The Anthropology Graduate Program at UC Santa Cruz is one of the foremost in the country, widely recognized for the creative scholarship of its students and faculty. Graduates have continued their careers at leading academic and government institutions, including Cambridge University, Stanford, Yale, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Our goal is to support graduate students in becoming proficient researchers who communicate effectively as teachers and professionals inside or outside of academia. To this end, the program offers close interactions between students and faculty. We have designed the program to facilitate communication and to encourage people from diverse educational, work, and cultural backgrounds to apply for admission and to achieve the doctorate.
The Ph.D. in Anthropology normally requires three years of coursework, one to two years of dissertation research (fieldwork), and one year of dissertation write-up. The anticipated time frame for completion is six years, though circumstances vary. Students enter the program after choosing to specialize in one of the three major subdisciplines. The majority of students are admitted to the cultural track. Smaller numbers are accepted to pursue graduate tracks in anthropological archaeology. The department will not be accepting applications for physical anthropology until further notice. Although applicants are accepted only for the Ph.D. program, students may obtain an M.A. degree after fulfilling specific requirements during the first and second year. Recommended preparation for the anthropology Ph.D. program includes a strong background in anthropology or related disciplines and a thorough knowledge of at least one language in addition to English.
Details of admissions procedures and deadlines, and online application forms are available at the Graduate Studies Division.
One member of the student’s qualifying exam committee must be a faculty member of the anthropology department. In addition, one member of the anthropology department must serve on the student’s doctoral thesis committee.
The student must take four graduate courses in anthropology, of which at least one must be a topical seminar graduate seminar. An independent study with a faculty member of the anthropology department may count as only one of the three courses. Grant Writing (ANTH 228) may not be counted towards these requirements.
At the time of the qualifying exam, the student must submit to the anthropology department a full statement, up to five pages, summarizing the pre-QE work done in anthropology (courses, papers, research projects, independent studies) and characterizing how that work and the dissertation to follow draw from and contribute to anthropological and ethnographic inquiry. The dissertation research will normally include a fieldwork component.
In the quarter in which the student announces candidacy for graduation, the faculty member from the anthropology department serving on the student's doctoral thesis committee will evaluate the depth of engagement with anthropology displayed in the doctoral thesis and decide whether the thesis fulfills the requirement to contribute to anthropological and ethnographic inquiry.