Examination and Dissertation Requirements

Preliminary Examination

Evolutionary Wing

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. The exam is comprised of two questions from the student's primary concentration, one question from the student's secondary concentration, and one general evolutionary question. The exam is evaluated by the Evolutionary Wing faculty. 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 no repeat this exam. Should a student fail the exam, s/he is recommended for disqualification from the graduate program.

Sociocultural Wing

At the end of Spring Quarter of their first year, each student takes a written preliminary exam in the form of a paper in which they must grapple with key concepts and themes within the discipline. Each student defines the topic in coordination with the Interim Major Professor and the Graduate Advisor. Two randomly selected faculty evaluate the paper on the basis of pass/potential fail. In potential fail cases, the entire faculty reads and evaluates the exam. All papers will be discussed at a Sociocultural Wing faculty meeting. Students may not repeat the exam. Should a student fail the exam, s/he is recommended for disqualification from the graduate program.

Comprehensive/Capstone Examination

Students who do not already have a master’s in anthropology may choose to complete the requirements for the MA degree en route to the PhD; in addition to the coursework, the MA also requires successful completion of the preliminary exam and the comprehensive/capstone examination. Students should refer to the MA requirements for details.