The Doctor of Philosophy program in anthropology requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. The Ph.D. balances the general anthropological competence obtained at the M.A. level with professional specialization and competence for independent research and teaching in one of four subfields: sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology.

Ph.D. students also may elect to pursue a focus in feminist anthropology or paleoanthropology; see "Graduate Focus Areas" below.

Required Course Work

Students may count a maximum of 18 s.h. earned in non-anthropology courses toward the minimum of 72 s.h. required for the Ph.D., including the maximum of 9 s.h. that may be counted toward the master's degree. They may count a maximum of 9 s.h. of independent study courses beyond the master's degree toward the Ph.D.

All doctoral students are required to take ANTH:5110 Anthropological Data Analysis or another statistics course within the first three years of graduate study, preferably during the M.A. program (first two years). They should also complete ANTH:5005 Responsible Conduct of Research in Anthropology during their third year, if they have not already done so.

All doctoral candidates must demonstrate reading and/or speaking knowledge of one foreign language before beginning dissertation research.

Students must take at least one theory course beyond the course they took to fulfill the master's degree requirements in their specialization subfield. This course should be chosen from one of the following lists.

Sociocultural Anthropology

ANTH:5101Seminar Sociocultural Anthropology3
ANTH:6410Seminar: Semiotics3

Most graduate seminars offered in the feminist anthropology focus area also may be used to fulfill this requirement (see "Feminist Anthropology Focus" below).

Linguistic Anthropology

ANTH:5401Seminar: Linguistic Anthropology3
ANTH:6410Seminar: Semiotics3
ANTH:6415Seminar: Language, Gender, and Sexuality3

Archaeology

ANTH:3206Seminar: Taphonomy3
ANTH:3237Politics of the Archaeological Past3
ANTH:5201Seminar: Archaeological Theory and Method3
ANTH:6205Hunter-Gatherer Ethnoarchaeology3
ANTH:6230Seminar: Zooarchaeology3

Biological Anthropology

ANTH:3308Human Variation3
ANTH:3310Primate Behavior: Sex Lives of Apes and Monkeys3
ANTH:3322Primate Evolutionary Biology3
ANTH:3325Human Evolutionary Genetics3
ANTH:3330Human Evolution in Africa and Eurasia3
ANTH:4315Human Evolutionary Anatomy3
ANTH:5301Seminar: Biological Anthropology3
ANTH:6505Seminar: Paleoanthropology3

Ph.D. Comprehensive Process

The comprehensive process consists of preparing and defending a research prospectus and writing comprehensive essays. According to individual needs and in consultation with a student's committee, each student selects the order of completing these two tasks. Successful completion of both tasks advances the student to Ph.D. candidacy.

To remain in good academic standing, students must complete the comprehensive process by the end of their third year in the program. Students who do not adhere to this timeline are placed on departmental probation.

Each student prepares a formal dissertation prospectus and defends that prospectus before the Ph.D. committee, working closely with committee members along the way. The defense is open to students and faculty who wish to attend. A copy of the student's dissertation prospectus must be made available in the department office one week prior to the defense.

Each student must write two comprehensive essays, which must be of publishable quality. One essay must concern the student's geographical area of specialization; the other must deal with the student's primary topical area. In some fields (e.g., biological anthropology), a geographical area may not be relevant and the student focuses on two topical areas. The essays are responses to questions posed by the committee in consultation with the student.

Comprehensive essays should demonstrate analysis, evaluation, synthesis, and control of a body of information (knowledge and comprehension). They should critique a major problem or debate (application and analysis), and they should develop a position on an issue and provide an explanation or theoretical justification for the position (evaluation and synthesis).

Doctoral students who have completed the comprehensive examination process are encouraged to enroll in ANTH:7501 Dissertation Writing Seminar to enhance timely progress on their dissertations.

Dissertation

All Ph.D. candidates are required to carry out original anthropological research. Students typically conduct dissertation research after defending their research prospectus and writing comprehensive essays. Dissertations usually are based on ethnographic fieldwork, archaeological excavations, or laboratory analysis. Some are based on data from archival collections, laboratory analysis, or other source materials.

Optional Graduate Focus Areas

In addition to their required course work in the four Ph.D. subfields, students may complete an optional focus area in either feminist anthropology or paleoanthropology. Each focus area reflects broad issues bridging subfields in and outside of anthropology.

Completion of a focus area indicates substantial expertise. It is recognized as a department credential and may be added to a student's curriculum vitae.

Feminist Anthropology Focus

The feminist anthropology focus offers broad training in a growing specialization area that enhances and draws from other theoretical approaches in anthropology. Graduate students in anthropology and other disciplines may explore particular aspects of the field by taking feminist anthropology courses.

Course work in the focus area emphasizes feminist perspectives, theories, methods, and analytic techniques in anthropology. It improves students' academic job prospects in anthropology and other fields, especially women's studies and gender studies. It also helps students prepare for careers in applied or public anthropology.

