Program Requirements

Graduate training in anthropology in governed by requirements set both by the Department and the University. However, the most critical mediating role in the implementation of these requirements and in the achievement of the goals of graduate training is the relationship of each student to his or her faculty advisors.

The Advisory Process
First year advisors are appointed at the beginning of the year in consultation with the interviewing committee. The second-year advisor is selected by the student and serves as the student’s mentor until such time as the student selects a formal committee chair. Each advanced student is advised by a committee which consists minimally of three members, at least two of whom, including the chair, must be active, current faculty of the Department. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out members for the committee and to secure their written consent. Committee Forms (obtainable in Haskell 119) and any correspondence regarding constitution of the advisory committee should be deposited with the Administrator for Student Affairs. If appropriate, additional committee members may serve as readers of proposals and theses. The advisory committee chair (or first- or second-year advisor, or an agreed upon substitute) will advise you on your course registration, sign Plan of Study Forms, and keep a continuous record. Any changes in advisory committees (whether initiated by the student or by a faculty member) must be recorded by submission of additional Committee Forms available in Haskell 119. Changes of committee after admission to candidacy are generally undesirable, and will be permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

Higher Levels
Although the role of the advisory committee (or first- or second-year advisor) is central, a role may also be played by the Director of Graduate Studies, by other faculty, or by the Department Chair, who in addition to having final approval on various matters, is also directly available for consultation. Aside from the formal petitions and reviews variously specified in the Guidelines, issues may occasionally arise which students or advisors may wish to refer to the Committee on Graduate Affairs or the Chair. In any case where some special interpretation of Departmental or University guidelines may be required, it is a good idea to raise the matter in writing.

Grievances and Personal Problems
Although we assume that most issues relating to your graduate education can and should be addressed through regular departmental channels, beginning normally with your advisor, we recognize the possibility that there may be certain kinds of problems, either of a personal or interpersonal nature, which can best be handled through some other means. If such problems or difficulties arise, you should feel free to speak with the Department Chair, members of your advisory committee, members of the Student- Faculty Liaison Committee, or anyone else in the departmental community in whom you have confidence. Outside the Department there are also both formal and informal channels through which to raise issues of this sort, including the Student Ombudsman, the Office of the Dean of Students in the Social Science Division, and the University Sexual Harassment Complaint Advisors.

Foreign Language
Prior to admission to doctoral candidacy (i.e., before you begin field research), all doctoral candidates must meet the Departmental requirement of demonstrating competence in a language in which there is a substantial and relevant scholarly literature. Although you are encouraged to satisfy this requirement at an early point in your work by passing an examination in one of the customarily specified languages (e.g., French, German, Spanish, Russian), your advisory committee may require additional language training, depending on your research interests. To satisfy the Departmental Language requirement, you must receive a “High Pass” P*/P+ on a university administered language exams. (A grade of “Pass”/“P” will not suffice.)

Formal Method. With similar concerns in mind, the advisory committees may in certain cases decide that a student’s career requires a demonstrated competence in some formal research method.

Course Completion and Quality Grades
Your academic record, including course grades, are an important basis for recommendations written to prospective funding agencies and employers. While arrangements to take P’s (“passing”) and R’s (“registered”) are sometimes appropriate, a record filled with these grades is not a useful indicator of the quality of work. We therefore encourage (and in the first year require) students to take courses for quality grades (A or B).

More specifically, the program requires a total of 18 courses to be taken for quality grades prior to admission to candidacy: 9 in the first year (8 for grades of A or B and Intro to Chicago Anthropology which is taken for a P), and another 9 prior to the Proposal Hearing. Of the 18 courses, Intro to Chicago Anthropology and Proposal Prep are taken Pass/Fail. As a rule of thumb there should be no more than 2 more of the 18 courses taken for “P.” The Reading Course used for the MA paper should receive a grade of A or B subsequent to completion of the paper.

The distribution of Quality Grades (for A or B) should be as follows:

  • 8 courses in the first year;
  • the MA Reading/Research course; and
  • at least 5 more courses taken prior to admission to candidacy
  • this totals 14 courses taken for quality grades; 10 of those must be in Anthropology (ANTH)

For grades of “P”:

  • Intro to Chicago Anthropology;
  • Proposal Prep; and
  • no more than two others of the 18.

It is advisable that, with the exception of the MA Reading/Research course, most of the other 12+ courses taken for grades of A or B be regular, substantive courses; not Reading/Research courses. Basic courses in French, Spanish or German taken for purposes of preparing for the language examination may not be used to meet the 18-course requirement. Once the 18-course requirement is met, students still in Research Residence must continue to register for at least one course per quarter for a grade of P, A/B, or (least preferably) R.

Required Courses

  • The following are the only courses specifically required in the Anthropology doctoral program:
  • Development of Social/Cultural Theory 1 & 2 (two-quarter double-course) (req. of all students)
  • Proposal Preparation (req. of all students)
  • Modes of Inquiry-1 and 2 ("1" req. of Sociocultural/Linguistic studenst; "2" strongly recommended)
  • Archaeological Theory & Method (double-course) (req. of Archaeology students; part I required, parts 2 strongly recommended)
  • Archaeological Data Sets or another approved statistics course (req. of Archaeology students)

Prompt completion of course work is indispensable if the instructor and Department are to be able to adequately to evaluate student performance. This is particularly important in introductory courses, since recommendations for aid and advice of subsequent work are made difficult in the absence of adequate information. Students should be aware that fellowship decisions, both within and outside the University, take a student’s ability to complete courses into account. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to withhold stipend checks from students with excessive numbers of incomplete.

Specific regulations regarding incompletes:

  • Incomplete grades are NOT permitted in required courses (Development of Social/Cultural Theory, Anthropological Methods, Archaeological Theory and Method, Statistics/Archaeological Data Sets, Proposal Preparation, and Archaeological Research Design;
  • In all other anthropology courses, you have one year maximum to complete incomplete course requirements. Students with overdue incompletes will not be allowed to register until the course requirements are completed. First year students should make every effort to clear all incompletes prior to registering for the Second year.

Annual Progress Reports
Early in the spring quarter of each year, every student in the Department is asked to submit two academic progress reports. One is required by the Dean of Students; the other is intradepartmental, and provides information for our Annual Review. In preparing these reports, you are encouraged to check that your departmental records are up to date.

Annual Review
Every year, late in the Spring quarter, the faculty reviews the progress of each student in the Department. We take into account the results of all examinations, reports on hearings, course work, writing projects (including Master’s papers), and detailed faculty comment on all of these. It is in your interest to see that copies of papers and reprints of any publications are deposited in the departmental files. At the spring review, the faculty make recommendations concerning continuance in the program and University financial aid. A statement of the faculty evaluation is sent over the Summer to each student in the program, with a copy placed in the departmental file. You are encouraged to discuss these with your advisor, or with the Department Chair, if there are issues which appear to need further clarification. Although the Department is required to make preliminary recommendations about continuation of fellowships early in the Spring quarter, these recommendations are always contingent upon the outcome of the subsequent Annual Review.