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UW Anthropology PhD Degree Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin, the Department of Anthropology has the following requirements.  Click here for a checklist for completing these items.


1. A minimum of six content courses (18 hours) designed by the student's committee. These courses are normally completed in the first two years of the Ph.D. program.

2. Two additional courses in their first or second year: ANTH 5880 (Professionalism in Anthropology) and ANTH 5890 (Teaching and Learning in Anthropology) (6 hours).

3. Participation in an approved internship experience (6-24 credit hours). Students pursue internships in state and federal agencies, museums, contract archaeology organizations, and other organizations that offer potential career experience.

4. Successful completion of a Preliminary Exam (see below), which usually takes place at the end of the second year. After the student passes the exams, s/he is admitted to candidacy. Exam guidelines are presented below after the degree completion outline.

PhD Preliminary Examination Guidelines

1. A PhD student takes their Preliminary Exam when the student has completed at least 18 hours of post M.A. coursework; normally, this would be at the end of a student's second year (assuming the student entered with an MA). The exam consists of a written and an oral component.

2. The written component consists of four to five questions submitted jointly or singly by the student's committee members. The committee chair approves and organizes the questions. The questions relate to the student's proposed areas of dissertation research.

3. The student schedules the oral component of the exam at the same time the written examination is scheduled. The oral examination is scheduled approximately 6 weeks from the date the preliminary exam is handed out.

4. Questions for the written component are handed out on a Monday. The student has three weeks to return the answers. A copy of all answers should be turned in to each committee member. No answer should exceed 10 typed pages not including bibliography (12 point font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced). Hence, the exam will not exceed a maximum of 50 pages in length. If exam committee members combine questions, page limits will be indicated (e.g. for a four question exam, one or more answer may exceed the 10 page limit).

5. Students will be informed of the results of the written component of the exam approximately two weeks after they handed in their finished exam. Each question is graded on a pass/fail basis. Each faculty member grades her/his question, but may read and comment on the answers to any other question. The committee meets to decide as a whole whether the student passes or fails the examination. If the student passes the exam, his/her oral examination proceeds as scheduled. If the student fails the examination, the graduate committee decides on remediation or termination from the program.

6. The oral component of the exam provides an opportunity for the student's committee to explore answers to the written exam in more depth and to test the student's knowledge of relevant areas not covered by the written exams.

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Anthropology Department

12th and Lewis Streets

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5136


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