Jul 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology Major, PhD


Students applying for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in anthropology must:

  • Have a BA or MA degree in anthropology or a minor in anthropology and a degree in a related field such as biology, sociology, geology, classics, history, historic preservation, or geography.
  • Have a GPA above 3.30 overall in undergraduate or graduate work.
  • Furnish the department and Graduate School the same materials as applicants for the MA program (see Admission under Master of Arts). The online application must specify that the applicant is applying for admission to the PhD program, and state the concentration (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, zooarchaeology) the student will pursue.
  • Master’s thesis candidates in anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who apply and are conditionally accepted into the PhD program can enroll as doctoral students the semester following conferral of the MA.
  • All other students with a BA or MA must apply by December 1 for admission the following fall and, due to the requirements of the program, must begin their studies in the fall semester.

Detailed information about the PhD program and application procedures may be found at the department website at http://anthropology.utk.edu/.

In addition to the Graduate Council requirements, requirements for the PhD with a major in anthropology, in the appropriate sequence of completion, are as follows.


  • Every potential PhD candidate must complete two consecutive semesters of full-time residence prior to taking the doctoral comprehensive examination. The student must complete the minimum course work requirements of the Graduate Council (48 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, or 24 credit hours beyond the master’s degree), including at least 9 credit hours of 500- or 600-level courses outside of anthropology, distributed as appropriate to the individual’s program of study. A minimum of 12 of the 24, or 30 of the 48 credit hours of coursework must be graded A-F. Coursework must include the three core classes taken in the first year, ANTH 510 - Method and Theory in Cultural Anthropology ; ANTH 560 - Theory in Archaeology ; and ANTH 590 - Theory in Biological Anthropology .
  • All PhD students must attend the graduate section of the visiting lecturer program (ANTH 550 ) each year until they are admitted to candidacy.
  • A formal performance review of each PhD graduate student’s progress will take place each year.
  • Two graduate courses in statistics, usually STAT 537  and STAT 538  or ANTH 504  and ANTH 604 . Courses in research methods, information technology or GIS may be substituted for these requirements, as approved by the student’s doctoral committee and the department head.
  • Pass a comprehensive oral and written examination designed to test for adequate knowledge in those areas essential to the student’s research program, upon which the student is admitted to candidacy.

Dissertation Research

Twenty four credit hours of dissertation are required. A formal dissertation proposal or equivalent publication or document must be orally defended, followed by the successful completion and final oral presentation and defense of a dissertation.