Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Michelle and Krista measuring lemurs
Michelle and Krista measuring lemurs
(Photo/Frank Cuzzo)

Doctoral students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to independently carry out original field or laboratory research, to acquire original data, make appropriate analyses, and prepare reports of publishable caliber. Students must demonstrate proficiency in a broad subject of learning and the ability to critically evaluate work in anthropology.

Mending nets, Costa Brava, Spain
Mending nets, Costa Brava, Spain
(Photo/Russ McGoodwin)

An M.A. in anthropology is required for admission into the Ph.D. program. An M.S. in Museum Sciences from CU-Boulder may be used in place of an M.A., although course deficiencies may be stipulated and must be fulfilled. Students who plan to continue on from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program within this department must submit an application to be considered by the faculty in the appropriate subdiscipline. Their decision must, in turn, be approved by the faculty as a whole. Such internal applications must include: (1) a letter of intent outlining the student's plans for doctoral work and indicating why CU-Boulder is an appropriate place to pursue these plans; (2) a formal graduate school application; and (3) brief letters of support from three tenured or tenure-line faculty members in Anthropology who will form the core of the student's committee, including one from a faculty member who agrees to be the student’s primary advisor. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Internal applications must be submitted by December 1 to continue on as a Ph.D. student in the following spring semester, and by May 1 to continue in the following fall semester, unless otherwise notified.

Comb Wash Great House dig
Comb Wash Great House dig
(Photo/Cathy Cameron)

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include successful completion of the following:

  • Annual Plan of Study
  • Required core courses in each of the three subdisciplines
  • Ph.D. Qualifying Examination for doctoral students in Biological Anthropology
  • An approved statistics course (or an approved “tools” course for students in cultural)
  • Credit hour and course requirements within the subdiscipline
  • Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination (oral defense of prospectus of dissertation research)    Preparation for this defense includes a Preliminary Paper review and discussion.
  • Ph.D. Final Examination (oral defense of dissertation)
  • Residency requirement (six semesters)

A more detailed description of the program and requirements is available in the Anthropology Department Handbook for Graduate Study and the University of Colorado Catalog.