Anthropology, Ph.D.


Applicants for the doctoral degree must have a baccalaureate degree from an approved college or university. Students who wish to do the PhD but do not have an MA in Anthropology may apply to the PhD program, but will be expected complete our M.A. program before entering the PhD program. Students who have MA degrees that required the production of a thesis in Anthropology may enter the PhD program directly. Applicants must be recommended to the Graduate School for acceptance by the Department of Anthropology. Admission requirements include official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities (whether a degree was earned or not), a personal statement of the student’s interest and intent, a writing sample, and at least two letters of recommendation. A strong applicant should have a 3.50 GPA. Practically speaking, an applicant intending to seek a PhD should be supported by at least two faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program.

Degree Requirements (30 Post Masters Hours)

Residence and other basic requirements for the degree in anthropology are set by The Graduate School. Doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work beyond the M.A., including 12 hours of dissertation credit (ANTH 899). Additional hours may be specified by their advisor and approved by the graduate faculty. Students who enter the anthropology department at UofSC intending to take the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees will apply for admission to the Ph.D. program upon completion of all requirements for the M.A. (including course work, comprehensive exam, and thesis). Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. in Anthropology or related field from another university must complete the M.A. requirements or demonstrate they have completed similar course work. The required distribution of the 30 hours beyond the M.A. include:

Required Core Courses

Unless taken at the master’s level.

Course Title Credits
ANTH 703Anthropological Inquiry3
ANTH 711Professionalism and Ethics3
Total Credit Hours6

Subfields - Core Courses

One *core course* in each of the three subfields not in the student’s subfield to provide four field anthropological exposure. May be satisfied at the master’s level.


Course Title Credits
ANTH 720Development of Anthropological Archaeology3
ANTH 745Seminar in Historical Archaeology3
Total Credit Hours6

Biological/Biocultural Anthropology

Course Title Credits
ANTH 762Biological Anthropology Principles and Theory3
Total Credit Hours3

Cultural Anthropology

Course Title Credits
ANTH 730Cultural Theory through Ethnography3
Total Credit Hours3

Linguistic Anthropology

Course Title Credits
ANTH 747Language as Social Action3
ANTH 748Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology3
Total Credit Hours6

Coursework within Another Department or Discipline

A minimum of 1 (3-credit hour) course taken in a department/discipline other than anthropology.

Other Courses

  • Any other appropriate courses chosen in consultation with the advisor.

Dissertation Preparation

A minimum of 12 credit hours of dissertation preparation.

Course Title Credits
ANTH 899Dissertation Preparation1-12
Total Credit Hours1-12

Note: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program will be admitted to candidacy after completing the following requirements:

  1. a written and oral exam;
  2. demonstration of two research skills (e.g. competency in a foreign language, statistical application, or visual anthropology methods and techniques, etc.); and
  3. writing, presenting, and defending a dissertation prospectus.

This will normally take place at the end of the first or second year after entering the Ph.D. program (third or fourth year of study after entering the department with a bachelor’s degree).