Applied Anthropology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Anthropology


The Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are for students who plan to engage in scholarly writing and research, applied research and evaluation, or teaching and administrative responsibilities at colleges, universities, professional schools of education and medicine, research institutes, or state, federal, and international agencies and bureaus.

Each student, in collaboration with the faculty, develops a program of study in anthropology designed to establish a high level of competency. A minimum of 75 points of acceptable graduate credit is required for the Doctor of Philosophy. Of these 75 points, a maximum of 30 points may be transferred in courses from other recognized graduate schools. 

These courses prepare students with the requisite knowledge of epistemological, theoretical, methodological, ethnographic, and substantive areas of anthropology. They aim to develop competency in the discipline, while addressing the specific intellectual interests of the student.

For more detailed information about requirements, please see the Applied Anthropology PhD Requirements.

Students should be familiar with the Checklist of Steps for Doctoral Certification.

A student is engaged in conversation with one her peers at a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Points/Credits: 75
  • Entry Terms: Summer/Fall

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): December 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): December 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test (optional for students applying for Summer/Fall 2022)

Requirements from the TC Catalog

View Full Catalog Listing

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is for students who plan to engage in scholarly writing and research, applied research and evaluation, or teaching and administrative responsibilities at colleges, universities, professional schools of education and medicine, research institutes, or state, federal, and international agencies and bureaus.

Each student, in collaboration with an advisor, develops a program of study in anthropology designed to establish a high level of competency. A minimum of 75 points of acceptable graduate credit is required for the Doctor of Philosophy.

Of these 75 points, a maximum of 30 points may be transferred in courses from other recognized graduate schools. Forty-five points of Anthropology courses are required overall. Of these, up to 15 points in anthropology courses may be taken at other graduate institutions which are members of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium.

These courses prepare students with the requisite knowledge of epistemological, theoretical, methodological, ethnographic, and substantive areas of anthropology. They aim to develop competency in the discipline, while addressing the specific intellectual interests of the student.

Within the major course requirements, 30 points in required courses must be taken: the four-semester sequence of colloquia and summer field research,  which represents the core training module of the program; (a minimum of 12 points); two additional research methods courses outside of the first year colloquium (6 points); two area courses, one within and one complementary to one’s focus (6 points); and two sub-field courses outside of sociocultural anthropology (6 points), the two courses may be chosen from the same subfield or from two different subfields.The remaining 15 points of electives are used to increase competence in comparative, regional, or international studies, or to enhance technical skills used in conjunction with but outside the major course of study. At least three of these courses (8-9 points) must be taken in fields foundational to anthropology (economics, history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology). Of the 75 graduate points required for the degree, a minimum of 45 must be taken for an evaluative letter grade.

Certification Requirements

Certification is the means of indicating that the student is regarded as having attained the expected competencies of the program. An overall grade average of B+ is expected. In addition, students must complete a set of written examinations on topics relevant to Anthropology and Education or Applied Anthropology.

Dissertation Requirements

After passing the written certification examination, the candidate prepares a dissertation proposal to be defended in oral examination. One or two years of anthropological field research is required for the collection of original field data based on the dissertation research proposal.

Foreign Language Requirement

Each candidate must satisfy the foreign language requirement by demonstrating a high level of proficiency in one language other than English.

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