ANTY or LING. A maximum of 10 credits in research courses (ANTY 593, 597, 599, 697, 699) may be applied to these 30 credits. No more than 9cr total in any combination of Independent Studies and Internship courses may be applied to these 30 credits.


The curriculum for the 60 credits required for the General Ph.D. Option focuses on a solid grounding in anthropological theory, methods for generating or collecting anthropological data, and methods for analysis of anthropological data. All students must take (or have taken) ANTY 500, ANTY 601, and a course in introductory statistics such as ANTY 401. In addition, at least one course must be taken from each of the areas below. Reasonable substitutions of courses, including courses from other departments and institutions, may be approved by the student’s committee.

Anthropological theory:

  • ANTY 510*: Seminar in Human Variation & Evolution

  • ANTY513*#: Seminar in Bioarchaeology & Skeletal Biology

  • ANTY514*#: Seminar in Paleoanthropology & Evolutionary Analysis

  • ANTY515: Theory & Methods in Biological Anthropology

  • ANTY520*: Seminar in Ethnology

  • ANTY521: Applied Anthropology

  • ANTY522: Medical Anthropology

  • ANTY550: Seminar in Archaeology

  • ANTY551: Seminar in Historical Archaeology

  • ANTY552: Power, Prestige & Things

  • ANTY553: Seminar in Evolutionary Archaeology

  • ANTY600: Issues in Cultural Heritage

  • LING 570*: Seminar in Linguistics

  • LING573: Language & Culture

Methods for generating or collecting anthropological knowledge:

  • ANTY 412: Osteology

  • ANTY413: Forensic & Mortuary Archaeology

  • ANTY416: Dental Anthropology

  • ANTY431: Ethnographic Field Methods

  • ANTY451: Cultural Resource Management

  • ANTY466*: Archaeological Survey

  • ANTY467*: Archaeological Field School

  • ANTY476: Methods for Native Languages

  • ANTY495*: Field Experience

  • ANTY501: Historical Anthropology

  • ANTY512*: Advanced Forensic Anthropology

  • ANTY602: Cultural Heritage Policy & Practice

  • LING 571: Phonetics & Phonology

  • LING575: Linguistic Field Methods

  • LING584: North American Indigenous Languages

  • LING589: Morphology

Analysis of anthropological data:

  • ANTY402: Quantitative Ethnographic Methods

  • ANTY408: Advanced Anthropological Statistics

  • ANTY452: GIS in Archaeology

  • ANTY454: Lithic Technology

  • ANTY455: Artifact Analysis

  • ANTY513*#: Seminar in Bioarchaeology & Skeletal Biology

  • ANTY514#: Seminar in Paleoanthropology & Evolutionary Analysis

  • LING 574: Historical Linguistics


Students are expected to complete the following course requirements:

Please refer to the Graduate Student Manual for specific curriculum that is required of the General Option Ph.D.