PhD Programs in Anthropology in California

Students intending to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology in California will find no shortage of programs. Prospective students can choose from a wide variety of specializations to meet their research and career interests. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

California Institute of Integral Studies

CIIS offers a doctoral program in anthropology and social change. This residential program is distinctive for its emphasis on integrating activism and research, and activist research will be the foundation for your doctoral dissertation. If you have an MA from another school or non-anthropology program within CIIS, you might be required to take additional coursework to earn your Ph.D.

Stanford University

Stanford's Ph.D. program allows students to develop a curriculum focused on their research interests in consultation with a faculty committee. The program is full-time only, and in the first five academic years students are required to live in the area. While many anthropology Ph.D. programs are six years or longer, Stanford emphasizes completing this program within five years.

University of California, Berkeley

At Berkeley, you can earn your doctorate in either anthropology or medical anthropology. If you choose to pursue the degree in anthropology, you can then choose from tracks in archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. The Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology is offered in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco. Many doctoral programs in anthropology have a language requirement, and at Berkeley you will need to be proficient in a non-English language that is relevant to your doctoral research.

University of California, Davis

Students in the doctoral program at UC Davis are accepted into either the evolutionary anthropology or sociocultural anthropology program. Those in the evolutionary anthropology program can choose to specialize in archaeology, human behavioral ecology, paleoanthropology, genetic anthropology, or primatology, while students in the sociocultural anthropology program can specialize in environmental anthropology, economy, religion, global health and medical anthropology, or media.

University of California, Irvine

The focus of this anthropology Ph.D. program is on social and cultural anthropology. It includes long-term fieldwork that is usually done internationally and in a language other than English. The program also allows you to tailor the program to your interests by enrolling in graduate emphases. The majority of coursework is completed within the first three years, and years four through six are devoted to fieldwork and dissertation.

University of California, Los Angeles

The doctoral program at UCLA is shaped by the four traditional subfields of anthropology, and prospective students can pursue a program in anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, or sociocultural anthropology. If you plan to enter the program with an M.A. from somewhere other than UCLA, you will need to demonstrate a basic understanding of anthropology before you can begin the requirements for the doctorate.

University of California, Riverside

Doctoral students at UCR specialize in one of four subdisciplines - archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology, or linguistic anthropology - but all are expected to undertake basic studies of three out of four subfields.

University of California, San Francisco

UCSF offers a doctoral degree in medical anthropology in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley. This unique program ties an examination of social theory to issues in health and medicine. This partnership is led by eight faculty members from UCSF and eight from Berkeley. The UCB/UCSF program also offers a dual degree opportunity through the medical anthropology MD/PhD track.

University of California, Santa Barbara

Students who elect to pursue a doctorate at UCSB choose from three areas of study: archaeology, integrative anthropological studies, or sociocultural anthropology. Students can further specialize within each of these fields. If you choose archaeology or sociocultural anthropology, you will be expected to spend a minimum of three quarters doing field research, which will generally become the foundation for your dissertation.

University of California, Santa Cruz

At UC Santa Cruz, students enter the program after choosing to specialize in one of three tracks: archaeology, cultural anthropology, or biological anthropology. Each track requires students to take certain coursework for the first three years before advancing to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

InstitutionPrograms OfferedGraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
California Institute of Integral Studies *PhD in Anthropology and Social Change$21,400
Stanford University*PhD in Archaeology
*PhD in Culture and Society
$51,354
University of California, Berkeley*PhD in Anthropology (with tracks in Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Sociocultural Anthropology)
*PhD in Medical Anthropology
$14,131 in-state, $29,233 out-of-state
University of California, Davis*PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology
*PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology
$13,570 in-state, $28,672 out-of-state
University of California, Irvine *PhD in Anthropology (with an available specialization in Anthropologies of Medicine, Science, and Technology)$13,344 in-state, $28,446 out-of-state
University of California, Los Angeles*PhD in Anthropological Archaeology
*PhD in Biological Anthropology
*PhD in Linguistic Anthropology
*PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology
$12,946 in-state, $28,048 out-of-state
University of California, Riverside*PhD in Archaeology
*PhD in Biological Anthropology
*PhD in Linguistic Anthropology
*PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology
$13,584 in-state, $28,686 out-of-state
University of California, San Francisco*PhD in Medical Anthropology
*MD/PhD in Medical Anthropology
$12,933 in-state, $28,035 out-of-state
University of California, Santa Barbara*PhD in Archaeology
*PhD in Integrative Anthropological Studies
*PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology
$13,554 in-state, $28,656 out-of-state
University of California, Santa Cruz*PhD in Cultural Anthropology
*PhD in Archaeology
*PhD in Biological Anthropology
$13,777 in-state, $28,879 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Doctoral programs in anthropology in California are most commonly found at schools within the University of California system. In addition to offering a strong foundation in the traditional areas of anthropology, they provide students with many opportunities to pursue specializations in areas like medical anthropology and social change.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Northwestern University

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    • Illinois: Evanston
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