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Department of Anthropology Graduate Program Outcomes Assessment
AY 2003-04

I. Applicant Pool for 2003-2004

  N Pct
Graduate Applicants 134 -
Accepted 28 21%
Enrolled (of accepted) 16 58%

The applicant pool for the department of anthropology consisted of 134 individuals from many of the top universities in the country, and from a number of foreign countries. Of the 134 applications, 28 were accepted and 16 individuals have enrolled. An acceptance rate of only 21% is far lower than in past years, reflecting the increasing rigor by which we evaluate incoming students. Those who have enrolled have come from institutions such as the University of North Carolina, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Scripps College, Colorado College, Colgate University, and Guangdon University/Jinal University in China. Of those who were accepted 6 were male, 11 were female, 3 were minorities and 2 were international students. The average GRE scores for those accepted were 547 for verbal and 592 for quantitative.

II. Current Graduate Population

Total number of graduate students 60
Total male 23
Total female 37
Total international 2
Total minority 7
Average GRE - verbal 594
Average GRE - quantitative 599
Average GRE - analytical 612

Our current graduate student population is strong, diverse and very productive. The strength and productiveness of the population reflects a decision made a number of years ago to reduce our graduate program by half, to be far more restrictive in our application criteria, to encourage students to submit their work for publication, and to be more aggressive in applying for grants. The evidence for this is presented below in the section concerning the quality of the graduate program. One of the strengths of our graduate program is the individual attention given by faculty members to students. In the last few years we have had at least three students recruited from our program by other institutions with more financial resources who have returned to us for their Ph.D. In each case the students mentioned that the mentoring that they received in our department was superior to that received at the other institution.

III. Graduation Rates and Placement

MA degrees 1999/2000 - 2003/2004 40
Ph.D. degrees 1999/2000 - 2003/2004 17

Of the 40 master's degrees awarded over the last 5 years at least 24 or 60% have gone on to Ph.D. programs or have been able to secure jobs. Some students have gone onto more specialized programs, such as the biological anthropology program at Duke University, others have gone onto more specialized area studies programs, while others have entered into our Ph.D. program. It is by no means automatic that those whom received their master's from our program will be admitted to the doctoral program, and the entrance requirements are becoming more rigorous.

Of the 17 individuals who received doctoral degrees, 14 or 82% have gone onto academic and non-academic jobs, or post-doctoral fellowships. Academic institutions that have recently hired our graduate students include San Diego State University and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Post-doctoral fellowship include a Mellon Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell and a Smithsonian Museum post-doctoral fellowship.

IV. Quality of the Graduate Program

Our graduate program has been steadily increasing in quality over the last few years. Some of this is due to a reduction is size of the program, combined with more demanding screening of applications. It is also due to increased emphasis by the faculty to encourage students to seek external funds to support their research, present their research finding at local and national meetings, and to publish.

During the last two years our students have presented or displayed over 21 papers or posters at local, national, and international meetings. These have included presentations at our most prestigious national meetings for each subfield. During the same time period our students have published at least 13 articles or book chapter, some in top journals or chapters in university presses.

However, the most impressive sign of improvement in the graduate program is the degree to which are current students have been successful in securing external and internal funding to support their research and present the results of their work. Our students have received the following external grants over the 2 years: 5 NSF fellowships, 1 NSF dissertation grant, 1 NSF subsidy grant, 3 Fulbright fellowships, 1 dissertation fellowship from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, 2 NESP David L. Boren fellowships, 1 dissertation writing fellowship from the U.S. Institute of Peace, 1 FLAS fellowship, 1 Dumbarton Oaks fellowship, 1 fellowship from the American Council of the Blind, and at least 13 other grants from various outside funding agencies.

In addition, our students received 5 Beverley Sears grants, 8 travel grants from the Graduate School, and 3 Devaney grants (one of which was declined), and 18 university fellowships. Finally, the department was able to fund 13 students for pre-dissertation travel grants.

Speaker and Colloquium Series

During the academic year each sub-discipline invites a distinguished speaker to campus. Each speaker gives a departmental talk as well as a public presentation. We also have a more informal brown bag speaker series, in which our own faculty, graduate students, and visitors present the results of their current research. Both speaker series are organized and run by our graduate students and they have done a wonderful job each year that this program has been in place.

Student Evaluations

By the end of the first year in our program each student must construct a degree plan that outlines the series of courses, both inside and outside of the department, that is agreed to by both the student and his/her advisor. This serves as a guide for both the student and advisor, and is used to measure each student's progress. At the end of each semester every faculty member fills out an evaluation sheet for all the graduate students that have been in his or her classes. This is far more informative than a grade. These evaluation sheets are then distributed to the student's advisor. Towards the end of each academic year the entire faculty discusses the progress of every student. This evaluation consists of progression through the master's or doctoral program, how each student performed in individual classes, how well they did as a GPTI, GA or RA, and any current or potential problems that faculty members might see as affecting the student's graduate career.

V. Certificates and Dual Degree Programs

In addition to our regular graduate degree program graduate students have the opportunity to participate in 5 different certificate programs as well as a dual master's program between the Department of Anthropology and the Leeds School of Business.

Certificate in Applied Behavioral Science

This certificate program is offered by the inter-disciplinary faculty from the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS). The goal of this program is "to train a new kind of social scientist who understands the social and economic changes that impact contemporary communities, can utilize a variety of research methodologies, is sensitive to ethical issues in applied behavioral research and teaching, and is comfortable in settings of ethnic, cultural, and racial diversity."

Certificate in Environmental Policy

This certificate program is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary specialization in current environmental issues. An integral component of this program is an emphasis on environmental policy, especially as this pertains to water issues and global environmental change.

Certificate Program in Museology

The Department of Anthropology and the University Museum have a very close relationship with a number of the museum faculty rostered in the anthropology department. The certificate program provides professional training for graduate students who desire to work within a museum context.

Certificate in Women's Studies

This certificate program offers students the opportunity to study gender issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students study feminist theory and methods at an advanced level; this complements discipline based studies with the interdisciplinary base of women's studies.

Certificate in Development Studies

This certificate program is housed in the Department of Geography and is designed to provide students with an inter-disciplinary training in the field of development studies. In addition to an examination of current debates concerning history, politics and economics related to development, each student can develop specialized knowledge in one of five areas: 1) environment and development; 2) the economics of development; 3) governance and development; 4) population and development; or 5) gender and development.

Dual MA/MBA Program

Students may enroll in the dual program and be awarded master's degrees in both anthropology and business at the same time. The dual program is designed to provide students with a thorough background in both anthropology and business. Students are required to complete 39 hours of MBA course work and 30 hours of anthropology course work.

Report Prepared by
J. Terrence McCabe
Department of Anthropology
June, 7, 2004

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