The Department of Anthropology offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Provided the student has been admitted to the Graduate School and meets its requirements, acceptance and continuation in the graduate program are at the discretion of the Department of Anthropology.
The philosophy of the Department of Anthropology is to produce students with broad backgrounds in the major subfields of anthropology and expertise in particular specialty areas. Within this philosophy, and subject to the requirements discussed below, the department offers a flexible program which will serve students with diverse needs and goals.
The applicant to the anthropology program must send a completed application for admission to graduate study and official copies of all transcripts directly to the department, and must meet all Graduate School requirements for entry. Applicants whose native language is not English must achieve a TOEFL of 600 paper score, 250 computer score, 100 on the Internet-based test, or higher in order to gain admittance in the program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for all U.S. applicants. Preference will be given to applicants who score in percentiles above 40. Although not required to take the GRE prior to admittance, all foreign students are strongly encouraged to take the exam prior to entering the graduate program and are required to take the exam before the end of their first year in the program.
Applicants who wish to be considered for University Graduate School fellowships must have all application materials completed by December 15. Applicants who wish to be considered for admission into the graduate program in the fall semester of the next academic year and who wish to be considered for departmental graduate assistantships must have all application materials completed by March 1. Applications not received or completed prior to March 1 will be considered only in exceptional cases, as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with other members of the Graduate Studies Committee.
In addition, the applicant must send a completed departmental application for admission and financial aid form, personal data sheet, statement of academic and professional goals, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Anthropology. All necessary forms will be provided to applicants by the department. No special program of previous work is required. Applicants with academic degrees in fields other than anthropology are encouraged to apply.
This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Anthropology. Applicants must pay this fee by credit card.
Master's Degree Program
In addition to the master’s degree requirements specified in the Graduate Catalog, the following departmental requirements apply to all M.A. degree candidates:
- Each student must complete three core courses: ANTH 500E, the core course in their subfield, and a course determined in consultation with the chair of the MA committee. It is preferred that these courses be completed during the first year; no more than one core course can be deferred into the second year, and ANTH 500E must be completed during the first Fall semester in the program. At the end of the student’s first year of study, the faculty will evaluate each student’s performance in the completed core courses along with the rest of the student’s record and arrive at a decision on the student’s continuation in the program. This decision will take into account the overall evidence of the student’s abilities, potentials, and interests.
- Each student must complete one or more regular graduate-level courses or seminars in each of two subdisciplines of the student’s choice (from among archaeological, linguistic, physical, sociocultural anthropology) beyond the core courses.
- A further nine hours of course work will be assigned by the student’s committee after consultation with the student. These nine hours may include up to four hours of graduate credit to meet tool requirements, and may not include more than three hours of independent study or thesis. No more than three hours of credit in ANTH 501, ANTH 590, ANTH 597, and ANTH 599 (thesis) may be applied toward the Graduate School requirements of 30 hours of graduate course credit and 15 hours of 500-level credit. The department requires two additional seminars (500-level course) beyond the core courses and the thesis hours.
- Each student must demonstrate a reading competence in a relevant language foreign to the student. Students entering the program may petition to have previously taken courses accepted for credit as equivalent to core courses in cases where the equivalence can be documented.
M.A. Degree Committee, Thesis, Research Paper
Each student in the M.A. degree program will consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and relevant faculty members to select a three-person faculty committee, which will assume major responsibility for the student’s advisement. At least two members of this committee, including the chair, must be from the Department of Anthropology, and the third member may be selected from outside the department. At least the chair should be chosen by the end of the first year, and the entire committee by the end of the third term.
Under the direction of the M.A. degree committee, the student will complete a thesis and register for at least three hours of ANTH 599 while doing so. A student may submit a published paper, or one accepted for publication in an approved professional journal, instead of a thesis, or may be authorized by the department to substitute a research paper for the thesis. Passing of a comprehensive examination on the student’s entire program is a Graduate School requirement. One paper copy of the thesis, research paper, or article must be deposited with the department before the degree is granted.
