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***The Anthropology Department at the University of Utah will be covering the cost of Graduate Applications that are submitted before the deadline.

Please email Brittany Kiser for the waiver code to submit with your application to avoid the application fee.


Doctoral Program Requirements

 The Graduate School has requirements concerning hours of coursework, GPA, residency, and required forms that must be filed. Registration requirements include two consecutive semesters of full-time registration (9 credit hours per semester), 14 credit hours of ANTH 7970 (dissertation research), and 3 credit hours of registration during the semester in which the dissertation is defended. There is no University-wide language requirement. ANTH 7990 (continuing registration), which carries a minimal charge, is available for a maximum of four semesters to students who are working on the dissertation and not using university resources. See the section on Dissertation for more information on 7990, and consult the Graduate Catalog for a complete description of these requirements. 
You are responsible for knowing the Graduate School Requirements.

Please see the graduate student handbook for detailed degree requirements and information regarding supervisory committees. Close contact with your committee is essential to success in the program. The departmental requirements for the doctorate include coursework, a qualifying examination, and preparation and defense of the dissertation. These requirements must be completed within six years after acceptance into the Ph.D program.  Extensions must be approved by the supervisory committee.


Students are required to take Anthropology 6611 (Preparation of Grant Proposals) and are expected to have basic proficiency in statistics. Additional course requirements are determined by the student's Supervisory Committee.

For additional program requirements and general information, please see the Graduate Student Handbook.

A critical aspect of timely completion of your graduate degree is selecting a Supervisory Committee Chair and forming a committee as soon as possible. The supervisory committee is responsible for approving the student's academic program, preparing and judging the qualifying examinations subject to departmental policy, approving the thesis or dissertation subject, reading and approving the thesis or dissertation, and administering and judging the final oral examination (thesis or dissertation defense).  The Chair of the supervisory committee directs the student's research and writing of the thesis or dissertation

Each supervisory committee consists of five faculty members. The committee chair and the majority of the committee must be tenure-line faculty in the student’s department. One member of the committee must be appointed from outside the student’s major department. The outside member is normally from another University of Utah department. However, the dean of The Graduate School may approve requests to appoint a committee member from another university where appropriate justification and supporting documentation is provided. The supervisory committee is responsible for approving the student’s academic program, preparing and judging the qualifying examinations, approving the dissertation subject and final dissertation, and administering and judging the final oral examination (dissertation defense). 

It is recommended that students take the Ph.D. qualifying exam by the end of their third year in the Ph.D. program. Detailed information about the exam can be found in the graduate student handbook. An oral follow-up with the supervisory committee is required, ten days after submission of the exam.

The exam consists of two components A) a Breadth Requirement and B) a Dissertation Research Proposal.

  1. Breadth Requirement.The student must prepare a substantial written piece that demonstrates a breadth of understanding in anthropological research.  There are three ways to satisfy this requirement, descriptions are available in the graduate student handbook.  The choice should be made by the student in consultation with, and approval by the supervisory committee.
  2. Dissertation Proposal.The student must write a formal dissertation research proposal, and should consult with the supervisory committee while doing so. Final approval will be given in a conference attended by the student and supervisory committee. It is recommended that the proposal be completed within six months of finishing step I, above.

After the qualifying exercise is completed, the student is responsible for providing written notification to your Graduate Coordinator. The documentation should include the date of completion and a approval from the chair of your supervisory committee.

The supervisory committee is responsible for approving the content of the dissertation. It is important to consult with the committee regularly during the research and writing. A final oral examination (usually known as the "dissertation defense") is open to the academic and professional community, and must be passed at least four weeks before graduation.

We recommend that students schedule a final meeting with the full committee prior to the defense to discuss any changes the committee feels are necessary. Please allow the committee four weeks to read the manuscript. The defense is scheduled only after the committee agrees that the dissertation is substantially complete. Work with your committee to schedule your defense. The defense should be scheduled early enough for you to make any changes requested by the committee and still submit the manuscript by the Thesis office Deadlines (WEBSITE)

The Thesis Office has specific requirements concerning forms, advertisement of the oral exam, registration, and format and publication of the dissertation. Some requirements must be met in the semester before you plan to graduate.

Hardbound Copy

Graduating Ph.D Students must supply the Anthropology Department with 1- hardbound (not spiral bound) copy of their dissertation no later than 60 days after approval of your dissertation by the Graduate School.  The Campus Bookstore offers a dissertation binding service. The cost is approximately $60.00 through the Campus Bookstore, call 801-581-5352 for more information. Competitive pricing may be found at other binderies.  The size must be 8 ½" x 11" and the color of the hardbound book may be either solid red, solid black, or solid blue. The student's name and dissertation title must be embossed on the front of the book.  The year the dissertation was defended and the student's name must be on the spine of the book.  A copy of the signed Supervisory Committee Approval and the Final Reading Approval, signed by the Dean of The Graduate School, must be included as the first two pages of the hardbound copy.

 All graduate students must provide written notice to the department Graduate Coordinator at least one semester in advance of their desired graduation term. At that time, your Program of Study is entered into your Graduate Record File. Your Supervisory Committee must approve this Program of Study no later than one semester before graduation.

Deadlines for all requirements are clearly stated on The Graduate School website, and it is the student’s responsibility to observe all deadlines and to check with the Department if anything on the Requirements Audit Tab is incomplete. If any requirement is not met, the student must reapply for graduation in the following semester.

Deadlines to apply for graduation





Last Updated: 11/17/23