PhD Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student selects an advisor, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, by the end of the first semester of the program.

Credits and Courses

Minimum degree requirement is 54 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, at least 27 of which must be earned in residence at UWM. A student lacking any of the courses (or equivalents taken elsewhere) required to attain a Master’s degree in their major area of concentration must complete these courses as part of their PhD work.

ANTHRO 801A Survey of Physical Anthropology3
ANTHRO 802Perspectives on Prehistory3
ANTHRO 803Survey of Cultural Anthropology3
Select one of the following:3
Anthropological Applications of GIS
Archaeology of Death
Zooarchaeology: Analysis of Faunal Remains
Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics
Introduction to Research Methods in Anthropology
Techniques and Problems in Ethnography
Techniques and Problems in Archaeology
Archaeological Analysis and Report Preparation:
Archaeological Field School
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Topics in Advanced Research Design in Anthropology
Other courses with the approval of the advisor and Director of Graduate Studies
Advanced Seminar
Select one of the following:3
Seminar in Problems in Cultural Anthropology:
Seminar in Prehistory and Archaeology:
Other courses with the approval of the advisor and Director of Graduate Studies
Foreign Language/Specialization
A foreign language or specialized scholarly skill
Total Credits15

Foreign Language or Specialized Scholarly Skill

The candidate may satisfy this requirement by demonstrating one of the following:

  • Proficiency in a foreign language useful in the student’s career.
  • Proficiency in mathematical, statistical, or computer skills.
  • Proficiency in other skills that meet departmental approval.

Additional Requirements

Doctoral Preliminary Examination and Dissertation Proposal Defense

The candidate must pass an oral doctoral preliminary examination as one of the qualifications for achieving dissertator status. Candidates choose two to four topics in consultation with their advisor for the Preliminary Examination. The topics must be broader than, but related to, the focus of the candidate’s proposed dissertation research. The topics must be approved by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee and the Department faculty. The preliminary examination must be passed within five years of initial enrollment for a student to be eligible to continue in the program.

The candidate must pass a formal dissertation proposal hearing prior to starting dissertation research.


The candidate must prepare a dissertation reporting in the candidate’s own style the results of an original research investigation representing a substantive creative contribution.

The dissertation must be formatted in accord with Graduate School requirements. Students will submit an electronic copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School and a signed, unbound “hard” copy to the Department of Anthropology.

Dissertation Defense

As the final step toward the degree, the candidate must pass an oral examination before their doctoral committee in defense of the dissertation.


The student must meet minimum Graduate School residence requirements.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within ten years from the date of initial enrollment in the doctoral program.

Graduate Grievance Procedures

Federal law and UWM policy require programs and departments to have procedures for graduate students to appeal academic decisions such as grades or scholastic standing. These procedures ensure the protection of students’ rights. These pages serve as a reference on procedures for graduate student academic appeals.