Program Requirements

The UC Davis Evolutionary Anthropology program requirements include successful completion of preliminary and qualifying examinations, a specified curriculum, periodic progress reviews, and a dissertation that earns faculty approval

Each student admitted to the graduate program in the Department of Anthropology is responsible for knowing the curricular requirements. We encourage prospective students to make contact with currently enrolled graduate students, and to communicate with faculty members in relevant areas of specialization

Master's Program

Program Structure

Students who are accepted into the Department of Anthropology's Evolutionary Wing graduate program begin by fulfilling core and subdiscipline requirements constituting a master's degree curriculum.

To obtain the Master’s degree, students in Anthropology are required complete 36 units of upper division or graduate coursework. Of these 36 units, 18 must be from graduate courses (numbered in the 200s) and no more than 9 units can be for research (ANT 299). A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained to remain in good standing, and students must enroll in 12 units per quarter. Students must be in residence for a minimum of three quarters and must pass a written preliminary examination and the capstone course on proposal writing (ANT 216).

The awarding of the Master’s degree by itself does not imply that the student may continue in the Ph.D. program. A student may pass the examination but fail to demonstrate sufficient promise overall to continue to pursue the Ph.D. degree. Such a student will be recommended for the M.A. degree upon completion of all the requirements.

Course Requirements

COURSESUNITS
ANT 270 (the department colloquium) each quarter of the first year 3

Any three of the following:

  • ANT 200 (History and Theory of Anthropology) *
  • ANT 201 (Critical Readings in Ethnography)
  • ANT 202 (History of and Theory of Biological Anthropology)*
  • ANT 203 (History and Theory of Archaeology)*
  • ANT 204 (Contemporary Issues in Anthropological Theory)
  • ANT 205 (History and Theory in Anthropological Linguistics)

*recommended

12

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Archaeology

Any TWO of the following:

  • ANT 122A (Economic Anthropology)
  • ANT 128A (Kinship & Social Organization)
  • ANT 152 (Human Evolution) or ANT 156 (Human Osteology)

Human Behavioral Ecology/Molecular Anthropology/Primatology/Paleoanthropology

Appropriate courses, selected in consultation with the student’s Major Professor, relating to general theory, topical specialization, methodology and statistics. 

8
ELECTIVES 8
INDEPENDENT STUDY 5

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT 

There is NO formal requirement in the evolutionary wing, a student may elect to take a language when it is determined it would be helpful in the field. 

TOTAL UNITS 36

Preliminary Exam

In spring quarter of the first year, each student takes a written preliminary examination that is based on courses taken during the student’s first year. Exceptions require special authorization of the graduate advisor in consultation with the major professor.

The Evolutionary Wing preliminary exam is both evaluative and diagnostic. It enables students to demonstrate their mastery of significant expertise in the teaching and research traditions of evolutionary anthropology. It likewise presents an opportunity to identify areas of deficiency that need to be resolved before advancing to the Ph.D. program. Finally, it offers a convenient and honorable means for students who have decided against a Ph.D. to leave the program — with an M.A. degree if they are successful in the exam.

EXAM CONTENT

The exam entails general and specialized components. It consists of one general evolutionary question, two questions from the student's primary concentration, and one question from the student's secondary concentration. In the general component each student is expected to show broad knowledge of evolutionary anthropology. In the specialized components, the student is expected to demonstrate more detailed knowledge of the primary area and secondary areas of concentration.

The preliminary exam is a test of a student's mastery of problems, theory, concepts, empirical studies and the literature at a level expected of a beginning research scientist. The five areas of emphasis in the Evolutionary Wing are Archaeology, Genetic Anthropology, Human Behavioral Ecology, Paleoanthropology and Primatology.

The Evolutionary Wing faculty evaluate the completed exams. Outcomes for this exam include: High Pass, Pass, Marginal Pass, and Fail. Marginal Pass generally requires follow-up coursework or submission of a research paper(s). Students may not repeat this exam. A student who fails the exam is subject to disqualification from the graduate program.

Ph.D. Program

Course Requirements

COURSESUNITS
ANT 270 (the department colloquium) each quarter of the first year 3

Any three of the following:

  • ANT 200 (History and Theory of Anthropology) *
  • ANT 201 (Critical Readings in Ethnography)
  • ANT 202 (History of and Theory of Biological Anthropology)*
  • ANT 203 (History and Theory of Archaeology)*
  • ANT 204 (Contemporary Issues in Anthropological Theory)
  • ANT 205 (History and Theory in Anthropological Linguistics)

*recommended

12

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Archaeology

Any TWO of the following:

  • ANT 122A (Economic Anthropology)
  • ANT 128A (Kinship & Social Organization)
  • ANT 152 (Human Evolution) or ANT 156 (Human Osteology)

Human Behavioral Ecology/Molecular Anthropology/Primatology/Paleoanthropology

Appropriate courses, selected in consultation with the student’s Major Professor, relating to general theory, topical specialization, methodology and statistics. 

