PhD Requirements

The UO Department of Anthropology offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with a concentration in one of three subfields: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, or Cultural Anthropology. While graduate students choose one subfield on which to focus their studies, many follow an interdisciplinary path that bridges between subfields, as well as to different disciplines. This approach is encouraged in our department, which is distinctive in its commitment to the integration of the anthropological subfields via five areas of expertise and focus.

Students without a relevant Master’s degree (i.e., a Master’s degree in Anthropology or a closely related field) are admitted as Conditional Doctoral Students and first obtain an MA or MS in Anthropology in the departmental Master’s program before transitioning into the PhD program. Students with relevant Master’s degrees are admitted as Doctoral Students directly into the PhD program. 

Our graduate program attracts outstanding students from across the nation and around the world. Students in the program work closely with a primary advisor, who supervises their graduate training through formal coursework and supervised research and teaching activities. Paths through the graduate program vary by subfield and by individual student. All graduate students take a core set of anthropology courses, which is determined by their primary subfield of study, and then select an appropriate set of courses from both inside and outside the department to fulfill their degree requirements in a way that best suits the individual’s professional goals. 

For doctoral students, the advisor and a doctoral committee supervise the completion of key program requirements, including the comprehensive examinations, proposal defense, and dissertation research. Additional information on graduate requirements can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook. Please do not hesitate to contact the department, faculty, and admissions officers for more information on the program and the admissions procedure.

The following summary of requirements is taken directly from the Division of Graduate Studies web page. More detail on these requirements, along with time limits and other regulations, are clearly described on the Division of Graduate Studies website be sure to carefully read all relevant policies. Please do not hesitate to contact the department, faculty, and admissions officers for more information on the program and the admissions procedure.

  • Admissions
  • Continuous enrollment 
  • Course work and residence  
  • Foreign languages or other specialized knowledge. Regulations are set by the department, school or college.  
  • Comprehensive examination, covering the major discipline, advances the student to candidacy for the degree.  
  • Appointment of dissertation committee, registration for Dissertation (603), and completion of dissertation. A minimum of 18 credits of Dissertation (603) are required after advancement.  
  • In Absentia: Post-advancement doctoral students are allowed up to three quarters of absentia status following advancement to candidacy.  
  • Application for degree made to the Division of Graduate Studies. Deadlines are available from the Division of Graduate Studies.  
  • Defense of dissertation. Degree must be completed within 7 years.  
  • Dissertation publication, arrangement through the Division of Graduate Studies.
  • Granting of degree at end of term in which all degree requirements are satisfied.

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