MA/PhD Degree Requirements
For additional details please consult the Graduate Catalog and the Graduate Faculty Council Bylaws
The following includes revised degree requirements from the Graduate School, and summarizes key requirements and policies. This document is not intended as a substitute for the requirements and policies outlined in the Graduate Catalog or the bylaws of the Graduate Faculty Council
Students entering the MA/PhD program in Anthropology on a PhD plan of study must adhere to the following
A. Students entering the MA/PhD program WITHOUT a MA in Anthropology follow the Plan B (non-thesis) Plan of Study
– Minimum 30 content course credits TBD in consultation with the Advisory Committee.
– 15 doctoral dissertation research credits (ANTH 6950).
– Foreign Language For a specific language to be considered appropriate there must exist a significant body of literature written in that language in the student’s field. Students should plan to meet any language requirement (reading proficiency) early in their graduate careers and usually well before they begin preparation for the MA Final Examination (below). One of 5 methods may be used to establish evidence of reading competence in an approved language. Please consult the Standards & Degree Requirements for further details.
– No Foreign Language Student entering without prior mastery of a foreign language may elect to take either coursework in an approved foreign language or 6 Related Area course credits TBD in consultation with the Advisory Committee. Related Area courses must comprise a coherent unit of advanced (i.e., 4000’s level or above) work outside the major field of study (or area of concentration, if appropriate). Coursework toward the Related Area normally is taken outside the student’s “home” department. The courses must be approved by the Advisory Committee as a part of the plan of study. With few exceptions, they must be taken at this institution.
– MA Final Examination This exam must be completed no later than 1 year after the completion of coursework. The contents of the MA Final examination are under the jurisdiction of the Advisory Committee, which has discretion to determine whether the examination shall be written, oral, or both. In Anthropology, the MA Final Examination is often designed to test a student’s mastery of foundational literature most relevant to their subfield in Anthropology (e.g., Medical, Cultural, Archaeology, etc). The Advisory Committee may, for example, administer an examination that consists of 5 topical areas, as determined by department subfield. The student is provided faculty-generated reading lists for each topic that they are expected to study; these reading lists are often updated annually to reflect major developments in the subfield. Upon mastery of said reading lists the Advisory Committee provides the student with 3 questions randomly selected from 3 of the 5 topical areas, each to be answered in two hours over the course of 2–3 days. The scheduling of the Masters Final Examination is to be determined by the student and their Advisory Committee.
– MA Degree The MA is awarded after completion of at least 30 content course credits, submission of an approved PhD Plan of Study (NOT MA Plan of Study) to the Graduate School, and completion of the MA Final Examination. The major advisor must note in the comments section of the MA Final Examination form that the student be awarded the MA.
– Completion of all PhD requirements (see below).
B. Students entering the PhD program WITH a MA in Anthropology or equivalent (TBD by the Graduate Committee upon admission):
– Minimum 15 content course credits TBD by the Advisory Committee.
– 15 doctoral dissertation research credits (ANTH 6950).
– Foreign Language Please see MA requirements above.
– No Foreign Language Please see MA requirements above.
– PhD Plan of Study See below.
– PhD Comprehensive Examination See below.
– Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus See below.
– Dissertation Defense and Submission See below.
The courses taken to fulfill the requirements outlined above shall be chosen in consultation with one’s Advisory Committee and will reflect the intellectual content of the specific subfield of Anthropology most relevant to a student’s graduate studies. At UConn, the Department of Anthropology currently recognizes and provides graduate education in Cultural Anthropology, Human Rights, Medical Anthropology, New World Archaeology, Old World Archaeology, and Evolution, Cognition, and Culture.
PhD Plan of Study
After completing 18 academic credits, each student, upon consultation with his/her major advisor, shall submit to the Graduate School an Advisory Committee-approved PhD Plan of Study.
PhD Comprehensive Examination
Sometimes referred to as the qualifying exam, the PhD Comprehensive Examination is under the jurisdiction of the Advisory Committee and contains both written and oral components. Not fewer than 5 faculty members, including all members of the advisory committee, constitute the examining committee and participate in the examination. Students complete the examination after their Plan of Study has been approved. The Advisory Committee determines the content and type of examination and the Report on the General Examination for the Doctoral Degree is submitted to The Graduate School only after the final phase has been completed.
