THE LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY SUBFIELD IS PAUSING ADMISSIONS FOR ONE YEAR (students applying to start in Fall 2023). Students who were planning to apply in Linguistic Anthropology should reach out to faculty in the subfield (as well as other subfields, if appropriate) about the possibility of applying in related subfields, if this reflects the proposed course of research.
Students enter the Ph.D Program, based upon a vote of the faculty, at the time the M.A. degree is conferred or, if entering with a master’s degree, when all requirements demonstrating basic knowledge in the field of anthropology are completed.
The Ph.D Program
The Ph.D degree requires further study in a more specialized branch of anthropology, requiring at least one further year of academic study. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the discipline by successful completion of: (1) the Written Qualifying Examination administered by a three-member Departmental Doctoral Committee, (2) the Oral Qualifying Examination administered by a four-member Ph.D Doctoral Committee and, (3) the writing of an original dissertation based on original research. The dissertation is expected to be a significant contribution to anthropological literature and knowledge.
Beyond basic requirements, each student’s program of study is unique. Accordingly, academic advising for graduate students in the department is primarily conducted on an individual basis by a student’s faculty adviser. The department’s graduate adviser is primarily responsible for counseling students in regard to program requirements, policies, and university regulations. Upon admission, students will be assigned both a primary and a secondary first-year adviser.
Student progress is periodically reviewed at faculty meetings. Students entering the program with a master’s degree are expected to be evaluated no later than their sixth quarter (spring quarter of their second year). At the Student Review Meeting, which occurs once per academic quarter, the full faculty evaluates the student’s progress in the program: formation of three-member departmental advisory committee; completion of the Proseminar and core courses; and evaluation of the Master’s research paper or thesis. Possible outcomes of the Student Review for students entering with a Master’s degree are: a) continuation to the Ph.D. program requirements; b) one-quarter extension to complete remaining requirements; and c) recommendation for academic disqualification from the Ph.D. program. All students are notified in writing about the outcome of the faculty discussion concerning their continuation to the doctoral program or degree progress. Students continue to be reviewed periodically throughout their time in the PhD program. The purpose of these reviews is to assess academic progress and help to ensure timely completion of the PhD.
Students entering the program with a Master’s degree
Students who are entering the graduate program with a Master’s degree, whether or not in anthropology, are required to demonstrate basic knowledge of the discipline before being permitted to begin the requirements for the doctorate. It is expected that students accomplish this during the first year of academic residence through the following:
- Nominating a three-member departmental advisory committee.
- Completing the Proseminar (Anthropology 200).
- Completing or demonstrating basic knowledge of the M.A. course requirements by exercising one or a combination of the following three options (for more information about required courses, please see the Ph.D. Course Requirements file):
- Taking the core course or methods course with a passing grade of B or better.
- Petitioning that course work completed elsewhere, or at UCLA as an undergraduate, constitutes the equivalent of such courses.
- Passing the subfield’s core course examination given in the Spring Quarter.
- Submitting to the student’s departmental advisory committee, for evaluation, a master’s paper or a research paper that was written while in graduate status in their former Master’s program.
Additional Course Requirement for Students in the Sociocultural and Psychocultural-Medical Program: All students in the Sociocultural and Psychocultural-Medical program are required to take Anthropology 283 – Proposal Writing, typically offered in the Spring. Students must consult with their three-member departmental advisory committee chair before enrolling. Students are expected to complete the course in their second year but may complete it no later than the quarter they hold their qualifying examination. Students who entered the graduate program with a Master’s degree must complete this course by their ninth quarter (third year) in the program.
A grade of B or better is required in any core course taken at UCLA. If students received a grade of B-, C+, or C, they may not repeat the core course, but must take the core course examination and pass or be subject to being recommended for academic disqualification. If a grade of C- or below is received, students may repeat the course, but must receive a grade of B or better the second time the course is taken, or be subject to being recommended for academic disqualification.
Only when these requisites have been met are students permitted to begin the requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Completion of 40 units is not required.
Students who completed the M.A in Anthropology at UCLA
Students who are entering the graduate program without a Master’s degree must complete all of the M.A. degree requirements en route to the Ph.D. Following completion of the M.A. degree requirements and permission by the faculty to begin the Ph.D. requirements, students are expected to enroll in three seminars, each with a different faculty member, between receipt of the M.A. degree from the department and taking the doctoral qualifying examinations.
