Biological Anthropology

All the procedures and regulations of the overall Anthropology PhD apply to students specializing in biological anthropology. Students can be admitted to work with archaeology or sociocultural faculty. The Head Graduate Advisor has authority over the implementation of requirements for these students.


Students are admitted to pursue the Anthropology PhD under the advising of the biological anthropology faculty in archaeology or sociocultural anthropology. It is strongly suggested that students communicate with faculty before submitting an application. Students must designate Biological Anthropology as their program, and must list two faculty with whom they intend to work.

Required coursework

In the first two years of their program, biological anthropology students are required to take one theory seminar: either Archaeology Theory (229A) or Fundamentals of Anthropological Theory (240A or 240B) as advised by their supervisor. In addition, they are required to take a total of two additional upper division courses, one of which is to be a methods course (this could include Anthropology 229B and/or courses outside of the Department as determined to be appropriate). Biological Anthropology students are 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 progress of each student is assessed and students may be given an oral examination by a group of faculty members. 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 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

Biological anthropology students will write two field statements on topics such as a research method or analytical tool, or a theoretical approach. The third field statement will be on the student’s chosen topic area. Faculty sponsors will work with the student in the preparation of these fields. Biological anthropology students might choose to work with a professor outside the department on one of their field statements.

Dissertation Prospectus

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