In Anthropology, the PhD Comprehensive Examination is designed to test a student’s mastery of the literature most relevant to her/his specified PhD research, and as such is unique to each student. In this regard it is very different from the MA Final Examination, which tests a student’s mastery of foundational literature most relevant to their subfield in Anthropology (e.g., Medical, Cultural, Archaeology, etc).
The PhD Comprehensive Examination may, for example consist of approximately 5 topical areas, chosen in consultation with their major advisor that are related closely to the student’s developing PhD research. The student produces reading lists of 20–30 primary sources for each topic. Upon mastery of said reading lists the Advisory Committee provides the student with a question from each of the 5 topical areas, each to be answered in three hours over the course of 3–5 days. The scheduling of the PhD Comprehensive Examination is to be determined by the student and their Advisory Committee.
Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus
Before undertaking dissertation research, a doctoral student must prepare and present (for committee and outside reviewer approval) a written prospectus addressing the scope and content of his/her intended research. A coversheet with instructions for the proposal preparation can be found under forms. If human or animal subjects are involved, before conducting any research, the student must receive approval from the Institutional Review Board and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before research can begin. One copy of the completed and approved coversheet with attached text and IRB/IACUC approval (if applicable) must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval.
In Anthropology, the Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus may follow the format of any major external Doctoral Dissertation research grant, for example the NSF DDIG, Wenner-Gren Foundation, NEH, NIH, etc. Whether funded or not, external review of said grant satisfies the Graduate School’s requirement that the Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus be reviewed by two individuals external to the Advisory Committee. If the prospectus is submitted for internal review, the department chair will elect two individuals external to the Advisory Committee to review the document, one of which must come from outside UConn.
Dissertation Preparation and Submission
The dissertation is the scholastic culmination of a student’s ongoing research. It must meet all of the standards specified by the Advisory Committee and The Graduate School. Publication of the dissertation is mandatory.
Scheduling the Doctoral Defense
The oral defense of the dissertation must be announced publicly by means of the University’s online Events Calendar at least two weeks prior to the date of the defense. At this time, electronic tentative approval of the dissertation and an electronic working copy of the entire dissertation must be filed with The Graduate School (or with the Health Center, if appropriate). It is also the Anthropology Department’s long-established policy that the PhD candidate advertise their defense to the entire department. Candidates should send an email to the department administrator with the date, time, and location of their defense, as well as the dissertation title and abstract. This information will then be disseminated to the entire department ensuring the opportunity for everyone to attend.
Report on the Final Examination for the Doctoral Degree
This document is evidence of a student’s successful oral defense of his/her dissertation, and the document must include the original signatures of approval of all Advisory Committee members. If dissertation revisions are necessary, the committee will notify the student. Once revisions are made, the student obtains the original signatures on the dissertation approval page. The defense date, however, is not the degree completion date. The completion date is determined by the date the completed Dissertation Submission Checklist is submitted to The Graduate School.
Apply for Graduation
Students must be in good academic standing and must satisfactorily complete all prerequisites for the degree on or before the last day of the conferral period. UConn holds only one annual graduate Commencement in May, however degrees can be conferred three times each year in August, December, and May. For information about attending the Commencement ceremony, please visit the Commencement ceremony website.
*Students who qualify for degree conferral will receive their diplomas in the mail, normally, within four months following conferral.
The application process runs through the UConn Student Administration System. We will use this information to complete your degree, to mail your diploma to you, and to communicate with you in the future.
- Apply for graduation: Follow the instructions in this link to submit your application for graduation.
- Check your name for correct spelling and form: Follow the instructions in this link to modify your name.
- Check your current mailing address: Follow the instructions in this link to modify your addresses. If you are planning to move following completion of your degree, enter your new address and the date your new address will be effective.
- Let us know your post-graduation plans: Follow the instructions in this link to add a work experience. Enter your employer’s name, country, city, and state, along with your start date and job title. If you do not know all the information, complete as much as possible.
Students should review their transcript to ensure that grades are posted for all courses listed on your plan of study. If any grades are missing or reflected as incomplete, students should contact the instructor of the course to resolve the grade. Students should also review your plan of study to ensure that all courses listed on your plan of study accurately correspond to your transcript. If they do not, they will be required to submit a “Request for Changes in Plan of Study” form to The Graduate School. Students should refer to The Graduate School web page that corresponds with the degree/certificate they are planning to complete for information regarding required documentation for a successful audit of their records.