Graduate Program

Ph.D. in Anthropology

General Description/Special Programs:
Notre Dame’s Anthropology doctoral program is committed to the richness and diversity of the discipline by building bridges between various humanistic and scientific approaches.  We seek to involve graduate students in integrative anthropology, including engagement with different anthropological and interdisciplinary perspectives, integration of theory and application, and integration of teaching, research, and ethics.  Individualized programs are made possible by a close working relationship with other departments and institutes.  This includes the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Institute for Latino Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Requirement for PhD:
The doctoral program is designed to enable students to spend a major part of their graduate work on their chosen specialties.  Doctoral candidates follow a trajectory of study in methods and theory, based on the sub-fields of Anthropology, with flexible language, laboratory and field training depending upon perceived need and as determined by their individual research agenda.  Along with required courses in the first two years of study, each spring students prepare and present a research project at the end of term.  In the fall term third-year students take comprehensive examinations, and prepare a formal dissertation proposal that is suitable for submission to an external funding agency.  The dissertation and oral defense are the final steps in the Ph.D. requirement with the goal of completing all requirements within five years.

Notre Dame’s Anthropology doctoral program is fully funded with each accepted student receiving full funding for 5 years.  For academic year 2014-2015 this includes full tuition ($44,380), and nine-month stipend for living expenses ($18,500).  Additional information can be found on the University of Notre Dame Graduate School web page, or  Each year 5-6 students are accepted with a planned cohort of around 30 graduate students enrolled in the program at any time.

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Application Requirements and Deadline

Deadline: December 15, any questions regarding your application, contact the Graduate School at 574-631-7706 or

  • GRE (plan to take it at least 3 months prior to the deadline)
  • If English is not your native language, TOEFL
  • Transcript
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample, maximum 20 pages double-spaced (optional)
  • Curriculum vitae or resume


Visit the Graduate School's website for more information.

Contact Information

Prof. Ian Kuijt, Professor of Anthropology, Director of Graduate Studies, 574-631-3263 or email at

Program Requirements

  1. Expected time to degree is 5 to 6 years.
  2. A total of 60 total credit hours
    • 15 credits (minimum) in required course work plus 45 additional credits
      1. Four Sub-Disciplinary  Core Seminars (12 credits)
      2. Methods in Anthropology Seminar (3 credits)
      3. As needed: Seminars, courses in other departments, language coursework, methods, statistics, fieldwork, laboratory work, writing thesis in later years (45 credits)
  3. Annual assessments, with especially serious scrutiny at the completion of Year 1
  4. Comprehensive written exams in Year 2
  5. Examination in a relevant foreign language if appropriate
  6. Submission of at least two external grant applications
  7. Conference presentation
  8. Submission of a paper to a scholarly journal
  9. Successful completion of Teaching Apprenticeship (1 course on pedagogy, 2 terms as TA, 1 term as instructor of record), in conjunction with the Kaneb Center and a Teaching Mentor
  10. Completion of Professional Development Curriculum, in conjunction with the Career Center and the Graduate School
    1. Writing Anthropology Seminar
    2. Ethics
    3. Engagement
  11. Oral examination and defense of dissertation proposal
  12. Completion of dissertation
  13. Dissertation defense

Course Structure

Required courses for Years 1 - 2, at 3 courses per semester

Anthropology Graduate Trajectory PDF

Required courses for Years 1 - 2, at 3 courses per semester