Feminist anthropology students take 15 s.h. of course work in the focus area in addition to their regular core requirements. The 15 s.h. should be divided between graduate seminars and elective courses as noted below.

Focus area courses also may fulfill requirements for graduate electives in anthropology.

The following list of approved courses is subject to change; contact the Department of Anthropology for updates. Students may petition to count other courses in anthropology or other disciplines toward the focus area, if the courses or the students' work in them includes significant relevant content. Petitions are reviewed by the feminist anthropology faculty.

Graduate Seminars

Students complete at least two of these (minimum of 6 s.h.) and may count additional graduate seminar courses as elective credit.

ANTH:5120Reading Transnational Feminist Theory3
ANTH:6125Seminar: Feminist Ethnography3
ANTH:6310Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Gender3
ANTH:6415Seminar: Language, Gender, and Sexuality3

Electives

Students may count additional graduate seminar courses as elective credit.

ANTH:3118Politics of Reproduction3
ANTH:3140Feminist Anthropology3
ANTH:3300Mothers and Motherhood3
ANTH:4140Feminist Activism and Global Health3

Paleoanthropology Focus

The paleoanthropology focus offers broad training that combines archaeology and biological anthropology, two traditional subfields of anthropology important in understanding the biocultural factors that have been critical in human evolution. The focus area combines course work in both biological and archaeological anthropology, complementing the specialized training that students from either subfield receive in their own specialization. Paleoanthropology courses emphasize integration of biological and cultural factors in the evolution of hominin species up to and including modern humans. They encompass primate and human evolutionary anatomy, technology and subsistence in Paleolithic archaeology, and modern human hunter-gatherers.

Paleoanthropology students take 15 s.h. of course work in the focus area in addition to their regular core requirements. The 15 s.h. should be divided between graduate seminars and elective courses as noted below.

Students may choose core seminars to fulfill requirements for both the M.A. general course work and the paleoanthropology focus.

The following list of approved courses is subject to change; contact the Department of Anthropology for updates. Students may petition to count other courses in anthropology or other disciplines toward the focus area, if the courses or the students' work in them includes significant relevant content. Petitions are reviewed by the paleoanthropology faculty.

Graduate Seminars

All of these (9 s.h.):
ANTH:5201Seminar: Archaeological Theory and Method3
ANTH:5301Seminar: Biological Anthropology3
ANTH:6505Seminar: Paleoanthropology3

Electives

At least two of these (6 s.h. minimum):
ANTH:3260Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas3
ANTH:3305Human Osteology3
ANTH:3322Primate Evolutionary Biology3
ANTH:3325Human Evolutionary Genetics3
ANTH:3330Human Evolution in Africa and Eurasia3
ANTH:4315Human Evolutionary Anatomy3
ANTH:6205Hunter-Gatherer Ethnoarchaeology3
ANTH:6230Seminar: Zooarchaeology3

Applicants for admission to the graduate program in anthropology are considered regardless of their previous field of training. Students without previous training in anthropology are expected to perform additional work as necessary to achieve competence expected for their degree objective.

Students normally are admitted under the assumption that they intend to pursue the Ph.D. degree, although the department does admit students seeking a terminal M.A. Students without an M.A. in anthropology devote the first two years fulfilling the M.A. requirements. After those requirements are completed, the student's committee may award the M.A. with admittance to the Ph.D. program.

Students with an M.A. in anthropology from another institution may proceed directly into a Ph.D. program organized around their special research interests. If they lack any of the requirements of the graduate program at the University of Iowa, they are informed of those requirements when admitted. Acceptance of credit hours from other institutions will follow UI regulations.

Applicants for admission to the graduate program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Anthropology graduate program applicants are required to upload the following documentation to the University of Iowa Graduate Admissions online application:

official academic records/transcripts;

a brief statement of interest or intent regarding why graduate study in the Department of Anthropology is desired;

three letters of recommendation;

a writing sample (preferably a research paper or M.A. thesis);

an application for graduate funding; and

official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores from the Educational Testing Service (University of Iowa institution code 6681).

International students must send their official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores from the Educational Testing Service (University of Iowa institution code 6681). Once recommended for admission, international students must send a financial statement.

Financial assistance, usually in the form of teaching and research assistantships, may be offered to doctoral and potential doctoral students in good standing for up to four years. Students making satisfactory and timely progress through the graduate program are in good standing. Eligibility for financial aid is reduced after two years in the M.A. program, after two years in the Ph.D. program, or after one year of postdoctoral fieldwork or research enrollment. The amount and types of aid depend on departmental needs.

Students are notified in writing of a provisional financial award before the semester or summer session for which the award has been granted. Although awards are made before the end of the previous semester, each award is contingent upon satisfactory completion of that semester's work by the awardee.

Graduates find rewarding careers in government, international affairs, conservation, economic development, public health, urban and regional planning, social work, museum work, and education. They might work to help resolve contemporary world problems by joining the Peace Corps, the Americorps program, or an international or domestic nongovernmental organization.