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Ph.D. in Anthropology

The University's Ph.D. in anthropology prepares students to explore the enormous diversity of humanity -- and help the world better understand what it means to be human.

Program at a glance

Admissions cycle: Fall
Application deadlines: Jan. 15
Assistantship types available: Teaching, Research
Graduate director: Geoffrey Smith

Why choose this Ph.D. in anthropology?

This program offers tracks in prehistoric archaeology, historical archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and linguistic anthropology. Within each track, students receive highly individualized training from faculty experts in these topics.

The Department of Anthropology prides itself on collaborative research that integrates multiple subfields. Four broad themes characterize the faculty's strengths and overlapping interests:

  1. Law, policy and engagement
  2. Place and environment
  3. Migration and mobility
  4. Identity and belonging

The Department employs 13 full-time faculty members and a number of adjunct and cooperating faculty in other University departments and institutions. It has an in-house research museum with rotating exhibits, as well as a physical anthropology lab, ethnography lab, prehistoric archaeology lab and historical archaeology lab. Department research partners include the University's Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Program, Gender, Race and Identity Program, Basque Studies Program, Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Historic Preservation Program.

Students in this program work in both office environments and the field. Program graduates may pursue work as teachers, writers, researchers, museum curators or in other positions within private industry, government, health care, law, foreign service, economics, law enforcement, social development or heritage preservation.

How do I apply?

Applicants to the doctoral program must have either a bachelor's or master's degree in anthropology or a closely related field and must satisfy all of the University's Graduate School requirements, including taking the GRE. When applying to the Graduate School, prospective anthropology Ph.D. should also submit the following documents to the Department of Anthropology:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Preliminary proposal for dissertation research
  • Scholarly writing sample
  • Graduate assistantship application (if desired)

Doctoral students are admitted to the program in only the fall semester. The application deadline is Jan. 15.

Is funding available?

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. To learn more about program assistantships, please see the anthropology graduate handbook.

What's next?

If you are ready to begin at the University and are not currently a student, you can apply now. If you would like to learn more about the anthropology Ph.D. program and connect with a program representative, please complete the form on this page or contact:

Geoffrey Smith, Ph.D.
Anthropology Graduate Program Director
Ansari Business Building, Room 503
(775) 682-7687

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Contact College of Liberal Arts

Phone (775) 784-6155
Fax (775) 784-1478
Location Ansari Business Building
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

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