Students will usually spend three years in residence, one year or more conducting field research, and a final year completing the dissertation. Requirements include:
- A total of twelve courses to be completed in the first three years. The first of these courses is Proseminar and is a requirement for incoming students.
- Students will sit a three-hour exam near the end of their first year. Incoming graduate students will be provided with a reading list at the start of the summer before the academic year to initiate their self-directed growth as anthropologists and to help them prepare for the exam.
- Students are expected to conduct exploratory fieldwork during the first summer. They are to write a proposal for this fieldwork and discuss their work upon return in a departmental methodology workshop. This workshop accompanies the Methods course, which is a requirement for students in their second year.
- For the comprehensive exams, students are required to write two essays (one conceptual and one on their study area). These essays will ideally also help develop their dissertation research proposal. The essays should preferably be completed by the end of the second year. A course called Regions has been developed to assist students in writing the essays.
- Students are also encouraged to take the Proposal Writing course offered and to apply for fieldwork grants from external agencies.
- A student should be able to demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language relevant to his/her field of study before completing the comprehensive exams
- A Post-Field course will be offered to those returning from the field to help them begin writing their dissertation, along with relevant professionalization workshops as needed. Post-field students are required to give a seminar on their research in the departmental colloquia series.
Beyond these requirements, students are expected to meet regularly with their advisors to discuss their academic plans.