Paths to Degree

The following are possible timelines to the Ph.D. in anthropology at the Graduate Center. They do not include consideration for individual variables such as possible transfer credits, differential undergraduate backgrounds in anthropology, or the different preparation and field requirements for different types of projects and locations. They are offered as guides to the items and elements that students need to attend to as they plot their own individualized route and timetable through the program in consultation with advisors, subfield coordinators, the EO, and other faculty.

Sample Timeline for Cultural Anthropology

  • Foundational/broad course work. 18 credits recommended as indicated below (with extra attention to required courses in preparation for first exam):
    • Core/Topics sequence (6 credits)
    • Theory sequence (6 credits)
    • Electives (6 credits, must be cultural anthropology, possibly including one of two required area courses)
  • Colloquia attendance
  • Attend professionalization workshop on undergraduate teaching (spring)
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training
  • Study for First Exam over the summer
  • First Exam in August
  • Continue Course work. 18-24 credits with following guidelines:
    • Research Methods (offered every fall semester)
    • 1-2 courses in other subfields as available (Linguistics and/or Biological/Archeology: these are offered on a three semester rotation, so plan accordingly)
    • 1-2 area courses
    • Electives, including possible course outside the program if needed for specialization
  • Colloquia attendance
  • Language study in field language (available at undergrad campuses---no credits)
  • Choose an advisor by the beginning of third year
  • Apply for transfer credits if applicable (fall semester following successful completion of the first exam)
  • Apply for summer preliminary fieldwork funds (March deadline)
  • Summer reconnaissance trip to potential field site(s)
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • Continue course work (18-24) credits with following guidelines:
    • Methods modules as needed/available
    • Proposal Writing course (recommended, but not required, offered every spring)
    • Any remaining required subfield course(s)
    • Any remaining required area course(s)
    • Electives
    • Possible course outside the program as needed for specializations
  • Language study continued as needed (no credit)
  • Colloquia attendance
  • Attend professionalization workshops (e.g. Composing CV, Conference Submission/ Presentation)
  • Attend Professional Conferences
  • Confirm second exam committee, topic and area (submit Second Exam Approval Form-EO approval required)
  • Possible proposal submission for late spring deadlines (requires Second Exam committee approval)
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • Finish any remaining course work and requirements (3-6 credits)
  • Second Exam preparation (compose bibliographies and secure committee approval)
  • Hone research proposal for exam and submission to funding agencies
  • Submit proposals to funding agencies (requires Second Exam committee approval)
  • IRB/Human Subjects clearance
  • Take Second exam
  • Language Exam
  • Advance to Candidacy
  • Attend Professional Conferences (possibly present papers)
  • Prepare for fieldwork
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • Fieldwork (anticipate 12-15 months; defer/forfeit fellowship if applicable)
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowship in spring if needed (and external write up grants)
  • Return from fieldwork
  • Review, Organize and Analyze data collected
  • Present Papers at Conferences and Professional Meetings
  • Finalize an outline for the dissertation with Advisor’s/Committee’s approval
  • Begin writing the dissertation
  • Take Dissertation Writing Workshop
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowships (and external write up grants)
  • Write up dissertation
  • Attend professionalization workshops on Job Search and Publication Submission
  • Continue presentations at professional meetings
  • Work on selected part(s) of the dissertation or presentation papers for publication as articles
  • Continue in Dissertation Writing Workshop
  • Dissertation draft meeting
  • Defense
  • Graduation

Sample Timeline for Linguistic Anthropology

  • Foundational/broad course work: 18 credits recommended (with extra attention to courses in preparation for First Exam) (Core Course in Linguistic Anthropology, and courses offered in the program as well as other programs at the GC and at schools in consortium)
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area (There are a number of series such as GC Anthro Colloquia, New York Linguistic Anthropology Working Group workshops, GC Sociolinguistics Lunches, etc.)
  • Attend professionalization workshop on undergraduate teaching (spring)
  • Language study in field language (available at undergrad campuses; no credits)
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training
  • Prepare and study for First Exam (secure Committee approval on the bibliography by May)
  • First Exam (following the completion of 18~24 credits) (written portion in August
  • Continue course work: 18-24 credits (with attention to courses in preparation for research methods, area courses, subfield requirement)
  • First Exam (oral portion during Fall)
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area
  • Language study in field language (available at undergrad campuses---no credits)
  • Choose an advisor by the beginning of third year
  • Apply for transfer credits if applicable (following successful completion of First Exam)
  • Apply for summer preliminary fieldwork funds (March deadline)
  • Undergraduate teaching related experience
  • Summer reconnaissance trip to potential field site(s
  • Continue course work: 18-24 credits (including proposal writing seminar and anthropology research (preparing for Second Exam)) with a goal to finish course work
  • Language study continued as needed (no credit)
  • Compose Second Exam committee (EO approval required)
  • Begin preparing for Second Exam (compose preliminary bibliographies for committee approval by the spring)
  • Begin preparing proposals to funding agencies
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area
  • Attend professionalization workshops (e.g. Composing CV, Conference Submission/ Presentation)
  • Attend and submit proposals to present at professional conferences
  • Language Exam
  • Possible proposal submission for late spring deadlines (requires Second Exam committee approval)
  • Undergraduate teaching related experience
  • Finish any remaining requirements
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area
  • Second Exam preparation (with bibliographies with introductions and proposal hold pre-Second Exam meeting by the fall)
  • Take Second Exam (by the spring)
  • Hone research proposal for submission to funding agencies
  • Submit proposals to funding agencies
  • IRB/Human Subjects clearance
  • Advance to Candidacy
  • Attend professional conferences (possibly present papers)
  • Prepare for fieldwork
  • Undergraduate teaching related experience
  • Fieldwork (anticipate 12-15 months; defer/forfeit fellowship if applicable)
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowship in spring if needed (and external write up grants)
  • Return from fieldwork
  • Review, organize and analyze data collected
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area
  • Present papers at conferences and professional meetings
  • Confirm dissertation committee
  • Finalize an outline for the dissertation with Advisor’s/Committee’s approval
  • Writing the dissertation
  • Take dissertation writing seminar
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowships (and external write up grants)
  • Write up dissertation
  • Attend seminars and workshops in the area
  • Attend professionalization workshops on Job Search and Publication Submission
  • Continue presentations at professional meetings
  • Work on selected part(s) of the dissertation or presentation papers for publication as articles
  • Continue in Dissertation Writing Workshop
  • Dissertation draft meeting
  • Defense
  • Graduation

