Graduate Studies

Graduate Coordinator:

Clara Pfefferkorn
5240C Wm. Sewell Social Science
(608) 262-2868

Graduate Advisor:

Travis Pickering
5407 Wm. Sewell Social Science
(608) 262-5818

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison offers prospective graduate students the opportunity to pursue their academic interests either within one of three major fields of contemporary Anthropology - Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology or within the Intersectional Degree Program.

While there are important differences among the three "Sections" in this Department, there also are significant overlaps. Students are encouraged to explore the similarities and to benefit from the different approaches that characterize the three sections. The range of possibilities for academic growth and intellectual development that are available in the Department is designed to prepare students for the different research and teaching challenges of a professional career in contemporary Anthropology.

Students interested in pursuing degrees in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will find themselves members of an unusually vibrant and exciting intellectual community. The University is an important crossroads where a diversity of debate and intellectual exchange can be found. The Department is actively involved in this diverse community and regularly invites renowned scholars from all over the world to give talks and hold seminars. When a new student is admitted to the Department that student also becomes a colleague to a diverse group of scholars.

The Department recognizes that the methods, perspectives, and theoretical orientation originating in Anthropology have now invigorated many other disciplines. This blurring of the borders between disciplines has created a cross fertilization that is unprecedented in the history of Western Academics. The Department encourages students to take part in this process, as it relates both to intra disciplinary relationships between the sections and to interdisciplinary relationships between Departments.

General Course of Study

The goal of our graduate program is to produce scholars and educators of the highest professional caliber in the general field of anthropology. To achieve that goal students are required to complete a series of steps whose general progress is much the same for each of our three sections. Following are the broad outlines of these steps.

First, incoming graduate students are expected to take courses within the department, and on occasion with their advisor's guidance, outside the department. The aim of these courses is threefold: to prepare students for their qualifying exams; dissertation research and writing; and for their future career.

Second, students must meet the qualifying exam requirements of their chosen area within Anthropology. Successful completion of these exams would advance a student to the next stage of graduate study, which is the preparation of a dissertation topic.

Third, students must prepare and be examined upon preliminary proposals for their dissertation research. Successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, minor requirements, graduate school requirements and section requirements, advances the students to candidacy as dissertators.

Fourth, students must conduct dissertation research and write their dissertations. The conduct of these endeavors, the time spent, data collected, and drafts critiqued, will vary greatly from section to section and from student to student. To be acceptable as a dissertation, the research must constitute an original contribution to that field of scholarship.

Fifth, students will defend their dissertation before a faculty committee. By university regulation, "A Ph.D. final examination committee must have at least five current graduate faculty members, and at least one of these must represent a graduate field outside your major". The Cultural and Archaeology sections have additional requirements (see individual areas for more information).

Graduate Studies in Archaeology

Prerequisites for Admission in the Field of Archaeology:

Admission to the Archaeology area in the Anthropology Graduate Program is determined by the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and by the Archaeology faculty. Prospective students must send their application to the Graduate School Admissions Office and the Anthropology Department. See Admission for more details regarding application and admission. The deadline to apply is December 1st.

Archaeology Faculty: Bunn, Clayton, Kenoyer, Kim, Price, Schroeder

Archaeology Associate Scientist: Burton

Graduate Studies in Biological Anthropology

Prerequisites for Admission in Biological Anthropology:

Admission to the Graduate Program in Biological Anthropology is determined according to the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and the faculty in the Biological Anthropology Program. Prospective students must apply for admission through the Graduate School Admissions Office and the Anthropology Department by December 1st.

Admission Requirements:

Students are normally expected to have undergraduate training in the basic biological sciences and anthropology. Applications for admittance to the Biological Anthropology Program are evaluated by the section's faculty. Applicants must possess a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution. No restriction exists as to the undergraduate major field, although it usually will have been in one of the natural or physical sciences or in anthropology. Applicants are expected to have accumulated at least a 3.0 grade point average (4.0 system), in addition to scores above the 75th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Examination. At least three letters of recommendation are required.

Biological Anthropology Faculty: Bunn, Hawks, Pickering, Strier

Graduate Studies in Cultural Anthropology

Prerequisites for Admission in Cultural Anthropology:

Admission to the Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology is determined according to the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and by the Cultural Anthropology Faculty. Prospective students should apply for admission to the Graduate School Admissions Office in Madison and the Anthropology Department by December 1st.

Cultural Anthropology Faculty: Camal, George, Kenoyer, Lepowsky, Nesper, Ohnuki-Tierney, Wendland, Zhou

Graduate School Applications