This website page provides a reference and overview of all core requirements for the PhD in Anthropology. Please download the Graduate Handbook (pending file) for a complete review of all policies, procedures and expectations for the degree.

General Requirements for All Students

All courses, languages, skill, and other Departmental requirements must be completed before a student can schedule their preliminary examinations and be advanced to doctoral candidacy.

All Credit hours must also be completed before final dissertation defense exam is scheduled.

Course Requirements

The general requirements for all graduate students is as follows: 

  • Minimum of 96 credit hours
  • 1 semester of Introduction to Illinois Anthropology in the first or second year of study (ANTH 515IA)
  • 1 semester graduate level course directly related to the ethics of anthropological research and knowledge production. The course should include substantial attention to intersectional analysis, decolonizing theory, epistemology and/or methodologies, including but not limited to colonial, racist, anti-Indigenous and anti-Black structures. For a list of approved courses see the appendices section on the website tab below. Courses not listed by name and course number should be approved by the graduate advisor and DGS, in light of these guidelines.
  • Language(s): Students must demonstrate competence in a spoken or skills-based form of communication sufficient to a) conduct research in the student’s given field of research and b) with sufficient fluency to read, engage and/or speak with scholars in their field who are writing and publishing in that language or skills language. For a full description of the language/skills requirement and the procedures for testing and fulfillment of the requirement please consult the handbook.
  • 2nd year report at end of year

Language Requirement Overview

For full details, rationale, and evaluation process please consult the Graduate Handbook.

The purposes of the language requirement are to ensure that students have an ability to use at least one language for scholarly purposes and to provide the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of a field language or skill. It is also to ensure that a student can engage meaningfully with scholars publishing in the language or skills language central to communication in their field of study. A doctoral candidate is required to demonstrate high proficiency in a spoken or skills-based language sufficient to a) conduct research in the student’s given field of research and b) with sufficient fluency to read, engage and speak with scholars in their field who are writing and publishing in that language. A student may also demonstrate basic proficiency (reading knowledge) in 2 foreign languages or skills. The choice of languages and the level of proficiency to be tested will be determined in consultation with a student’s intellectual committee. Languages and the level of skill should be relevant to the student's scholarly specialization.

The requirement may be satisfied by demonstrated expertise in a specialized skill. Appropriate areas for substitution include advanced mathematics, statistics, computer applications, (language for film/visual/media production, digital production) GIS, laboratory skills, or labanotation. The language requirement should be satisfied early in the doctoral program and, if necessary, the student should incorporate language study in their graduate training plan.

Demonstration of basic proficiency in a language or skill

Basic proficiency implies reading knowledge of the language. Basic proficiency in a foreign language may be demonstrated by the successful completion of 2 semesters of course work in that language/skill at an Intermediate or Advanced level. Basic proficiency in a skill such as statistics may be demonstrated by the successful completion of at least 2 semesters of course work at the 400 level or above.

If a student wishes to demonstrate basic proficiency in a foreign language/skills-based form of communication without course work, this may be done through an exam (procedures for exams are provided below).

Demonstration of high proficiency in a language

High proficiency in a language may be demonstrated by the successful completion of 4 semesters of coursework in that language. High proficiency implies high competence in the language or skill.

Subfield Requirements

A student’s program of study should be designed by the student in close consultation with their adviser(s) and intellectual committee and should provide the student with expertise in their specialized area of research.

Archaeology

In addition to the requirements of the program as stated above, students concentrating on anthropological archaeology must take all the following archaeology core courses, ideally in sequence. Substitutions must be approved by the students’ advisor and the DGS.

Foundations (3 courses)
  • 461 The History of Archaeological Theory
  • 561 Contemporary Archaeological Theory
  • 511 Proposal Writing
  • Encouraged but not required: 515 Social Theory I
Methods (2 courses)
  • Students must take at least 2 methods courses from a preapproved list (see appendix ….)
Regional ( 1 course)
  • Students must take at least 1 regional course from a preapproved list (see appendix ).
Topical: ( 1 course)
  • Students must take at least 1 topical course from a preapproved list (see appendix ).
Readings Courses
  • Graduate students in Archaeology will not be permitted to take individual readings courses until the 3rd semester of their residency. No more than 3 Readings in Anthropology (ANTH 589) courses will count toward the Ph.D.
Competencies
  • For more guidance on the competencies and skills covered in pursuit of a graduate degree in Archaeology at UIUC, see this “competencies” document (link here) Competencies (move to appendices)

Biological Anthropology

In addition to the general requirements of the program as stated above, students concentrating in biological anthropology must take the following courses.

Foundations (4 courses)
  • 4 courses in Biological Anthropology at the 4/500 level, each taught by a different biological anthropology faculty member. Faculty in this instance mean those with full or partial (25% or more) appointments in the Anthropology Department. Faculty do not need to be affiliated with the Graduate College, but the course should be taught at the graduate level. 3 of the 4 courses should be taught by doctoral committee members.
Methods (2 courses)
  • Students must take 2 courses that are sequenced or in two different method areas (for instance two statistics courses, or one statistics course and one bioinformatics/informatics course)

Linguistic Anthropology

In addition to the general requirements of the program as stated above, students concentrating in linguistic anthropology must take the following courses:

Foundations (3 courses)
  • ANTH 512 Language in Culture I
  • ANTH 518 Lang in Culture II
  • ANTH 515 Social Theory I OR Social theory II

The following courses should be chosen in consultation with your faculty adviser.

Methods (2 courses)
  • Acceptable courses will focus on data collection and analysis, including (but not limited to) ethnographic, archival, and/or discourse analysis approaches. At least one of these courses should be taught by Linguistic Anthropology faculty. For a list of approved courses see (Appendix....). For approval of courses not listed, please consult your faculty adviser and the DGS.
Electives (2 courses)
  • A course that focuses on your area of specialization (region and/or social location)
  • A course that focuses on your topic(s) of specialization
Reading Courses
  • Graduate Students in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology must take at least 4 regular graduate courses during their first year. A readings course (e.g., ANTH 589) may be added during year 1 with the approval of an adviser

Sociocultural Anthropology

In addition to the requirements of the program as stated above, students concentrating in socio-cultural anthropology must take the following courses. All required Foundations and Methods courses should be ANTH or co-listed/taught with ANTH. Ethnographic area courses taught outside ANTH should be approved by a student’s adviser and the DGS.

Foundations (3 courses)
  • 515 Social Theory I
  • 515 Social theory II
  • 512 Language in Culture I OR 518 Language in Culture II
Methods (1 course)
  • 411 Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
  • 471 Ethnography through Language
Ethnographic area (2 courses)
  • 1 course that covers student’s specialization in a region or social location
  • 1 course that speaks to comparative issues in another region or social location
Reading Courses
  • Graduate Students in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology must take at least 4 regular graduate courses during their first year. A readings course (e.g., ANTH 589) may be added during year 1 with the approval of an adviser

Appendices

Appendix 1

This information is under construction. 

Appendix 2

This information is under construction. 

Appendix 3

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Appendix 4

This information is under construction.