University of Wisconsin–Madison

Biological Anthropology: PhD Requirements

  1. Minor Requirements. These requirements must be fulfilled before applying for the preliminary warrant.
  2. Course Requirements. A minimum of 51 graduate credits is required for the Ph.D. (This includes the 30 credits for the Master’s degree). At least one course (300 level or higher) must be taken in another section of the Department of Anthropology.
  3. Language Requirements. There is no formal foreign language requirement, but a working knowledge of a foreign language may be necessary for some students. In such cases, the major professor will determine the required level of competency.
  4. Preliminary Examination. The Preliminary Examination is an oral examination of approximately two hours duration during which the student is expected to defend a previously submitted proposal for the doctoral dissertation. The primary purpose of the examination is to determine (1) how well the student has considered the research protocol, (2) whether the student has acquired the knowledge and methodological expertise to carry out the research, and (3) if the student’s expectations for successful completion of the project are realistic.

The Preliminary Examination Committee will normally consist of at least two (2) departmental faculty in residence and additional persons from other fields as needed or desired, a minimum of three. The written proposal should be distributed to the members of the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. Dates for the examination should be arranged through the Major Professor and the Graduate Coordinator in consultation with other committee members.

After successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, the minor requirements and the graduate school requirements, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

In order to complete the doctoral requirements, each student is required to complete the doctoral dissertation and defend it in an oral examination before the committee within five years after passing the Preliminary Examination.