Additional Course Requirement for Students in the Sociocultural and Psychocultural-Medical Program: All students in the Sociocultural and Psychocultural-Medical program are required to take Anthropology 283 – Proposal Writing, typically offered in the Spring. Students must consult with their three-member departmental advisory committee chair before enrolling. Students are expected to complete the course in their second year but may complete it no later than the quarter they hold their qualifying examination. Students who completed the M.A. degree requirements must complete this course by their 12th quarter (fourth year) in the program.
Foreign Language Requirement
Fulfilling the foreign language requirement is not a requirement to be eligible to apply to the graduate program.
The department requires proficiency in a second language for all students in the Ph.D. program in anthropology. It is the responsibility of the student’s three-member departmental doctoral committee to determine what language(s) are required for their particular program of study.
If the requirement for second language proficiency is to be waived, students must prepare a request for a Ph.D. language requirement waiver, which consists of a letter justifying the request, addressed to the committee and filed with the graduate adviser. The committee must then draft a letter of approval, to be placed in the student’s file. If alternate research skills that are deemed necessary for the program of study for the student’s dissertation have been identified and satisfied, these are noted by the committee. However, no specific other courses or skills are obligatory.
If foreign language proficiency is required, proficiency will be determined by the three-member departmental doctoral committee and may include but is not limited to:
- Completion of an appropriate level of language instruction; or
- Demonstration of previously acquired language skills through documentation or an examination; or
- Submission of an annotated bibliography, in English, of selected publications (in the selected language) that are related to the student’s dissertation topic.
The bibliography may be supplemented by a related analytical examination question or further translation examination.
For students required to demonstrate foreign language proficiency, all monitoring of the requirement takes place within the department. The committee chair is responsible for consulting with other committee members about the language requirement and plans for proficiency testing, and notifying them of the results of those tests, or otherwise providing them with copies of the documentation of proficiency.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
The qualifying examinations for the Ph.D. degree consist of a written and an oral examination. The timing of these examinations is set in consultation with the members of the doctoral committee. Students must be registered and enrolled to take the qualifying examinations. The committee for each examination determines the conditions for reexamination should students not pass either portion of the qualifying examinations.
Departmental members of the doctoral committee administer the written portion of the qualifying examination. The fields and format of the examination are to be determined by the student’s departmental doctoral committee. There must be a minimum of two weeks between completion of the written examination and the scheduled date for the oral portion of the qualifying examination.
The University Oral Qualifying Examination is primarily a defense of the dissertation proposal. This examination is administered by the four-member doctoral committee.
Doctoral candidates must complete an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research, and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination
The department does not require a final oral defense of the dissertation. However, individual doctoral committees can institute this requirement if they deem it important to do so; this decision is made by the doctoral committee.
Time to Degree
Full-time students admitted without deficiencies normally progress as follows:
Entering without a Master’s degree
- Completion of M.A. degree and approval to begin the Ph.D. requirements: End of sixth quarter
- Selection of three internal members of the doctoral committee: During ninth quarter
- Four-person doctoral committee nomination: End of 11th quarter
- Completion of foreign language requirement, unless exempted: During 12th quarter
- Completion of written and oral qualifying examinations: Expected by end of 12th quarter
- Advancement to candidacy: Expected by end of 12th quarter
- Final oral examination (dissertation defense), if applicable: Expected by end of 24th quarter
- Normative time-to-degree: 24 quarters (8 years)
Entering with a Master’s degree
- Selection of three internal members of the doctoral committee: During sixth quarter
- Approval to begin the Ph.D requirements: End of sixth quarter
- Four-person doctoral committee nomination: End of eighth quarter
- Completion of foreign language requirement, unless exempted: During ninth quarter
- Completion of written and oral qualifying examinations: Expected by end of ninth quarter
- Advancement to candidacy: Expected by end of ninth quarter
- Final oral examination (dissertation defense), if applicable: Expected by end of 21st quarter
- Expected time-to-degree: 21st quarter (7 years)
- Normative time-to-degree: 24 quarters (8 years)
If feasible, students may complete the program before the expected or normative time-to-degree.