8

STATISTICS

An upper division or graduate level course in statistics (with a grade of "B-" or better) must be completed before the Qualifying Examination can be scheduled. "S" grades are not sufficient.

4
ELECTIVES 8
INDEPENDENT STUDY 5

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT 

There is NO formal requirement in the evolutionary wing, a student may elect to take a language when it is determined it would be helpful in the field. 

TOTAL UNITS 36

Qualifying Examination

After passing all other requirements (including course work), a student begins intensive preparation for the qualifying exam. The qualifying exam is intended to test a student's depth and breadth of the knowledge that is required to undertake the dissertation research and writing. The qualifying examination normally is scheduled no later than the 10th quarter of residence.

Qualifying Exam Committee

Upon the recommendation of the graduate advisor, after consultation with the student’s major professor and the student, a five-member committee, which normally includes the student’s major professor, will be submitted to the dean of Graduate Studies for approval. The student’s major professor (who normally chairs the student’s dissertation committee) may not chair the student’s qualifying exam committee.

Research Proposal

Prior to taking the qualifying exam, students must submit a research proposal to their qualifying exam committee members. Students write their dissertation research proposal in coordination with members of their qualifying exam committee. Dissertation research proposals contain a clear statement of the research question and background, an analytical framework and literature review, and a detailed methodology. There is no required length, but typically these proposals range between 10 and 25 pages. Once the proposal is approved by the qualifying exam committee the front page is signed by the major professor and the proposal is placed in the student’s departmental file.

Exam Structure and Content

The qualifying exam consists of written and oral components. For both components, students are examined on at least three fields that the student chooses in consultation with the major professor and the examination committee. The written portion consists of nine hours of written responses to questions solicited from the committee members, over a three-day period. A three-hour oral exam is scheduled following the written exam. Students present their research and then are examined on their three topical fields and their research proposal. The results of the qualifying exam are Pass, Not Pass, and Fail. A student who receives a Not Pass or Fail may take the examination one additional time, but only if the major professor agrees. A student who fails the exam on the second try will be recommended for dismissal from the program. Students who receive a Pass on the qualifying exam are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. They must submit to the Office of Graduate Studies a request for candidacy for the degree of doctor of philosophy, after paying a fee and naming the requested dissertation committee.

Dissertation

After passing the Qualifying Examination, a student may apply to be advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. At that time, upon the recommendation of the student’s major professor in consultation with the graduate advisor, the dean of Graduate Studies appoints a committee to direct the student’s research and to guide preparation of the dissertation.

A student’s major professor normally is the chair of the student’s dissertation committee and is therefore the faculty member who is most closely involved in the student’s preparation for research. For the dissertation, each student must develop and carry out an empirical investigation of a significant problem in the chosen area of specialization. Members of the faculty formally review the progress of all doctoral students annually.

As they near dissertation completion, the candidate will provide an exit seminar on their research, which will be open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduates students, and the public. The signatures of the dissertation committee members on the title page of a dissertation submitted in the required format to the Office of Graduate Studies are the final requirement for the Ph.D. degree.

Typical Timeline

1st Year

  • work toward completing the degree requirements, specifically targeting ANT 200, 202 and 203
  • enroll in ANT 270, our colloquium series to obtain a breadth of knowledge about evolutionary anthropology
  • prepare for their preliminary exams, which are taken toward the end of the spring quarter

2nd Year

  • continue coursework, ensuring that all required courses are completed
  • work closely with major professor to develop research proposal
  • complete capstone requirement, which is either a research proposal or publishable paper with oral presentation. Often this requirement can be fulfilled through the successful completion of ANT 216 when it is taught as a research proposal writing and presenting seminar.

3rd Year

  • prepare for qualifying exam
  • in consultation with their major professor, select a committee
  • prepare a research proposal
  • prepare for written exams
  • prepare for oral exams
  • prepare applications for external funding for dissertation research

4th-6th Years

  • collect data to support dissertation research
  • write dissertation
  • publish research articles
  • present at regional, national and international conferences
  • gain experience as the instructor of record (IOR) for a course