Department of Anthropology and Geography Program

Graduate Programs in Anthropology

We offer MA and PhD degrees with specialties in the three major subfields of Anthropology. Admissions preference is given to MA-seeking students who intend to pursue an MA-PhD sequence, rather than a terminal MA. The interdepartmental concentration in Gender and Women's Studies is also available to UIC students, as well as the Interdepartmental Concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies.

  • Archaeology: The combined faculties of the UIC Departments of Anthropology and the Field Museum represent one of the largest concentrations of anthropological archaeologists in the USA. We currently have research projects being conducted across the world.
  • Sociocultural Anthropology: The sociocultural program offers focused, topical specializations in Political Economy and Development, Medical Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, Globalization, Transnational Politics and Social Movements, Gender and Sexuality, the Politics of Commodities and Consumption, Anthropology of Food, and Environmental Anthropology.  Area specialties include South Asia (India and Nepal), Southeast Asia (Singapore and the Philippines), Latin America, (Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru), Africa (Tanzania), and the United States.
  • Biological Anthropology: Biological anthropology focuses on the evolution of the humans and closely related species from a comparative perspective. At UIC we are especially interested in modern populations as well as on issues of health.

Interested in learning more
? See our Faculty and details on our faculty research.

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What is the best way to learn about the many details of the program? Go to Frequently Asked Questions. The answers to many (and perhaps most) of your questions are there!

General Requirements for Fulfillment of a Masters Degree in Anthropology

A minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate level courses are necessary for an MA in Anthropology. No thesis is required. Only courses at the 400 and 500-level are considered graduate level and count towards the degree. A grade of "C" or lower is unacceptable and the course must be repeated. If the student receives two grades of "C" or lower, they may be dropped from the program. Deadlines to file for graduation are found on the Graduate College web page. The course specifics are provided below:

  • MA candidates must complete the four core courses (ANTH 500-503) in Anthropology with a grade of "B" or better, and complete the Anthropology Department Seminar (ANTH 595).These core courses provide a total of 18 credit hours and are taken in the first year.
    • ANTH 500 Social and Cultural Theory I 4 hours
    • ANTH 501 Social and Cultural Theory II 4 hours
    • ANTH 502 Theory and Method in Archaeology 4 hours
    • ANTH 503 Hominid, Phylogeny and Adaptation 5 hours
    • ANTH 595 Graduate Seminar 1 hour
    • Total 18 hours
  • MA candidates must also complete 12 hours of 400 or 500-level courses (generally equal to 3 courses), specifically within Anthropology.
  • MA candidates must also complete an additional 6 hours of 400 or 500-level courses. These can be taken within Anthropology or other academic units. (Non-Anthropology courses are encouraged, but must be discussed with the graduate student's advisor.)
  • In some cases, transfer credit may be applied to the MA degree. For more information, see the UIC Graduate College's regulations on transfer credit.
    • Summary:
    • 18 hours - Anthropology core classes
    • 12 hours - within Anthropology
    • 6 hours - additional hours within Anthropology or other related fields
    • Total 36 hours


Requirements for Fulfillment of a Doctoral Degree in Anthropology

  • A minimum of 96 semester hours of graduate-level course work, beyond their BA, of which no more than 32 semester hours can be transfer credits and no more than 32 hours of dissertation research.
  • During the first year in the program, all students, including transfer students with a master's in Anthropology, must take ANTH 500, 501, 502 and 503, and pass these core courses with grades of "B" or better. A grade of "C" is unacceptable and the course must be repeated. If a student earns two grades of "C" or lower, the student may be dropped from the program.
  • Students who received their MA in Anthropology and have passed UIC Anthropology's graduate core courses form a doctoral committee. The first step in this process is to establish a committee chair. This chairperson must be a full member of the UIC graduate faculty. In consultation with the chair, the student then develops his or her PhD committee (minimum of 5 members including the chair).
  • Students are required to take a written Preliminary Examination administered by the doctoral committee. Only registered students in good academic standing, with a Graduate College-approved committee, may take the exam.
  • Students are required to be proficient in a foreign language. The specific language and testing method is determined by the chairperson.
  • Students are required to have at least one semester of teaching experience.
  • The final requirement is a public, oral doctoral dissertation defense.
  • The maximum time limit allowed by the Graduate College for the PhD is 9 years from a student's admission with a BA degree and 7 years from admission with a MA degree. These time limits can be extended for an additional year with approval from the student's chair, department and the Graduate College.