An option is available, at the discretion of the departmental faculty, to allow exceptional M.A. students accelerated entry in the doctoral program at the end of their first year of M.A. study. For these students, the following are sufficient for the M.A. degree in Anthropology:
- completion of 30 hours of coursework, including 21 hours at the 500 level (which can include up to nine hours of ANTH 598 - Research); and
- a research paper (normally one prepared for a class in the student’s subdiscipline) approved by the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, and submitted to the Graduate School.
No additional stipulations on the nature of the coursework (beyond the core courses) nor a language requirement are imposed.
The Department of Anthropology may offer direct postbaccalaureate degree entry to the doctoral program under exceptional circumstances, when a student’s past work is determined to be of sufficient scope and excellence as to merit equivalence to an M.A. research degree. Students admitted under this option are subject to all existing requirements for the doctoral degree; the admissions/advisory committee for the student may add extra requirements based on the student’s background.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
Applicants to the Ph.D. degree program must complete the equivalent of the master’s degree and apply directly to the Graduate School for admission as a doctoral student. Three letters in support of the application must be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology. Students must also supply a statement of goals for their programs and subsequent professional careers. The department will offer an accelerated entry option to students who have been admitted at the M.A. level and who are judged by the faculty of the department to be prepared to begin research at the doctoral level. Such students must complete at least one term in the M.A. degree program before being admitted at the Ph.D. level, and must then meet all retention and exit requirements for the regular doctoral option. The students need not submit the application materials required of regular applicants to the Ph.D. degree program outlined above.
Students are required to demonstrate breadth of competence in the four sub-disciplines of Anthropology. Retention beyond the first year will be determined by an evaluation of course work for the first year and the maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.2. Students will then form a faculty committee in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and relevant members of the faculty. The committee must include at least five members of the graduate faculty, at least three of whom (including the chair) must be from within the department, and at least one from outside: the normal case will be four from within and one additional.
The requirements for the Ph.D. degree include the following:
- Additional course work in anthropology and other fields within the student’s interests. Of the 24 hours of credit required to establish residency, nine must be in 500-level anthropology courses other than ANTH 500A, ANTH 500B, ANTH 500C, ANTH 500D, ANTH 500E, ANTH 501, ANTH 585, and ANTH 597. The Ph.D. committee is expected to help formulate a study program that will usually involve at least one additional academic year of full-time course work beyond the M.A. degree.
- Research tool requirements. These vary and will be determined between the students and the committee. In all cases, a certified reading knowledge of at least one foreign language will be required and at least one other tool. Other possible tools could include, for example, computer science, statistics, a second foreign language, or a combination of these or others.
- Administration by the committee of a special examination with both written and oral components covering topical and geographical specialties (the preliminary or candidacy exam). The student may not take the examination until two years of full-time post-baccalaureate study have been completed and SIU residency attained. The student should take this examination by the end of three years of full-time Ph.D. level work. In evaluating the examination, the committee may pass the student, pass with conditions, fail the student but allow retaking of part or all of the examination at a later time or fail the student and recommend dismissal from the program. If a student fails the examination and the committee allows reexamination, it must occur within one year of the first examination and only one retake is allowed.
- Dissertation prospectus approved by student’s committee and formally presented to the department.
- Formal experience in teaching.
After completion of the above requirements, the department will recommend a student to the Graduate School for candidacy. The candidate will design dissertation research in consultation with the committee and will undertake the research necessary to acquire the materials for the dissertation. Candidates must register for 24 hours of credit under ANTH 600.
When a final draft of the dissertation has been accepted by the Ph.D. committee, an oral defense of the dissertation and all supporting work will be held in accordance with Graduate School requirements. After a successful dissertation defense and completion of final revisions of the text, the student must submit the dissertation to the Graduate School in accordance with its guidelines, and a paper copy to the Department of Anthropology.