Sample Timeline for Biological Anthropology

  • Foundational/broad course work. 24 credits recommended as indicated below:
    • Core sequence (9 credits)
    • Electives [3-15 credits, including (recommended, not usually required)]:
      • advanced courses taught by CUNY faculty, possibly including statistics;
      • advanced courses at other NYCEP institutions;
      • other advanced courses in relevant areas
    • Internship(s) (0-6 credits), usually to include one with student's advisor (not for credit unless there are insufficient advanced courses available)
    • 1-2 courses in other subfields as available (Cultural/Linguistics and/or Biological/Archeology [taking P/A is rare, as many students will get waiver from 2 undergrad or 1 grad-level course in archaeology, including the second term of Paleoanthropology if taken): these are offered on a three semester rotation, so plan accordingly)
  • Attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting; presentation not required
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training
  • Students working with primates (human or nonhuman) should be part of a faculty member’s IACUC or IRB, and should take the relevant training. Students working in labs need lab safety training.
  • Possible participation in [international] summer field experience, usually led by NYCEP faculty
  • Study for First Exam over the summer, based mainly on material in NYCEP core courses
  • First Exam in August
  • Continue Course work. 18-24 credits with following guidelines:
    • NYCEP Professional Development (credit in one semester, but biweekly throughout year)
    • 1-2 courses in other subfields as available (Cultural/Linguistics and/or Biological/Archeology, see above)
    • Electives, including courses outside NYCEP as available
      • statistics, if not yet taken
      • morphologists required to take gross anatomy
      • behaviorists required to take at least one conservation course
    • Internship(s) (3-6 credits)
  • Attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars; present brief "travelogue" report on summer fieldwork
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting; presentation required
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training if not already
  • Possible participation in [international] summer field experience, usually led by NYCEP faculty
  • Begin language study in research language if not already (available at undergrad campuses---no credits)
  • Apply for transfer credits if applicable (fall semester following successful completion of the first exam)
  • Start Undergraduate Teaching (for students with Teaching Fellowship)
  • Continue course work (12-15) credits (unless received transfer credit) with following guidelines:
    • Any remaining required subfield course(s) or other requirements (see above)
    • Any remaining required internship(s)
    • Electives
  • Language study continued as needed (no credit)
  • Attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars; present brief "travelogue" report on summer fieldwork if not previously; discuss research plans
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting; presentation required
  • Submit partial research proposals to Sigma Xi and possibly Grad Center research award
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • Work on dissertation proposal with advisor, select Second Exam Committee, develop bibliographies
  • NYCEP funding available for pilot research
  • Second Exam--Defend proposal and discuss bibliographies-- in late spring (or early next fall)
  • Submit dissertation proposals to funding agencies after complete Second Exam
  • Work on manuscript for publication (from internship or fieldwork)
  • Second Exam--Defend proposal and discuss bibliographies-- in early fall if not already
  • Submit dissertation proposals to funding agencies after complete Second Exam
  • Language Exam
  • Advance to Candidacy (formally select advisor)
  • Attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars; give update on plans or findings
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting; presentation required
  • Submit partial research proposals to Sigma Xi and possibly Grad Center research award
  • Work on manuscript for publication (from internship or fieldwork)
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • Begin dissertation research/data collection in and near New York if possible; travel to field or other research site if grant application(s) funded; resubmit if necessary
  • Continue dissertation research as necessary (behaviorists anticipate 12-15 months fieldwork; morphologists 3- 12 months museum [possibly field] travel)
  • Defer/forfeit GC fellowship if applicable
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowship if ready (and external write up grants if possible)
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting possible; presentation required
  • When in New York, attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars; give update on findings
  • Complete dissertation data collection and begin intensive analysis, then writing
  • Finalize an outline for the dissertation with Advisor’s approval
  • Apply for Dissertation Year Fellowships (and external write up grants)
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting possible; presentation required
  • When in New York, attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars; give update on findings
  • Complete dissertation writing; get feedback from advisor, also from committee members if relevant
  • Select external reader if not already decided; may wish to see parts of dissertation or not
  • Funded attendance at a (inter)national scientific meeting possible; presentation required
  • When in New York, attendance at monthly (Thursday evening) NYRP lectures and bi-weekly (Friday afternoon) NYCEP seminars
  • Work on selected part(s) of the dissertation or presentation papers for publication as articles
  • Defense
  • Graduation
  • Present summary of dissertation to NYCEP Friday Seminar