Jun 24, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin 
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Anthropology, Ph.D.

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Candidates for admission to the doctoral program in anthropology, with a concentration in archaeology, must either hold a bachelor’s degree in anthropology or archaeology or hold a bachelor’s degree in another subject with significant course work in anthropology. Candidates without this background may apply after first strengthening areas of deficiency. The Graduate Advisor will assist in this process. Applicants for admission should have a minimum grade point average of 3.5. All applicants must submit scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Students with exceptional promise that do not meet one or more of the admission conditions may be admitted on probation with the approval of the Graduate Advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School.

General Requirements

The total hours required for the Ph.D. will include a minimum of 72 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 42 hours beyond the master’s degree. Students who enter the program with a B.A. and want to obtain the Ph.D., will complete 36 hours of M.A. course work and a written qualifying exam.

There is no formal language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Students, however, will consult with their advisors regarding the development of pertinent linguistic and/or computer skills necessary for thesis research and analysis. Students are reminded that many research positions require proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


Transfer Credits

Students with an M.A. degree in a relevant field of study may apply up to 30 credit hours to the Ph.D. program including up to 9 hours of thesis work. Up to 12 credit hours of graduate enrollment not applied to any degree may be transferred. See the Transfer Credit  section of the Graduate Bulletin for more information about transferring graduate credit.

Advisory Committee

Students in the Ph.D. program will be advised initially by the Graduate Advisor. The student must select a research area and a research advisor or co-advisers by the end of the second semester after enrollment in the program. The student, after consultation with the advisor or co-advisors, recommends the members of the advisory committee to the Dean of the Graduate School by the end of the third semester of enrollment. The advisory committee must have at least three graduate faculty members, consisting of at least two members from the department of Anthropology and one member from outside the department. One member of the advisory committee may be a qualified expert in the research area from outside the University. At least half of the total committee must be full time Anthropology graduate faculty members at The University of Tulsa. The advisory committee approves the dissertation and administers the final dissertation oral examination.

Qualifying Examination.

Prospective Ph.D. students entering without a master’s degree in anthropology or archaeology with course deficiencies must take the written qualifying exam no later than the end of their second year of enrollment. This exam is based on the core curriculum of archaeology. Students are strongly encouraged to have  completed the core curriculum at this time. At the discretion of the faculty, students may be required to do additional course work at the M.A. level before sitting for the qualifying examination. The examination will be given normally in December and May, and it can be retaken only once.

Those entering the program with only a bachelor’s degree and wanting to obtain the Ph.D. must complete 36 credit hours of M.A. coursework and the written qualifying examination. Those passing the examination will continue in the Ph.D. program and are eligible to receive an M.A. degree upon the recommendation of the program to the Dean of the Graduate School. Those failing twice to pass the exam will receive a terminal M.A. degree.

Dissertation Proposal and Comprehensive Exam.

Doctoral students will stand for the comprehensive exam, focused on their research area, at the time of completion of all coursework. The comprehensive exam includes the presentation of a proposal and oral defense of a student’s doctoral research project. The proposal is presented orally before the advisory committee in a forum open to any students or faculty.


A student in the Ph.D. program is recommended for candidacy by the Graduate Program Advisor after the comprehensive examination has been passed and the dissertation proposal has been successfully defended.


Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation on the results of their research. The dissertation must demonstrate the candidate’s abilities in independent investigation in the area of interest and must contribute to the field of archaeology. The dissertation must follow the Graduate School’s recommended procedures for submission to the student’s advisory committee, and before it is finally reproduced it must be presented to the full advisory committee for examination and review and presented orally in a forum open to all students and faculty. The dissertation will be microfilmed and published in Dissertation Abstracts. The dissertation will be graded on a pass-or-fail basis.

Final Oral Examination

Each candidate must pass a final oral examination before the advisory committee. The examination will consist of a defense of the dissertation, the general field of the dissertation, and other parts of the program which may be chosen by the committee. The advisory committee recommends the candidate to the Dean of the Graduate School for the Ph.D. degree upon successful completion of the final oral examination and acceptance of the dissertation.

Museum Science and Management Track

Museum curators in the 21st century will need a broad suite of skills and experiences that can be provided by combining aspects of the doctoral Anthropology program and the Museum Science and Management master’s program.  The Anthropology program prepares students for rigorous theoretical research and also provides them with the practical skills needed to conduct fieldwork in archeology. The Museum Science and Management program helps students develop skills in collections care and management, digitization, and conservation, as well as skills related to the administrative and educational aspects of professional museums.


Students can choose to enter the track immediately upon matriculation or they may transition into the degree track by their second semester of coursework at The University of Tulsa.  The Director of the Museum Science and Management program must sign off on admissions or transitions to this track, and will serve as a co-advisor. 


The curriculum is a combination of a Master’s degree in Museum Science and Management and a Ph.D. in Anthropology.  Students in this program will need to declare this track before their second semester of their doctoral program.

Students in this track will take the following courses in partial fulfillment of the Group II electives:


Students in this track are also required to complete an internship, as is required for the Museum Science and Management program.  This internship is usually completed during the summer in the first or second year of the program. A student may need to combine field work and an internship; however, a single fieldwork experience may not satisfy both requirements. In order to qualify as an MSM internship, the student must be responsible for 1) Collections, records, and/or data management, or 2) Laboratory operations and management or 3) Public interpretation of the archaeological project. Additional types of work may be acceptable based on a written proposal by the student and acceptance by the MSM program director.

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