Bell Tower

Current Graduate Students Information


For Master’s Degree Students

See the Graduate Student Handbook for complete information

For Ph.D. Students 

Keep in mind, this is a summary.

See the Graduate Student Handbook for complete information

To earn your Ph.D., you must: 

  • Acquire a basic understanding of three of the four subdisciplines (archaeological, biological, linguistic, and sociocultural anthropology)
  • Complete all coursework with a grade of B or better (including a methodology course)
  • Demonstrate at least a reading knowledge of a language other than English
  • Present a paper at a professional meeting
  • Pass written and oral examinations in your area of specialization
  • Submit an acceptable dissertation research proposal
  • Carry out original research and prepare, present, and defend its results in the form of an acceptable Ph.D. dissertation (Your dissertation research proposal will explain the research problem, theoretical approach, forms of data collection and analysis, and present the expected outcomes of your investigation)
  • Select three topics or areas of specialization that intersect with your dissertation topic (these will form the basis of written and oral exams)
  • Complete all requirements (except the research and dissertation) by the end of your third year

By the end of the second quarter of your first year, you must: 

  • Find a faculty advisor. You will be assigned an interim advisor upon entering the program. During your first quarter, strive to meet faculty members who share your interests. Select a faculty advisor by the end of your second quarter. 
  • Submit your plan to complete your language and methodological skills requirements. 
  • Complete the yearlong 200 theory seminar quarter, complete Anth 210A, Professionalization Part I, and if desired, take the Master of Arts (M.A.) exam (based on the 200 sequences).

By the end of the second quarter of your second year, you must:

  • Complete a preliminary research statement outlining your intended area, theory, and method
  • Constitute your dissertation committee
  • Meet with your dissertation committee to develop reading lists, which will form the basis of the Written Qualifying Comprehensive Exam

By the end of the third quarter of your second year, you must: 

  • Complete Anth 210B, Professionalization Part II
  • Significantly advance your knowledge in your subfield of specialization by taking several graduate-level courses in your subfield
  • Fulfill some, if not all, of the four courses required for breadth (one course in two of the subfields outside of your field of specialization) 

By the end of the third quarter of your third year, you must: 

  • First, take the Written Qualifying Comprehensive Exam (we advise taking this as close to the beginning of the first quarter as possible - please review the department’s qualifying exam guidelines)
  • Generate an acceptable research proposal (with help from your advisor and dissertation) in time to submit to granting agencies. (Please work with Anthropology Contract and Grant Analyst who can assist you with budget and application preparation, internal UCR forms, and more)

By the end of the third year, you must also complete the following:

  • Give an oral presentation at the James Young Colloquium and/or at a national or international meeting (drawing on your research proposal and Written Qualifying Comprehensive Exam)
  • Fulfill the language requirement
  • Fulfill the methodological skills requirement 
  • Fulfill all breadth requirements
  • Constitute your oral exam committee
  • Take your oral qualifying exam
  • Continue to advance your knowledge in your subfield
  • Advance to candidacy 

During years four, five, and six, you must:

  • Carry out one to two years of dissertation field research (usually with external funding)
  • Spend one to one-and-a-half years writing up your research results in the form of a dissertation that is acceptable to the members of your dissertation committee
  • Provide a public oral defense of your dissertation to the Department of Anthropology
  • Complete your dissertation no later than the end of year seven

Get Funding

See fellowships and grants for graduate students




See more forms for graduate students

Important: All paperwork and petitions that require the approval of the Graduate Committee must be submitted to the Student Affairs assistant one week before the Graduate Committee's monthly meeting on the second Wednesday of each month.


Find People

See a directory of current graduate students

Join the Student Association of Graduate Anthropologists (SAGA)

Get Help 

Derick Fay
Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor
(951) 827-6483

Tiara Caldwell
Graduate Affairs Assistant
(951) 827-5145