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Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A.


Professors Emeriti

J. Barker, T.M. Blake, J. Cruikshank, D.L. Pokotylo, R.G. Matson, P. Shaw


A. Bloch, W. Davis, G. Gordillo, H. Gusterson, A. Martindale, C. Menzies, B. G. Miller

Associate Professors

C. Blackburn, M. R. Creighton, T. Heatherington, Z. Jing, V. Kamat, J. Kramer, N. Levell, P. Moore, S. Muehlmann, L. Robertson, S. Rowley, S. Shneiderman, M. Turin, D. A. Weston.

Assistant Professor Emeritus

W.H. McKellin

Assistant Professors

D. Rosenblum, C. Speller.

Program Overview

UBC offers graduate study in the fields of socio-cultural anthropology (including legal, medical, and ecological anthropology, oral and expressive cultures, religion, migration, social inequity, and applied anthropology), linguistic anthropology, anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, and museum studies. Faculty geographical research interests include North America (especially the Northwest Coast and Canadian Arctic); Asia (Japan, Korea, China, and Nepal); Europe (France, Italy); Eurasia (Russia, Turkey); Mesoamerica and the Caribbean; South America (Argentina, Mexico, Colombia); Oceania; and Africa (Tanzania).

The program provides training in quantitative, qualitative, archaeological and museum methods. Extensive research facilities are available in the Museum of Anthropology, and in the Laboratory of Archaeology. The UBC Library has excellent collections to support program interests, as well as providing access to all past UBC theses and dissertations online, and to the Human Relations Area files. Anthropology has a dedicated graduate computer lab with a wide range of software to support quantitative and qualitative research. Interdisciplinary contacts are encouraged, and links are maintained with many other departments, institutes and programs such as Asian Studies; Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies; Geography; History; Linguistics; Sociology; the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies; the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media; the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) ; and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, as well as with Established Research Excellence Clusters, such as the Language Sciences Initiative, and Migration.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess an M.A. degree in anthropology or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential (for details, see the M.A. admission requirements below).

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. degree proceeds in two stages. A student first gains full standing as a doctoral student within the program by completing: (a) a 12-month residency; (b) a minimum of 18 credits of coursework; (c) an acceptable research proposal; and (d) satisfactory performance in a comprehensive examination. Unless completed in the M.A., coursework for the Ph.D. is to include: ANTH 500 (History of Anthropological Thought) (6 credits); ANTH 506 (Current Research in Anthropology) (3 credits); and an advanced methodology course, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisor (ANTH 516, 517, 518 or ARCL 517) (3 credits). Following the comprehensive exam, Candidates undertake a substantive independent research project that is normally based in large part on field research. This forms the basis of their dissertation.

All doctoral students are required to complete a comprehensive examination successfully. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements. Students are expected to complete their degree program within a maximum of six years.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.A. degree program must possess a B.A. degree in anthropology or an equivalent training in anthropology, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

The M.A. is based upon a combination of coursework, research, and a thesis. Most students earn their degree within two years of starting the program; it is possible for a well-organized person to complete degree requirements during the first 12 to 18 months of study. Compared to the Ph.D., the M.A. is a structured course of study. Students must successfully complete 30 credits:

  • ANTH 500 History of Anthropology (6)
  • ANTH 506 Current Research in Anthropology (3)
  • an advanced anthropological methods course (3)
  • two 3-credit courses outside of the student's sub-disciplinary specialty; Students are encouraged to take at least three credits of these in Anthropology (6)
  • at least 6 credits of elective courses
  • a 6-credit thesis, which is initiated after submitting an approved thesis proposal

Contact Information

Department of Anthropology
6303 NW Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604.822.2546
Fax: 604.822.6161
Kara Holzer, Graduate Program Coordinator

Page last updated: March 5, 2021

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