All the procedures and regulations of the overall Anthropology PhD apply to students admitted as anthropological archaeologists. Specific expectations of the anthropological archaeology track begin with the admissions review and extend through to the presentation of a dissertation talk near the end of the program. The Graduate Advisor for the archaeology program has authority over the implementation of all these requirements.

 Handbook for the Archaeology Graduate Program


Students are admitted to pursue the Anthropology PhD under the advising of the anthropological archaeology faculty based on review of applications by the entire archaeology faculty. Historically, the archaeology faculty have placed a high value on previous research experience in archaeology, including completion of an MA or employment in CRM. All archaeology students are admitted initially with two assigned advisors, one of whom may be the prospective dissertation supervisor. Students are asked to rank at least two faculty in their application, who will be interpreted as the prospective co-advisors. The archaeology faculty have a demonstrated commitment to diversity in graduate admissions.

Required coursework

In the first year of the program, archaeology students are required to take a two-semester sequence of seminars, Anthropology 229 A and 229B, History and Theory of Archaeology and Archaeological Research Strategy. During the first two years, they are expected to complete course requirements for completion of one methods course, and a course in the archaeology of an area outside their own research area.

Participation in the Archaeological Research Facility

All archaeology graduate students are expected to attend Wednesday brown bag lunches held at 2251 College, organized by faculty affiliates of the Archaeological Research Facility, and may regularly present research talks there, including a required talk in the final year of the program (see below). The Archaeological Research Facility administers the Stahl Endowment, where anthropological archaeology students can request up to $3000 funding for dissertation research over the course of their career.


All in-residence archaeology students are expected to register in Anthropology 290-2 to participate in the Archaeology Outreach Program, which includes school and community group talks and other activities. Archaeology students are also required to enroll in Anthropology 290 (departmental lecture series) each semester they are registered before advancing to candidacy.

First Year Examination

At the end of the first year students take a written examination that serves as the basis for the oral examination given by the whole archaeology faculty. This examination satisfies part of the requirements for the Master's degree for those eligible to receive the MA. The decision about continuation within the graduate program is made on the basis of performance during this examination and on the student's academic work throughout the first year. A student may be requested to leave the graduate program, even though the oral examination was judged as passing, if the student's academic work was judged weak and the department's faculty is concerned that a student will not complete the program satisfactorily.

Field Statements

During the third semester, archaeology students enroll in Anthropology 229C, "Writing the Field", to initiate the first of three required reviews of literature, agreed upon in consultation with sponsoring faculty. Topics such as prior research on the region of study, a methodology, or a theoretical approach are common. These field statements must be signed by faculty from within the Anthropology Department, although one can be developed in consultation with a non-Anthropology faculty member.

Second Year Review

Near the beginning of the fourth term in residence, the archaeology faculty meet with each student to review the proposed field statements, dissertation project, and plan for completion of all required coursework and the language requirement.

Dissertation Prospectus

The dissertation prospectus is an intellectual justification and research plan for the dissertation. Archaeology students must submit their prospectus before the Ph.D. Oral Qualifying Examination and it should be no more than eight pages in length.

Dissertation Brown Bag

There is no formal defense of the completed dissertation. Archaeology students are required to publicly present a talk about their dissertation research in their final year, normally as part of the Wednesday lunchtime lecture series at 2251 College.