The UO Department of Anthropology offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with a concentration in one of three subfields: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, or Cultural Anthropology. While graduate students choose one subfield on which to focus their studies, many follow an interdisciplinary path that bridges between subfields, as well as to different disciplines. This approach is encouraged in our department, which is distinctive in its commitment to the integration of the anthropological subfields via five Areas of Expertise and Focus.
Students without a relevant Master’s degree (i.e., a Master’s degree in Anthropology or a closely related field) are admitted as Conditional Doctoral Students and first obtain an M.A. or M.S. in Anthropology in the departmental Master’s program before transitioning into the Ph.D. program. Students with relevant Master’s degrees are admitted as Doctoral Students directly into the Ph.D. program.
The goal of virtually all the students in our graduate program is to obtain a Ph.D. in preparation for an academic career in research/teaching or for a career as a professional anthropologist doing applied work. We rarely admit students whose sole aim is to obtain a Master’s degree, except in the case of a student interested in obtaining a Master’s so s/he can work professionally in the field of Cultural Resource or Heritage Management. In most cases, such a student will be studying archaeology of Oregon or the Pacific Northwest and have a research or applied project underway for their Master’s project. We expect such students to have attended an archaeological field-school, have gained some lab experience, and have some practical experience in CRM, working for a government agency, contract firm, or university research division.
Our graduate program attracts outstanding students from across the nation and around the world. Students in the program work closely with a primary advisor, who supervises their graduate training through formal coursework and supervised research and teaching activities. Paths through the graduate program vary by subfield and by individual student. All graduate students take a core set of anthropology courses, which is determined by their primary subfield of study, and then select an appropriate set of courses from both inside and outside the department to fulfill their degree requirements in a way that best suits the individual’s professional goals. For students getting their Master’s on the way to the Ph.D., the advisor and a second reader supervise the completion of a thesis or paper. For doctoral students, the advisor and a doctoral committee supervise the completion of key program requirements, including the comprehensive examinations, proposal defense, and dissertation research. Additional information on graduate requirements can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.
Nearly all graduate students in the Department of Anthropology receive funding for all or most of their graduate study. Funding is not guaranteed and is typically determined on a year-to-year (or sometimes a term-by-term) basis, based on academic merit and availability of Graduate Teaching Fellowships. Students making good progress in the program typically receive approximately 4 years of departmental support. Most graduate students are supported through departmental Graduate Teaching Fellowships, which are teaching assistant positions that involve leading discussion or lab sections. There are other potential sources of funding available to graduate students in the department, which are detailed in the Graduate Student Handbook. These include Graduate Teaching Fellowships in other departments or centers (e.g., Biology, General Science, Center on Diversity and Community), Research Assistantships, and through external sources of funding such as the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
In addition to funding for graduate study, students in the program typically apply to and receive funds to support scholarly research activities. Many of our students receive internal UO sources of funding to support their research, such as the through the various departmental awards or through various research institutes and centers around campus. Examples of the latter include small research grants (<$5000) from the Center on Diversity and Community, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Graduate School, and the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, among others.
Graduate students typically seek external financial support for their doctoral research, through federal programs such as the National Science Foundation or the Social Sciences Research Council, or through private foundations like the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The high success rate for obtaining competitive research grants is a testament to the extremely high quality of graduate students in the UO anthropology program. Additional information on funding opportunities can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.
A list of current graduate students along with research interests can be found on the Graduate Student Page.
The Association of Anthropology Graduate Students (AAGS) addresses the concerns of all students interested in the field of Anthropology through colloquium seminars and lectures. As the representative body for graduate students in Anthropology, AAGS is also a unified forum for the presentation of suggestions and grievances regarding the intellectual atmosphere, working conditions, and other matters that affect those enrolled in the Anthropology graduate program at the University of Oregon. For more information about AAGS, visit our webpage.
The application deadline for the 2013-14 year is 5 pm on Friday, December 14, 2012.
Prior to your application to the Department of Anthropology, we strongly recommend you contact individual faculty members with whom you are interested in working with. This is an important step since certain professors may not be interested in taking a graduate student in the next round of admissions (e.g., if they will be on extended leave or if they already supervise a large number of students), which could waste everyone’s time and your money. Faculty interests and contact information is available from the Core Faculty Page.
The Department of Anthropology typically admits 6-9 graduate students annually. Admission is offered only for the Fall term except under highly unusual circumstances.
General questions about the graduate program should be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies, a faculty member who chairs the Graduate Admissions Committee. For 2012-2013, the Director of Graduate Studies is Dr. Stephen Frost (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Questions about the application process should be directed to the Graduate Coordinator, an office staff member who works closely with the Graduate Admissions Committee and is responsible for overseeing the graduate application process. The Graduate Coordinator is Betina Lynn (email@example.com).
Additional information on graduate studies at UO is available from the Graduate School.
In order to apply to the graduate program, please complete the following two steps. Additionally, International students must fill out the International Financial Statement (see below). Please follow instructions carefully. When indicating area of interest, please use the subfield designations of Archaeology, Biological or Cultural, NOT our areas of excellence. This will facilitate assigning each application to the appropriate review committee.
1) Complete the University of Oregon’s Online Application from the Graduate School. The Department of Anthropology will automatically receive a copy of your online application. The following documents must be uploaded (in PDF form) onto the Online Application System:
A Statement of Purpose that describes in detail your interests in the field of anthropology and your career plans. Please limit the length of this document to a maximum of 5 single-spaced pages, but shorter statements are preferred. This statement should describe your research interests, professional goals, how these integrate with our department, and why you wish to be admitted to our program. Be sure to indicate the faculty member (or members) and the resources and aspects of the program that seem particularly suited to your educational needs. This statement will be read closely.
A Writing Sample. Provide one sample of your written work. The sample should indicate your potential as a graduate student and anthropologist, so choose carefully. Term papers, papers given at professional meetings, and papers submitted for publication are common choices.
Three (3) Letters of Recommendation from former professors or similar professionals who are in a position to evaluate your potential for successful completion of a graduate degree in anthropology. The Online Application System will guide you through the process. For tips on requesting letters of recommendation, please visit this link to one of our faculty websites: http://pages.uoregon.edu/mmoss/ref-let.htm.
2) Forward the following official documents as detailed below:
Two Official Copies of Academic Transcripts from the institution(s) granting your degree(s), one sent to the Department of Anthropology and the other sent to the Office of Admissions. One official copy of transcripts from all other schools attended is also required by the Department of Anthropology.
Your Official Score Report Results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE scores are required for admissions consideration. You should take the exam no later than summer term, since 5-8 weeks is required to process the results, and the scores must reach the department by the application deadline. The codes you need when taking the exam to ensure your scores are delivered to the right institution are: School, 4846; Department, 1701.
These documents should be sent to:
If you have questions about the application process, contact Graduate Coordinator Betina Lynn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Special Requirements for International Students
International students must also fill out the International Financial Statement. Click here for a PDF version of this form. This needs to be submitted to the University of Oregon Office of Admissions at 1217 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1217.
Departmental Support for Graduate Students
All applicants to the Graduate Program in Anthropology are automatically considered for Graduate Teaching Fellowships. These fellowships come with a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a modest monthly stipend. Additional information on Graduate Teaching Fellowships can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.
Important Things to Keep in Mind during the Application Process