Anthropology PhD

Researchers with primates.

Photo: Carol M. Berman.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Anthropology at UB aims to prepare graduate students for entry into academic and professional positions with a high-level of specialized training both in research and teaching.

On this page:

Why study Anthropology at UB?

Anthropology at UB strives to create a supportive, inclusive and intellectually engaged academic environment for its graduate students.

The many field projects and diverse range of technical and material laboratories operated by our department foster the creation and cultivation of research objectives within a thriving academic community. Although the department is composed of subdiciplines, we take an  approach that encourages intedisciplinarity as a vital component of research design and prepares students for the professional environment they will encounter upon completion of the program.  

What requirements are needed for completion?

Completing the PhD require 72 credit hours of coursework. Full-time status is achieved by enrolling in 12 credit hours per semester (or 9 credit hours for students on assistantship).

Students must abide by the rules as they existed per the department's Graduate Student Handbook in the year of their admission.

First and Second Year Coursework

Students are required to satisfactorily complete six (6) formal courses during the first year of graduate study, with at least one (1) course in each subdiscipline chosen from among those designated by the subdiscipline’s faculty as appropriate.

Second year PhD students will select eight (8) UB courses, or six (6) for students on an assistantship, in consultation with the adviser. Students may take independent study courses with the approval of their adviser.

By the end of the second year, students should complete and have accepted a research paper. This paper will demonstrate research skills and could derive from a course paper. The paper must be evaluated and accepted by the adviser and two other members of the student’s committee for continuation in the PhD program.

Advanced Examinations

Doctoral students are encouraged to take the advanced examination no later than the end of the sixth semester of graduate study.

The Advanced Examination (PhD Candidacy Exam) certifies that students have acquired a professional level of knowledge of several areas of Anthropology relevant to their doctoral specialties. The format of the advanced exam is determined by the student’s faculty committee in consultation with the student. The content of the exam is expected to cover the student’s major areas of focus and concentration.


The doctoral dissertation is a substantial and original work of professional quality required of all PhD students. The dissertation is expected to be an original contribution to knowledge and to meet other criteria of professionalism and competence.

How do I apply?

Please visit the Graduate Admissions page for application instructions.

PhD Program Metrics