Mar 05, 2024  
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology, Historical Archaeology or Historical Anthropology Specialization, Ph.D.

The doctoral program in Anthropology is designed for students who have completed an M.A. in Anthropology, or a closely related discipline, and wish to pursue original, advanced research toward a doctorate specializing in Historical Archaeology or Historical Anthropology. 

Course Requirements

ANTH 600   - Socio-Cultural Theory (3) 
ANTH 603   - Archaeological Theory (3)
ANTH 640   - Presentation and Paper (3)
ANTH 800   - Ph.D. Dissertation (24 total credits)


Course electives shall include one graduate-level course in Linguistic Anthropology and one graduate-level course in Biological Anthropology. Students will use the remaining electives to focus their studies in either Historical Archaeology or Historical Anthropology. Selection of electives should be made in consultation with the advisor to ensure an appropriate course of study.

With permission from the department’s Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies, students are encouraged to take graduate courses in History, American Studies, and other disciplines.

Presentation & Paper Requirement

By the last day of the Spring semester of their first year all students in the Ph.D. program are required to submit to the Director of Graduate Studies a one-page prospectus in anticipation of their fourth-semester “Presentation and Paper,” along with a list of at least three Presentation and Paper Evaluation Committee members from the Anthropology Department. All students in the Ph.D. program will complete the Presentation and Paper process during their fourth semester. Fourth-semester students will enroll in the Presentation and Paper class (ANTH 640 ), write an article-length paper in conjunction with the class that engages questions of anthropological significance, and present the paper to the department by the end of the academic year.

Once the course is complete, the student’s Presentation and Paper Evaluation Committee will evaluate the work and determine whether the student will continue in the Ph.D. program or will recommend withdrawal of the student and the student will be withdrawn if they fail to do so. Normally, the Presentation and Paper Evaluation Committee will serve as the core of the student’s Ph.D. Committee.

Language Requirement

By the last day of the Spring semester of their third year in the program, each student must pass a reading examination in a language relevant to their research interests and useful in reading the literature in their field of study. The translation should capture the essence of the text in a way that reflects the original author’s intention. The translation should be close enough to the original text that the student can confidently reference the author’s ideas in their own work. The exam will last one hour and students are allowed to use a dictionary.

Qualifying Exam Requirement

No later than the last day of the Spring Semester of their third year of study all students must take an oral qualifying exam conducted by the student’s primary dissertation committee.  This exam will explore key theoretical concerns and methodological issues related to the dissertation as well as ethnographic, historical and archaeological data that form a background to their research.

Dissertation Proposal Requirement

By the last day of the Spring semester of their eighth semester of graduate study, each student, in cooperation with their advisor and committee, will finalize and present the Dissertation Proposal, which will be defended at a meeting open to all faculty members and students in the Anthropology Department and any guests they might invite. The Dissertation Proposal is evaluated by the student’s dissertation committee.  Upon successful completion of the Dissertation Proposal, students are considered dissertation candidates with All But Dissertation (ABD) status.

Dissertation Requirement

Each candidate for the Ph.D. must submit an acceptable dissertation based on original research and constituting a contribution to scholarly knowledge. The dissertation will be defended at a meeting open to all faculty members and students in the Anthropology Department and any guests they might invite. The defense is evaluated by the student’s dissertation committee as outlined in their Committee Appointment Form.

Residence Requirement

Ph.D. students will spend at least four years of full-time graduate study in residence at William & Mary.

Satisfactory Progress

To be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree program; No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point = 2.0). Any student receiving two grades of “C” or below in any semester will be suspended from the program at the end of that semester.

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven (7) years from the first term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service.