PhD in Anthropology

Program Description

Doctoral students must earn at least 64 hours (which may include 599) at the Urbana-Champaign campus. After the residence requirement has been fulfilled, the student may petition the Graduate College for permission to register in absentia. To register in absentia for thesis credit, approval must be obtained from the Graduate College by petition through the advisor and the department head. Most Ph.D. candidates spend at least three years in residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students must be registered in the semester of their defense of thesis. A thesis is required for the Ph.D. degree. Ordinarily the thesis is based on either a combination of field and library research or a combination of laboratory and library research.

A doctoral student may work directly for the Ph.D. degree without taking an M.A. If an M.A. is taken, all requirements for it must be met by the time of, or before, the completion of the preliminary examination for the Ph.D. degree.


Program Requirements

The following are General Requirements for All Students regardless of subfield concentration.

  • All doctoral students are required to take the two-semester 0.5 unit course ANTH 515IA Introduction to Illinois Anthropology in their first year of graduate study.
  • A doctoral student is also required to show a high proficiency in one or ordinary proficiency in two foreign languages prior to taking their preliminary examination. 
    • In the former case, the language must have an established scholarly literature. In the latter case, at least one of the two languages must have such a literature.
    • Students may substitute a relevant skill such as advanced mathematics, computer applications, or labanotation for one foreign language at ordinary proficiency.
  • The doctoral program requires a minimum of 96 hours of graduate credit.

Additional course requirements vary according to subdiscipline. Please see the Anthropology Graduate Program Handbook (2023) for additional information about graduate program requirements.


Graduate Studies Program Contact Information

Dr. Jessica R. Greenberg, Director of Graduate Studies Program 
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109 Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217)-300-0410


Ms. Joyce Dowell, Graduate Studies Program Coordinator
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109F Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217)-300-9167