There are four consecutive steps in attaining a Ph.D. in Anthropology at Case.

    1. Admission to the Ph.D. program
    2. Completion of Ph.D. classwork
    3. Advancement to candidacy
    4. Completion of the Ph.D. dissertation

Each of these steps is described in detail below.

1. Admission to the Ph.D. Program

Students enrolled in CWRU M.A. program in Anthropology Students with a graduate degree in Anthropology from outside CWRU

Must pass the written M.A. qualifying examination with a score of “High Pass”

Must maintain a minimum cumulative average of 3.5 in the core courses

Must maintain an overall cumulative average of 3.0

Must complete the written M.A. qualifying examination with a score of “High Pass”

Must maintain a 3.0 cumulative average

Must take the M.A. core curriculum and earn a 3.5 average in these courses*

Must pass an approved statistics course with a grade of C or above*

*Some of the course requirements may be waived by petitioning the Department if the student has taken equivalent courses at another institution.

Once admitted into the Ph.D. program, students already holding an M.A. in anthropology may apply all anthropology graduate credits taken at CWRU towards the Ph.D. course requirements.

Students entering the program with a graduate degree in a subject other than anthropology are expected to score “High Pass” on the comprehensive qualifying exam, take the M.A. core curriculum and obtain a 3.5 average in these courses, and meet the statistics requirement. These core courses and statistics elective do not apply towards the Ph.D. degree but all other credits taken by students may be applied towards the Ph.D. degree if approved by the student’s Ph.D. committee.


2. Completion of Ph.D. Classwork

When admitted to the Ph.D. program, the student is expected to choose a Ph.D. advisory committee according to the Department and University regulations. It is recommended to begin by selecting a Ph.D. adviser who will also serve as the doctoral committee chair. The student, with the help of the adviser, is expected to develop a program of study for Ph.D. coursework, select additional committee members, define areas of the candidacy exams, and prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus. Prior to advancement to candidacy, students must complete 18 hours of Ph.D. coursework as described below:

  • ANTH 504 Anthropological Research Design (normally taken in the Spring semester of 2nd year of graduate study)
  • Two 500 level seminars. One must focus on global health, such as ANTH 511.
  • Electives chosen with the approval of the Ph.D. Advisory Committee for the remainder of the 18 credit hour requirement. (Students may not take more than six credit hours of either ANTH 599 or ANTH 601)

The doctoral committee consists initially of the chair and two other regular full-time faculty members in the Anthropology Department. The committee must be in place prior to the prospectus defense and any committee member from another department must be chosen prior to completion of the dissertation.

All Ph.D. students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative average of 3.0 (“B”) in order to qualify for the Ph.D. degree.


3. Advancement to Candidacy

A student will be advanced to candidacy after successful completion of two topical examinations and a successful defense of a dissertation prospectus.  It is expected, but not required, that the two topical examinations will be completed prior to the defense of the dissertation prospectus.  The candidacy process cannot begin until an advisory committee consisting of the chair and two other anthropology faculty has been established.  It generally begins after the required coursework has been completed.

The topical examinations cover two fields of concentration which are selected by the student in consultation with the Ph.D. advisory committee. These fields should reflect the student’s primary research interests and thus provide the expertise necessary for the preparation of a dissertation prospectus.  Each examination covers one field of concentration and is weighted equally.  Everyone on the advisory committee will participate in determining the process for demonstrating competency (generally either a paper or a written exam) and will participate in making this determination.

Each student must prepare a dissertation prospectus describing their proposed dissertation research.  This prospectus must be defended before their Ph.D. advisory committee and other members of the academic community. The defense must be publicly posted at least two weeks in advance of its scheduled time. Students should refer to the Graduate School regulations and deadlines regarding completion of the dissertation process.


4. Completion of the Ph.D. Dissertation

Ph.D. candidates are required to complete 18 credit hours of dissertation credit (ANTH 701). Students should refer to the Graduate School regulations regarding enrollment in ANTH 701.

PhD students will work with their doctoral adviser and faculty committee to determine what foreign language, if any, is needed to successfully complete his or her Ph.D. prior to completing candidacy exams. If language competency is required, the language requirement can be met by either a demonstration of competency in a relevant written language or in an oral field language. The adviser, in consultation with the committee, will determine the level of competency needed and by what means language proficiency will be certified. Certification of competency must occur prior to the dissertation defense.

The student’s dissertation represents original research of a theoretical and empirical nature. It must demonstrate a sound knowledge of problem formulation and research methodology and the ability to evaluate facts and relate them to the existing body of knowledge.

The dissertation must be composed in a language which meets the standards required for publication in scholarly journals. Regulations governing the form and time of submission should be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies well in advance of the final completion of the dissertation.

The student is required to defend the final dissertation draft before the dissertation committee and other members of the academic community. This committee generally has the same anthropology faculty members as did the advisory committee. In addition, it includes at least one faculty member from outside the Department of Anthropology.