Graduate Curriculum

Anthropology Graduate Curriculum

The Department of Anthropology offers a Ph.D. program and a M.A. in Applied Anthropology Program. The degree programs provide education leading to the general understanding of anthropological theory and knowledge, research methods, and a specialized area of concentration. Areas of potential specialization are listed on the Research/Department Research Themes web page.   

Scroll down for MA and USP (the 5 year BA/MA)

Ph.D. in Anthropology

The PhD program in Anthropology (click for checklist and sample timeline) consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours, plus a minimum of two semesters of ANT 767. Students must fulfill any and all other requirements of the Graduate School. An entering PhD student should complete required coursework by the end of the second year, and successfully defend a dissertation proposal and successfully complete the qualifying exams as early as the fifth semester, but no later than the tenth semester, after admission to the program. Upon acceptance into the graduate program, a student will be assigned a graduate advisor who will review and approve all first year coursework, and in consultation with the DGS, evaluate requests for transfer of up to 9 credit hours of equivalent graduate-level coursework. Following the first year, all coursework will be approved by the student’s committee.

Requirements in the Ph.D. program consist of: (1) three required courses - History of Theory (ANT 610) and a theory and a methods course in the student’s designated sub-discipline, to be taken in the first year when available; (2) a course in Research Design (ANT 662), (3) an approved statistics course; (4) 7 courses (21 hours) of additional coursework, of which at least 1 course must be in an anthropological subdiscipline (archaeology, biological, cultural) other than the student’s designated sub-discipline. Demonstrated competence by the student in reading or speaking one or more languages may be required by the student's committee. Click here for the policy on ANT 749.


M.A. in Anthropology

The M.A. degree in Applied Anthropology at UK is designed to train students to apply the theories, methods, and practices of anthropology to solve real world problems, and to prepare students for careers in different domains of application or for further graduate study. The program draws on the department’s considerable research strengths in a variety of areas, and puts strong emphasis on training in theory, application, and proficiency in qualitative and quantitative research methods and skills. The M.A. in Applied Anthropology program has two Areas of Concentration – Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology. Students must declare their area of concentration in their program application.

The degree completion requires 30 credits of coursework. The M.A. degree requires a written report based on the practicum. The report is written with the guidance of a committee of three faculty members. At the center of the M.A. Degree, the Practicum provides practical, hands-on experience in applied anthropology.  The activities could include (but are not limited to) program or policy implementation, evaluation or assessment, grant writing, data analysis, empirical research (at the request of an organization or project director) or any such activities that allow the student to engage in critical experiential learning.  Placements could include (but are not limited to) governmental and non-governmental organizations, CRM firms, museums, university based programs, non-profits, for-profits, health clinics, schools, police precincts, churches, community development agencies, private businesses, or community outreach at the local, national, or international level. 
The final examination for the Master’s degree is an oral presentation of the practicum project at the annual departmental practicum colloquium.   There is no foreign language requirement for the Master’s degree in applied anthropology. For more details about the M.A. in Applied Anthropology curriculum please see here.

The department encourages M.A. students interested in earning a dual degree to combine their Anthropology M.A. training with training in other Colleges on campus, such as The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, The College of Public HealthHistoric Preservation (College of Design), or College of Education.


The B.A./M.A. 5 - Year University Scholars Program

The department offers a 5 year combined B.A./M.A. degree program through the University Scholars Program for eligible undergraduate majors. Students in the University Scholars Program are classified as undergraduates until they have completed all requirements for their undergraduate degree and undergraduate tuition rates will be applied to the 12 hours of graduate level coursework designated for dual credit in the program. Program requirements are listed below. Interested undergraduates are encouraged to speak with their faculty mentor as early as possible about the program. Please see here for more information about the application process.

  1. Applicants must be undergraduate majors in anthropology who apply for the program in the second semester of their junior year. Students will be encouraged to apply for the program then in order to be able to use the spring semester of their senior years to satisfy up to 12 hours of their M.A. requirements.
  2. Applicants must have 90 hours completed or in progress toward the completion of their B.A when they apply.
  3. Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or above and a GPA of 3.5 or better in Anthropology.
  4. Applicants must satisfy the current application rules and standards of the Graduate School and of the Department of Anthropology for admission to the Master’s program in Anthropology.
  5. Applicants must complete at least three graduate courses before the conclusion of their senior year.
  6. Applicants pursuing the recommended practicum option must make arrangements in their senior year to engage in a practicum during the summer after graduation or in the fall of the following year of graduate study.

Graduate Courses

Graduate credit courses include all 600 and above level courses; additionally some 400G level courses and some 500 level courses, with approval from the student’s committee, may count towards the graduate degree in Anthropology. Please see the Registrar for a complete list of available graduate courses in anthropology. Enrolled graduate students at the University of Kentucky that sit out for one or more semesters will need to complete a new application and pay the application fee in order to be considered for readmission.  In many instances this requirement can be avoided by requesting a “leave of absence”.

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