Course Work: A total of 72 points (normally eighteen courses) is required, of which at least 28 points will be in Anthropology and at least 28 will be in French Studies. Required courses are as follows: 19th-Century France and Its Empire, IFST-GA 1610, Research Seminar in French Studies, IFST-GA 3720 (twice), Theory and Practice of Social Anthropology I, ANTH-GA 1010, Theory and Practice of Social Anthropology II, ANTH-GA 1011, Linguistictic Anthropology, ANTH-GA 1040, History of Anthropology, ANTH-GA 1636, and Professionalization Seminar, ANTH-GA 3211.
Students enroll in Research Seminar in French Studies, IFST-GA 3720, twice, because it is, in effect, a single research seminar held over two consecutive semesters so as to give students the opportunity to write a deeply researched and potentially publishable paper. The grade for the first semester is based on work up to that point, whereas the grade for the second semester is based on the completed research paper.
Advisory Committees: After initial consultations with admitted students, the DGS and the Department Chair assign each student a three-person Faculty Advisory Committee. Students normally identify a chair in the fourth semester as part of the PhD Plan of Study. Students regularly change the composition of this committee after consulting with its chair and getting approval from the DGS. Such adjustments are often made as a result of changes in student research interests, or as faculty leave or join the department. Students have to fill out an Application for Change in Advisory Committee, which is then added to the student’s file in the department office.
Languages: The joint Ph.D. requires proficiency in French, as well as any other languages deemed as essential by the advisor in the plan of study for successful completion of the proposed project.
Plan of Study: In the spring semester of the second year, students draft a plan of study, which sketches the research areas in which s/he expects to work as well as a road map for work ahead. This plan includes identifying three scholarly areas in which the student plans to take Ph.D. comprehensive examinations.
In consultation with the advisory committee, students define their own exam areas; these usually include one geographic specialty and two topical specialties. Students are expected to prepare their plans in close collaboration with a faculty advisory committee comprising three (occasionally four) permanent members of the department faculty. At least two members of the committee must be faculty members in the Department of Anthropology and one member must be a faculty member at the Institute for French Studies. All members of this committee sign off on the plan before it is submitted to the full faculty. Typically, each member of the faculty advisory committee works with the student on one exam area, although the committee may agree to other arrangements. All students designate a chair of their PhD committee at this time. The student should initiate discussion with his/her advisory committee by the end of the semester before s/he expects to submit the plan, and should prepare to submit a draft plan to these advisors by the first day of spring semester, allowing sufficient time to work through several drafts. The specific due date for submission of the final draft to the Graduate Administrative Aide (signed off by all members of the advisory committee) will be posted each year, but is generally in mid-February. All faculty members review the plans over the subsequent weeks. Approval decisions are made at a faculty meeting held in early March. Occasionally, a plan is sent back for revision. Any revisions must be resubmitted by April 1 for approval by the full faculty. A student whose plan has not been approved by all department faculty by the end of spring semester of the second year will not be allowed to continue in the program.
Qualifying Exam: Students must complete three qualifying exams. At the end of the Anthropology Professionalization Seminar, typically taken in the second year of study, students will complete the first of these exams, which will consist of a take-home exam assessing students’ abilities to engage Anthropological theory and questions. In the third year students will complete the other two qualifying exams, which will consist of take-home essay exams covering two areas of specialization—generally one defined geographically and one thematically. Each essay should be 10-12 pages, double-spaced, and may include up to 3 additional pages of endnotes and a separate bibliography that is normally 5-10 pages in length. All three essays may be written over one 12-day sitting or in a disaggregated fashion in accord with the Anthropology Department’s Ph.D. exam schedule over the course of the academic year. The student works closely with an exam committee of three faculty members (two from Anthropology, one from French Studies), each of whom assumes primary responsibility for an exam area. All three members of the committee read and grade (Pass/Fail) all three essays. If a student receives a failing grade in one or several exam areas, s/he will be permitted to retake the exam by the end of the semester following the first attempt. Failure to receive a passing grade on any one part of the exam within this time frame will constitute failure of the exam, and the student will be terminated from the program.
Proposal Hearing: Before engaging in research and applying for funding for the Ph.D. dissertation, the student defends the research proposal. The department requires that a dissertation proposal be formally approved by each student’s advisory committee. Each student should meet with his/her committee no later than the fall semester of the fourth year for a proposal hearing, ideally when early drafts of grant proposals are available but there is enough time to benefit from the discussion.
Students should not prepare a special version of the dissertation proposal for this purpose; rather the hearing should focus on a version of the proposal that actually will be submitted to funding agencies. The hearing is meant to be a discussion in which problems are ironed out, helpful suggestions made, and difficulties likely to arise during the research discussed. A copy of the approved research proposal along with the signed departmental approval form is placed in the student's file.
Dissertation: The dissertation must be defended before a minimum five-member committee of examiners. These include a minimum of three full-time members of the university, generally comprised of the student’s core advisory committee (two faculty members from the Anthropology Department and one from the Institute of French Studies). Fourth, fifth, and further examining members may come from anywhere within or beyond the university, so long as the examiner holds a Ph.D. in any field.
In order to defend, students are required to give the Chair of their committee a completed draft of the dissertation two months prior to their desired defense date. During the first month, the Chair will read and deliver feedback, enabling students to make corrections, after which students will distribute a complete draft of the dissertation to all members of the examination committee by at least 4 weeks prior to the defense date. A successful oral defense requires that at least four of the five or more examiners vote to approve. After a successful defense, the candidate may be asked to make further revisions of the dissertation before depositing it.