Why pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology at Notre Dame?

Anthropology Graduate Student Doing Research On Primapes

The Notre Dame Anthropology graduate program is focused on helping you develop the skills necessary 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.

We are committed to the richness and diversity of the discipline by helping you build bridges between various humanistic and scientific approaches.

The teaching and research interests of our faculty are diverse and represent all four of anthropology’s subfields. We encourage you to work with multiple faculty members with different specializations to develop integrated analyses of anthropological problems.

In our department, you will be trained to develop and conduct your own research, speak across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and publish the innovative contributions of your research. Your experience will be supplemented by the Department of Anthropology's close relationships with other departments, centers, and institutes on campus. Through these partnerships, you will have access to substantial research and teaching funding and support.

When you graduate, you will be well prepared for work in academia and in research positions in the private and non-profit sectors.

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What you'll learn

Graduate Student Doing Research In Africa

As a scholar—you will learn how to identify, research, and solve important local and international problems. You will be trained in ways that reach beyond the methods and theories of your specialty, allowing you to easily adopt and engage with interdisciplinary perspectives.

As a teacher—you will discover how to conceptualize and set up an exciting classroom and engage with students across a spectrum of learning environments. You will learn to create compelling presentations that reflect your passion for anthropology, explore the complementarity of teaching and research, and remain sensitive to critical ethical issues.

As a practitioner—you will be pushed to think outside the box whenever possible, to be open to novel, interdisciplinary, and integrative applications of your research. You will be able to maximize career opportunities and take the lead in solving problems that are on the horizon but not yet obvious.

Our graduate students are successful recipients of prestigious national and international grants and fellowships, including the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) and Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DDRIG), the Wenner Gren Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, USAID, among others.


Angela Lederach Photo In Bogota

"In the U.S., anthropology typically encompasses four subfields—biological, linguistic, sociocultural, and archaeological. And often, in practice, that means you have these disciplinary silos. But the way Notre Dame integrates these fields exposes us to very different kinds of literature and ways of thinking, which can bring up surprising questions that otherwise wouldn’t happen."

— Angela Lederach, Ph.D. ’19, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Creighton University

Our Programs

The University of Notre Dame has two Ph.D. tracks in the field of anthropology. Our Ph.D. in Anthropology is the main track and covers biological anthropology, archeology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. We also offer a joint Peace Studies and Anthropology Ph.D. that combines these areas with a specialization in peace and conflict studies at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The joint Kroc Peace Studies-Anthropology Ph.D. track requires enrollment in both programs of study and has a separate application process.

Additional information can be found on the University of Notre Dame Graduate School website or in the Anthropology Graduate Guide.


Have questions about the graduate program in Anthropology? Contact:

Christopher Ball 
Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Phone: 574-631-6993