Graduate Program

The anthropology doctoral program at UCSC consists of three tracks: cultural anthropology, anthropological archaeology, and biological anthropology.

Although applicants are accepted only for the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program, students may obtain a master of arts (M.A.) degree after fulfilling specific requirements during the first two years.

Strongly recommended...

Prospective students should review our faculty and their research interests as they plan their applications.

The theme of emerging worlds—culture and power after progress—unites the research interests of faculty in the cultural anthropology graduate program.

Our concentration on “emerging worlds” and on the construction of anthropological knowledge is especially well suited for drawing together diverse scholars and specialists in challenging and enriching conversations. Rather than reproduce the boundaries among the traditional subfields of anthropology, we explore how recombination of these approaches can elucidate specific anthropological problems.

The Ph.D. program in anthropological archaeology focuses on the pre-colonial and early post-colonial history of Africa, Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, and western North America. It is distinctive in insisting that theories of power, production and exchange, human ecology, gender, ethnicity, and technological practice be explored through rigorous laboratory and field research methods.

The Ph.D. program in biological anthropology has a methodological emphasis in innovative approaches to human and non-human primate ecology and diversity founded on our expertise in genomics and isotope biochemistry.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Understanding of Key Conversations in the Discipline: The student demonstrates knowledge of key debates and theoretical concepts across their chosen anthropological subfield.

Knowledge of Appropriate Research Methods: The student has been trained in the research methods appropriate to their chosen anthropological subfield.

Mastery of Two Specialized Areas in Anthropological Literature: The student demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of at least two specialized fields of anthropological and related literature in the appropriate sub-field.

Ability to Construct Research Prospectus: The student demonstrates the ability to construct an original research prospectus.

Ethics: The student has a grasp of ethical considerations associated with research in his or her subfield.

Ability to Carryout an Original and Independent Research Project: The student demonstrates the ability to conduct intensive independent research and produce written analysis based on that research.