Anthropology Doctoral Ph.D. Program

UWM Graduate School Information
UWM Graduate School
Anthropology Degree Requirements
Financial Support
Tuition and Fees

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology


Applicants must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  1. A general master's degree in anthropology or equivalent preparation without the master's degree. An applicant with a master's degree in another field may be admitted if the student has a grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in graduate work and is approved by the departmental Graduate Admissions Committee.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.
  3. A writing sample such as a relevant term paper, article submission, etc.
  4. Submission of scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.

The department assigns each Ph.D. student to a major professor. This assignment is based on the congruence of the applicant's interest and the expertise of the major professor. No applicant will be admitted to the program unless a faculty member agrees to serve as major professor.

Applicants are accepted into the Ph.D. program only if a faculty member agrees to serve as major professor. Applicants are encouraged to contact the faculty member they wish to work with prior to applying to the program. The applicant's statement of purpose should identify his or her proposed major professor.

Application deadlines for admission to the program are January 15th for the following fall semester and September 15th for the following spring semester. Applicants requesting financial assistance may have other deadlines to be considered eligible. Contact the department's graduate advisor for specific financial aid deadlines.


A student who receives the master's degree must formally reapply for admission to the Graduate School before continuing studies toward the Ph.D.


The student must meet minimum Graduate School Residence Requirements.

Course of Study

Minimum degree requirement is 54 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree, at least 27 of which must be earned in residence at UWM. A student lacking any of the courses (or equivalents taken elsewhere) required to attain a Master's degree in his/her major area of concentration must complete these courses as part of his/her Ph.D. work.


  1. Three core courses (801, 802, and 803).
  2. A methods class (approved classes are 380, 501, 525, 535, 562, 566, 567, 560, 561, 568, and 768; other courses with the approval of the advisor and Director of Graduate Studies).
  3. An advanced seminar (approved classes are 940, 942, 950; other courses with the approval of the advisor and Director of Graduate Studies).
  4. A foreign language or specialized scholarly skill.

Foreign language or Specialized Scholarly Skill

This requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating the following:

  1. Proficiency in a foreign language useful in the student's career.
  2. Proficiency in mathematical, statistical, or computer skills.
  3. Proficiency in other skills that meet departmental approval.

Doctoral Preliminary Examination and Dissertation Proposal Defense

The candidate must pass an oral doctoral preliminary examination as one of the qualifications for achieving dissertator status. Candidates choose two to four topics in consultation with their advisor for the Preliminary Examination. The topics must be broader than, but related to, the focus of the candidate's proposed dissertation research. The topics must be approved by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee and the Department faculty. The preliminary examination must be passed within five years of initial enrollment for a student to be eligible to continue in the program.

The candidate must pass a formal dissertation proposal hearing prior to starting dissertation research.


The candidate must prepare a dissertation reporting in the candidate's own style the results of an original research investigation representing a substantive creative contribution.

The dissertation must be formatted in accord with Graduate School requirements. Students will submit an electronic copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School and a signed, unbound "hard" copy to the Department of Anthropology.

Dissertation Defense

As the final step toward the degree, the candidate must pass an oral examination before his/her doctoral committee in defense of the dissertation.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within ten years from the date of initial enrollment in the doctoral program.