2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Dec 02, 2023  
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology, PhD

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Ph.D. students must demonstrate, by earning a “Ph.D. Pass” on the Qualifying Examination, that they are qualified to carry out a significant body of anthropological research. Once their proposal has been approved by their committee, they are expected to carry out the project and write a dissertation based on this research.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain and evaluate anthropological theory generally and apply relevant theories to specific anthropological problems

2. Describe, explain, and evaluate anthropological research methods applicable for their subfield and demonstrate ability to choose and use relevant research methods in relation to the examination of specific research problems

3. Demonstrate capacity to produce publishable quality research by formulating, designing, and conducting theoretically and methodologically rigorous research

4. Explain and illustrate the connections between social structure, cultural values, and individual experience; the functioning of social institutions; and the ways social inequality and power operate

1. Basic requirements:

72 graduate credits (past B.A.) as follows:

  • Minimum of 33 credits in anthropology
  • Maximum of 27 credits in cognate fields
  • Maximum of 12 “dissertation” credits
  • Completion of core courses (or the equivalent-see M.A. guidelines )
  • Satisfactory completion of the qualifying examination

2. Students with a Prior Master’s Degree

2. Students with a prior master’s degree must fulfill all core courses and qualifying requirements (see M.A. guidelines ). This may be accomplished through satisfactory completion of required coursework, the qualifying examination, and other means approved by the Graduate Committee (petition to the graduate director is required).

3. Tools and methods requirement:

Cultural students must satisfy the tools and methods requirements for the M.A. plus show proficiency in a language of international scholarship, a literary language, or a field language.

Archaeology students must satisfy the tools and methods requirements for the M.A. plus show proficiency in a language of international scholarship, a literary language, a field language, or in managing electronic databases and other computer programs for data processing.

4. Dissertation committee:

The Ph.D. student is responsible for forming a committee that will guide and preside over the doctoral dissertation. The committee is composed of five members, including the student’s principal advisor and at least two other faculty members from the department. At the discretion of the advisor, one member of the committee may be chosen who has no affiliation with Syracuse University.

To facilitate communication and encourage progress towards completion of their doctoral degree, students should meet with their advisor and doctoral committee at least once a year following the selection of an advisor and committee, with the meeting normally held in the spring term. The meeting will be organized by the student and advisor and may include remote participation if necessary.

5. Position papers:

Doctoral students are required to write three position papers on topics selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee. The position papers are intended to demonstrate the student’s competence in a) the geographical area and focal context of specialization, b) the topic of specialization (local and cross-cultural perspectives on a specific research topic), and c) a specific research problem. The position paper should be the student’s original synthesis of the specialized literature in each of the three areas. The ideal paper would be one that could be published in the Annual Review of Anthropology. Position papers may be written and submitted (in consultation with the student’s core committee) at any time beginning in the student’s third term of residence. They must all be completed and approved before a formal research proposal may be defended.

6. Dissertation proposal and proposal defense:

Doctoral students must submit a dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee, and successfully defend it during an oral examination. The dissertation proposal should be a substantive piece of work demonstrating competencies in theory, method, topic, and geographic area sufficient to support the proposed research.

7. Dissertation and dissertation defense:

The dissertation is an original and substantial written report on the student’s doctoral research. Completed dissertations are subject to a formal dissertation defense.

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