Course of Study

Graduate Course of Study

  • Our first-year program is anchored by a required, two-semester Proseminar (ANT 501-502) that introduces students to critical debates in the discipline. The goal is for students to develop an historically informed understanding of contemporary issues in the field. Additionally, first-year students are required to take Co-seminar (ANT 541) with the second-year cohort. This seminar introduces students to the theoretical and methodological concerns of different professors in the department. 
  • The only required course for second-year students is Co-seminar (ANT 541). Otherwise, students generally choose courses to help them prepare for their second-year General Examination ("Generals") and for dissertation field work (e.g., a language class).
  • Students take two departmentals per semester, for a total of eight departmentals during the four semesters of residency (generally their first two years). In addition to their two departmentals, each semester students take at least one additional course either in the Anthropology Department or elsewhere at Princeton and/or Consortium universities. Departmentals can be full-semester courses half-semester seminars (must take 2 to equal one course in semester) and student-initiated tutorials.

  • All students are expected to qualify in language proficiency and conduct sustained fieldwork.

Time to degree: The graduate program in anthropology requires only two years of “residency” (time spent on campus taking courses), at which point students are eligible to take the PhD qualifying General Examination (“Generals”). After passing their Generals and developing a research plan for formal presentation to the department, most students commence dissertation field research sometime during their third year.

Third year students are expected to stay in Princeton for the fall semester in order to:

  • write grant applications with the help of their advisers.
  • prepare their fieldwork proposal that must be approved and presented during the fall semester.
  • organize a themed graduate conference/workshop for late November/early December.

Graduate students commence fieldwork in the spring of their third year.

The small size of the department and our centralized department space – including a large graduate study area with a carrel for each student – encourage faculty and student collegiality and engagement. 

Funding

Basic Princeton fellowship support for Anthropology Department students in good standing is for five years. 

Summer funding: our students use the summers after the first and second years to advance their doctoral fieldwork planning with language training, field site exploration, and the development of collegial networks and institutional affiliations related to possible field projects. Several competitive awards are available within the University to make this possible. 

You may use your university fellowship funding to begin dissertation fieldwork. We expect our students to apply for external dissertation research grants.