PhD in Anthropology: Program of Study

The graduate program in Brown’s anthropology department encourages a diversity of doctoral research agendas in socio-cultural anthropology, anthropological archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. Our program balances a rigorous curriculum of core classes with more specialized training in advanced courses. Our graduate seminars and independent study courses provide an engaging and rigorous tutorial approach to training.  A list of 2000-level graduate courses being offered this academic year can be found here.

Brown’s graduate program is primarily PhD granting; no students are admitted to the department solely to seek a Master’s degree.  Doctoral students complete requirements for a Master’s degree during their course of study, as well as  the additional requirements described below.

Degree Requirements

The following are the requirements for the Master's Degree, generally awarded as part of the overall requirements for a Ph.D.: 

  • Four core courses: 
    • ANTH2010: Principles of Cultural Anthropology
    • ANTH 2020: Methods of Anthropological Research (or equivalent)
    • ANTH 2501: Principles of Archaeology
    • ANTH 2800: Linguistic Theory and Practice
    • Four approved electives
    • A Master’s Thesis

 The following are additional requirements for the PhD:

  • 12 additional elective courses beyond the 8 required for the Master’s Degree (or the fulfillment of equivalent through coursework at another university) 
  • Preliminary examinations in three topics
  • One year of teaching experience, usually as a teaching assistant
  • Approved research proposal for doctoral research
  • Foreign language requirement (if required by the candidate’s doctoral committee)
  • Dissertation, based on independent field research

More detailed information about the program, including a general outline of the timeline for completing the program, can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook

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