Doctoral Program

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno offers a Ph.D. program with tracks in prehistoric archaeology, historical archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. The department has an in-house research museum with rotating exhibits, physical anthropology lab, ethnography lab, prehistoric archaeology lab, and historical archaeology lab.

There are thirteen full-time faculty members in the Department of Anthropology and a number of adjunct and cooperating faculty in other university departments and institutions.

Applicants for admission to the doctoral program must have either a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Anthropology or closely-related field and must satisfy all graduate school requirements and specific departmental requirements, including taking the GRE.

To complete the Ph.D. degree, a minimum of 73 credits is required, 30 of which must be at the 700-course level. One credit of comprehensive examination is required, but does not count towards the number of 700 level credits needed. A dissertation is required.

The program emphasizes the research strengths of the Department of Anthropology as well the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Program, the Gender, Race and Identity Program, the Basque Studies Program, the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Historic Preservation Program, and other university system facilities.

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are offered on an annual competitive basis.

Doctoral students are admitted to the program only in the fall semester.

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Application Deadlines

January 15

Domestic Applicants

University Admission Application, Official Transcripts, and GRE scores should be received by Graduate School so that they reach the department office by January 15. Please do not mail or email documents directly to the department. See the Ph.D checklist for a list of all required documents.

Foreign Applicants

Admission Application, Official Transcripts, and General GRE/TOEFL Scores must be received by the Graduate School. Contact this office for more information on international admissions requirements.

April 1

Applicants receive notification of acceptance or rejection.

The UNR Department of Anthropology will not assume responsibility for any delays caused by the postal service, Federal Express, UPS or whichever carrier the applicant chooses to use. Furthermore, the Anthropology Department will not assume responsibility for the late arrival of official transcripts and test scores to the Graduate Admissions Office or the Office of International Outreach and Application Services, regardless of whether or not the applicant can provide official receipts proving the documents were ordered in a timely manner. Full responsibility rests with the applicant to make sure all application materials have been received by the Department of Anthropology by the application deadline.

Applicants must contact the university's Graduate School (775) 784-6869 or the Office of International Outreach and Application Services at (775) 784-6318 to verify that the graduate admission application, official transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores have been received by those offices by the January 15th deadline.


An applicant who gains admission on the basis of incomplete or fraudulent credentials or misrepresentation in the written "Application for Admission" shall have admission and registration canceled without refund of any fees, the total credits rescinded that have been earned following such admission, and future registration at the university prohibited.

Graduate Student Manual

For more information about the Ph.D. program in anthropology, please refer to the Anthropology Graduate Student Manual.


A number of Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are available on a competitive basis, as well as several scholarships.  In addition, students are encouraged to seek external funding opportunities.