Ph.D. in Anthropology (New Program)
As the world grows ever more interconnected economically, politically and socially, the anthropological emphasis on the comparative understanding of human cultures becomes increasingly relevant in both policy and scholarly contexts. The newly established Ph.D. in Anthropology advances the study of anthropology through an array of specializations, including archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. This level of training prepares students for careers not only in the academy, but in a variety of policy-oriented and applied jobs requiring detailed comparative understanding of culture.
The curriculum for the Ph.D. in Anthropology was designed to develop intellectual creativity, effective communication skills, and rigorous scholarship with a focus on applying anthropological theory and method to the study of contemporary social problems. Students will benefit from GW's long-standing partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and access to Washington, DC's archival collections and policy-making institutions.
All students admitted into the program receive a fellowship that provides tuition, stipend, and teaching assistant salary. Students are expected to apply for external funding to support dissertation research and writing. At least one student may be partially supported through funding from the GW Institute for Ethnographic Research while working as an assistant editor for the journal Anthropological Quarterly.
Applications will be accepted for the 2013-14 academic year through December 15, 2012. Candidates with a strong background in anthropology or related disciplines may contact Prof. Joel C. Kuipers for more information about criteria for admission.
For more information on the admissions process, visit our graduate admissions page.
The degree requires 72 total credit hours, including at least 12 and at most 24 hours of Dissertation Research (Anth 8999). 48 of the 72 credits must be taken in the pre-candidacy stage (before completing the General Examination).
- Four core proseminars (Anth 6101-6104).
- A research methods seminar.
- A professional skills and ethics seminar.
- Elective course work.
- All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language; the student's graduate committee reserves the right to require an additional language if needed for fieldwork or archival research.
- A 3-credit internship in anthropology and public life at a Washington, DC area institution — such as congressional offices, public radio and television, or the Smithsonian Institution — responsible for communicating anthropological knowledge to diverse audiences (recommended).
- Prepare a research proposal that meets funding agency guidelines.
- Take a written General Examination in at least three major areas of concentration (e.g., a general field in anthropological theory, a geographic area, and a thematically defined field).
- Following successful completion of the General Examination, there will be an oral defense of the student's research proposal. Students who pass will advance to candidacy for the Ph.D.
- Candidates must complete a dissertation that demonstrates their ability to do original research. Since Ph.D. candidates work closely with a small number of faculty, applicants should consult our faculty list in order to identify appropriate mentors or advisers.