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Joint Degree: SAST and Anthropology

Applicants should apply to only one program within Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GAS). If you are interested in another department within GAS, you may include this in your personal statement. Upon review, our faculty will decide if the candidate is a good fit for our department or if another program is more suited to their academic interests.

Though the PhD process is broadly the same as that of the SAST PhD, there are some specific requirements for the joint degrees.


I. Course requirements: (20 total)


3 of 4 Core courses during the first year:  600, 602, 603, 617

Highly Recommended:  Methods Course (either 655 or 556)



Within the first two years, SAST students must take six courses taught by primary standing faculty within the Department.

Thus, during the first year in the joint program, the student will take three anthropology courses and two or three SAST courses, and during the second year, the student will complete the SAST requirements (three or four courses).


II. Languages

Joint Program Language Requirement:  Competency in 2 languages, one South Asian language plus one scholarly language to be approved by Advisor and Graduate Chair. It is strongly encouraged students study one modern and one classical South Asian language.  Students might be able to pass out of one or more of these requirements by taking a placement test at the beginning of the year, after which point further needs would be assessed.


III. Exams I: 

ANTH:   The Comprehensive Examination is a two-day (four hours each day) examination in general anthropology, based on Core Program courses, usually taken after the first year.  Joint students should take the comps at the end of the year during which they have taken the core courses. There are three possible outcomes of the Comprehensive Exam: A student may pass at the PhD level, pass at the MA level, or fail the exam. These exams typically happen two weeks after the end of the spring semester, usually the Thursday and Friday a week after graduation.

SAST: Qualifying Stage in two parts, one at the beginning of the 3rd semester and the other at the end of the  4th semester. Dtails coming soon.


IV. Exams II:

Students will complete three “field statements” and the defense of a dissertation proposal by the end of the third year.  Field statements (3000 words each) are to be developed on broad thematic fields that are relevant to the student’s doctoral research.  At least one of these field statements will be focused on South Asia, and will be developed with a member of the standing faculty of the SAST Department.  Field statements are typically turned in toward the end of the third year, and are evaluated – along with the dissertation proposal – during an oral examination scheduled for two weeks after the field statements and proposal are turned in to the department.  Proposals generally follow Wenner-Gren or NSF formats for doctoral research grants (10-20 pages), but we are willing to accommodate other formats as necessary.


V. Dissertation:

Joint students will complete ONE dissertation that will serve both departments, under the advisement of the student’s committee, comprised of both SAST standing faculty and Anthropology graduate group faculty.  When the dissertation is finalized by the student and his or her committee members, the student will conduct a dissertation defense.  For anthropology, a defense is public, with the student presenting his/her research and findings for 40-45 minutes (akin to a job talk), with a period of questions afterward.


Please refer to the attachments and forms here (bottom of page).