The doctorate requires 72 credits at the graduate level, comprising at least 54 of course work (the remaining 18 may be non-topical research), and the successful completion of a dissertation. Students entering with an M.A. degree can transfer up to 24 graduate credits.
The doctoral requirements reflect the department’s commitment to a critical assessment of the history of anthropology, to an integrated approach across the sub-disciplines (socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics), and to a program flexibly shaped to the particular needs and goals of each student.
During their first year, students take two “common courses” on the history of anthropological theory; over the course of their program, each student also takes one course in each of the sub-disciplines of socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. (Students who enter the program with a previous M.A. in Anthropology may have one sub-discipline requirement waived on the basis of graduate coursework completed elsewhere.)
In their second year, students prepare two essays that critically review the “state of the field” in two area of scholarly literature relevant to their planned dissertation research topics. Working closely with their advisory committees and other faculty, they define and develop their mastery of these areas in conjunction with graduate seminar courses and individually-designed Directed Readings courses. For those students planning to go on to a Ph.D., the M.A. is awarded upon successful completion of the two essays and applicable course work, as well as demonstrated competency in one foreign language.
In the third year of study, students complete courses and write their dissertation research proposal. The Ph.D. is awarded after students defend their research proposal, conduct their dissertation research, and write and defend a dissertation that makes an original contribution to scholarly knowledge in their chosen topics. Competency in a second foreign language is also required for the Ph.D. (Statistics may be substituted where relevant.)
For students taking the M.A. degree only, 30 credits are required consisting of 24 credits of regular courses and 6 credits of thesis research. M.A. students are asked to take only the first two semesters of “common courses.” They must also demonstrate competency in one foreign language and write either two critical reading reviews (like the Ph.D. students) or an M.A. thesis under the guidance of two faculty.
A fuller description of the graduate program and the degree requirements is available on-line at www.virginia.edu/anthropology.