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 (Graduate Guide):
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 2015-2016 this includes full tuition ($44,380), and nine-month stipend for living expenses ($19,000), research support in the first two summers (up to $4,000) and yearly conference support ($1,000).  The 2015-2016 stipend rate will be increased and posted later.  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, the review of applications will begin December 5, 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
  • University Transcript(s)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample, maximum 20 pages double-spaced (optional)
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Up to 3 academic powerpoint presentations and/or posters (optional)


Visit the Graduate School's website for more information.

Visiting the University of Notre Dame, Fall 2014

We encourage, but by no means require, students to visit us at Notre Dame. To facilitate this the Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, will be hosting two open houses for prospective graduate students during the fall of 2014.  These events, to be held from 1:00-3:00 pm on Friday, October 24, 2014 and November 7, 2014, and will allow for students to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies to learn about program funding, organization, the application process, and a wide range of other topics.  Prospective students will also have the opportunity to meet with individual faculty members and current graduate students, subject to availability, tour the university campus, and learn about departmental office space, library facilities and Anthropology department laboratories. 

Each of these open houses is limited to 10 students, and advance student bookings are required for attendance.  Given scheduling needs, interested students should contact Michelle Thornton ( at least three days in advance.  Bookings are handled in the order they are received.

Application selection and January 2015 campus visits

Once all applications have been received we will select some individuals to visit the campus of Notre Dame, learn more about their research interests, and to better understand how they might fit into the graduate program. All applications are due December 15, 2014.  These applications will be reviewed in December and early January, 2015.  Based on review of submitted materials by the Graduate Acceptance Committee, on January 10, 2015, between 10 and 12 applicants, both national and international, will be invited to visit the University of Notre Dame.  These campus visits will include students making a five min powerpoint presentation outlining their research interests and background, students meeting with individual faculty members, and participating in meals, laboratory tours, and a campus tour.  The University of Notre Dame will cover all national or international travel costs, accommodation and food costs resulting from the interviews.

Contact Information (Graduate guide)

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) (4 classes)
      2. Research Design 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 September of Year 3
  5. Yearly conference participation, submission of internal and external grants
  6. 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
  7. Completion of Professional Development Curriculum, in conjunction with the Career Center and the Graduate School
    • Writing Anthropology Seminar
    • Ethics
    • Engagement
  8. Presentation of dissertation proposal, Fall of Year 3
  9. Completion of dissertation

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