Five Year Plan for Archeology, Bioanthropology

What can I do to finish my degree quickly?

We are a four‐field department, which means that requirements differ among the various subfields, archaeology, bioanthropology, linguistics and social/cultural.  The ‘roadmap’ or timeline below is a general one for bioanthropologists and archaeologists, and your own best path will need to be planned with your advisor.  Although most students won’t finish in five years, our program is designed to encourage that.  If you plan your work to complete degree requirements on the target dates we outline below, you will move toward your degree quickly.

First year

  • Meet with your tentative advisor to talk about your research interests
  • Begin to recruit faculty for your Advisory Committee.  This committee will supervise your early academic work and your Qualifying Exams
  • Meet your language requirement during the year, or the summer after your first year.  Students in sociocultural anthropology and linguistics (and some archaeologists) are required to have both a scholarly language and a field language.  Bioanthropologists and most archaeologists will satisfy this requirement with a scholarly language, but will substitute a year of statistics for the second language.  A maximum of six credit hours (with a grade of 3.0 or better) taken to fulfill a language or research skill requirement will count toward the required 60 hours of course work for the Ph.D. degree.  For the Ph.D. degree, students are required to have 90 graduate credits, but not all of these will be traditional graduate coursework or approved transferred graduate credits.  The remaining graduate credit hours will come from enrollment in ANTH A800, “Research credits.”
  • Request permission to enroll in off campus research credits if you have a summer fee remission.

Spring of first year or fall second year

  • Select a permanent advisor (even better, have this done by spring of first year)
  • Finalize the members of your Advisory Committee and submit the official form naming the committee (even better, have this done by spring of first year)
  • Meet with your Advisory Committee to discuss your dissertation topic (even better, have this done by spring of first year).

Spring of second year

  • Early in semester: give your Advisor and Advisory Committee copies of your pilot study proposal to get feedback
  • If required, fill out a Human Subjects Committee form and receive approval from the Institutional Review Board.  Depending on your research topic other approvals may be required.  If your research involves humans, animals, biohazards, or radiation, ask your advisor about the appropriate committee.
  • March:  Submit your Department Skomp Summer Research Award proposal

Summer after second year

  • Collect pilot study data

Third year and summer after third year

  • Write and submit grant proposals for dissertation work
  • Complete class requirements
  • Begin a conversation with your Advisor and Advisory Committee about Qualifiying Exams
  • Submit any outstanding grant proposals
  • Submit your Dissertation Proposal to your Advisory Committee for approval (a grant proposal will suffice in many cases)
  • Study for Qualifying Exams
  • Pass Qualifying Exams:  Congratulations!  You’re now a Doctoral Candidate, and ABD. You are now required to maintain continuous enrollment and you need to see Debra Wilkerson to find out if you may begin enrolling in ANTH, G901, Advanced Research, which will greatly reduce your tuition costs.   
  • Submit your Nomination to Candidacy form.
  • Submit your Research Committee form: this committee, chaired by your Advisor, will supervise the completion of your dissertation

Fourth year

  • Conduct your dissertation research

Fifth year

  • Keep in close touch with the Chair of your Research Committee as you plan and write your dissertation
  • Compete your dissertation and distribute copies to your committee
  • Set a dissertation defense date
  • Submit a form to the College that will announce your defense 30 days before the final defense date
  • Defend your dissertation
  • Revise your dissertation and clear the final version with your committee
  • Give the Graduate Secretary a copy of your dissertation

Congratulations, you are a Ph.D.!