Graduate Program

Ph.D. in Anthropology: Overview


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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 Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Institute for Latino Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and iCeNSA-- the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Application.

The teaching and research interests of our faculty are diverse and represent all four of anthropology’s subfields. The Notre Dame Anthropology graduate program is focused on developing the skill sets to undertake research related to the human condition, to learn about what it is to be human, and to convey these understandings of what it means to be human to others.

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 present their research 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 provides full funding to each accepted student for 5 years. This includes full tuition, a twelve-month stipend for living expenses, and yearly conference support. Given the low cost of living in South Bend, our stipends are very competitive with those of other universities. Each year between 4 to 6 students are accepted with a planned total of around 30 graduate students enrolled in the program at any time.

Contact Information
Vania Smith-Oka
Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Phone: 574-631-7269

Additional information can be found on the University of Notre Dame Graduate School website.

Click here to download a PDF of the Anthropology Graduate Guide