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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  I do not have a master’s degree.  Can I apply for your doctoral program?

A.  Yes!  We accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree (or equivalent).

Q.  My previous degrees are not in anthropology.  Can I apply for your doctoral program?

A.  Yes!  We routinely accept applicants with degrees other than anthropology at the undergraduate and master's level, particularly in environmental science, ecology, biology, history, geography, sociology, education, etc.

Q.  If I enter the doctoral program with only a bachelor's degree, will I obtain a master's degree on way to the Ph.D.?

A.  Not normally.  Like an increasing number of anthropology programs, students pursue a doctorate without completing a master's degree along the way.  The occasional student who leaves the Ph.D. program prematurely may complete a terminal M.A. degree.

Q.  If I enter the doctoral program with a master’s degree, does that mean I can complete the Ph.D. faster?

A.  In some cases. Some graduate courses may count toward your “program of study”(your coursework plan) with the approval of your major professor and your advisory committee.

Q.  What do you mean by “major professor” and “advisory committee?”

A.  Each Ph.D. student works closely with one professor who serves as advisor and mentor. If you see a professor or professors you would like to work with, we encourage you to send them an email of introduction before applying. 

By the end of their first year in the program students must also assemble an advisory committee of faculty who will guide their training and provide additional advice. 

Q.  What does the department look for in an applicant?  GREs?  GPA?

A. GREs and GPA are important, but our primary criterion is how your research interests and professional objectives are connected to our department. Our philosophy is to admit specific applicants who match the availability and research interests of our faculty. We judge this through the applicant’s Statement of Intent and CV. Letters of Recommendation are also important in our evaluation process. Finally, it also helps if the applicant has communicated with their potential major professor beforehand.

Q.  How does the Integrative Conservation (ICON) program work?  Would I earn a doctorate in anthropology or in integrative conservation?

A.  Integrative Conservation (ICON) is a doctoral program that spans anthropology, geography, ecology, and forestry & natural resources.  The term “integrative” refers to the partnering of natural and social science approaches to conservation theory and practice.

ICON students must fulfill all the requirements of their home discipline (anthropology) plus the ICON program.  The doctorate is a single diploma in “Anthropology and Integrative Conservation.”

ICON has its own graduate coordinator and its own graduate committee who make admissions decisions separately from (but in consultation with) anthropology. 

Q.  How will I pay for graduate school?

A. There are several sources of possible support including Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Additional information on funding from the Graduate School can be found here

Q.  I'm the first person in my family to even think of applying to a Ph.D. program.  Am I kidding myself thinking I can succeed in graduate school?

A. Please apply!  Anthropology is a field that embraces a diversity of life experiences.

Q.  I have more questions!  What should I do?

A.  Take a look at our graduate student handbook and the ICON handbook. Please feel free to address other questions to the graduate coordinator, Susan Tanner, or the graduate advisor, Ms. Margie Floyd by email, and for the ICON program to Sonia Hernandez.

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