2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology, PhD

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Douglas V. Armstrong, Chair
209 Maxwell Hall

It is the objective of the anthropology department to produce doctors of philosophy of the highest quality.  The Ph.D. requirements build upon the educational training and background gained through the completion of master’s requirements.  Ph.D. students are expected to demonstrate outstanding quality in coursework.  They must demonstrate that they are qualified to carry out a significant body of anthropological research.  Once their proposal has been approved by their committee, they are expected to carry out the project and write a dissertation based on this research.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain and evaluate anthropological theory generally and apply relevant theories to specific anthropological problems

2. Describe, explain, and evaluate anthropological research methods applicable for their subfield and demonstrate ability to choose and use relevant research methods in relation to the examination of specific research problems

3. Demonstrate capacity to produce publishable quality research by formulating, designing, and conducting theoretically and methodologically rigorous research

4. In a chosen field of specialization, explain and illustrate the connections between social structure, cultural values, and individual experience; the functioning of social institutions; and the ways social inequality and power operate

1. Basic requirements:

72 graduate credits (past B.A.) as follows:

  • Minimum of 33 credits in anthropology
  • Maximum of 27 credits in cognate fields
  • Maximum of 12 “dissertation” credits
  • Completion of core courses (see master’s requirements )
  • A Ph.D. pass on qualifying examinations (See master’s requirements.) Exemptions may be granted on the basis of previous work. (Petition to the graduate director is required.)

2. Students with a Prior Master’s Degree

2. Students with a prior master’s degree must fulfill all core courses and qualifying requirements (see M.A. guidelines ). This may be accomplished through satisfactory completion of required coursework, the qualifying examination, and other means approved by the Graduate Committee (petition to the graduate director is required).

3. Tools and methods requirement:

Cultural students must satisfy the tools and methods requirements for the M.A. plus show proficiency in a language of international scholarship, a literary language, or a field language.

Archaeology students must satisfy the tools and methods requirements for the M.A. plus a relevant language of international scholarship, a literary language, a field language, or managing electronic databases and other computer programs for data processing.

4. Dissertation committee:

The Ph.D. student is responsible for forming a committee that will guide and preside over the doctoral dissertation. The committee is composed of five members, including the student’s principal advisor plus at least two other faculty members from the Syracuse University Department of Anthropology. The other two may be from any department. (Interdisciplinary training is encouraged.) At the discretion of the advisor, one member of the committee may be chosen who has no affiliation with Syracuse University.

To facilitate communication and encourage progress towards completion of their doctoral degree, students should meet with their advisor and doctoral committee at least once a year following the selection of an advisor and committee, with the meeting normally held in the spring term. The meeting will be organized by the student and advisor and may include remote participation if necessary.

5. Position papers:

Doctoral students are required to write three position papers on topics selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee. These three papers will demonstrate competence in a) the geographical area and focal context of specialization, b) the topic of specialization (local and cross-cultural perspectives on a specific research topic), and c) a specific research problem. The position paper should be a student’s original synthesis of the specialized literature in each of the three areas. The ideal paper would be one that could be published in the Annual Review of Anthropology. Position papers may be written and submitted (in consultation with the student’s core committee) at any time beginning in the student’s third term of residence. They must all be completed and approved before a formal research proposal may be defended.

6. Dissertation proposal and proposal defense:

Each student must submit a dissertation proposal to his or her committee and successfully defend it during an oral examination. The dissertation proposal should be a substantive piece of work demonstrating competencies in theory, method, topic, and geographic area sufficient to support the proposed research.

7. Dissertation and dissertation defense:

The dissertation is an original and substantial written report on one’s doctoral research. Completed dissertations are subject to a formal dissertation defense.

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