The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

General Description / Special Programs

The Department focuses on social and cultural anthropology, with a strong emphasis on understanding emergent processes and systems at a number of scales, including the local, national and transnational level. The Department fosters a critical empiricism that employs a range of ethnographic, historical, and quantitative methods to address questions of subjectivity, political economy, and social inequality. We believe that a theoretically and methodologically engaged anthropology of the contemporary must engage in research at the intersection of the local the global as well as the past and present, coming to grips with the large-scale cultural transformations and the institutions and practices of modernity.

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Degrees Offered Anthropology PhD; MA with a concentration in Anthropologies of Medicine, Science and Technology; Anthropology BA, Minors in Anthropology and Medical Anthropology
Highest Degree Offered PhD
Certificate Info
BA/BS Field Areas
Cultural Anthropology
Medical Anthropology
BA/BS Requirements
Departmental Req's for the Major: School requirements must be met and must include 12 courses (48 units) from: A) Anthropology 2A; B) Anthropology 2B, 2C or 2D; C) Anthropology 2B, 2C, 2D, 25A, 30A, 30C, or 45A; D) Anthropology 100A and Anthropology 100B and Anthropology 180AW; E) Six additional elective courses (24 units) from Anthropology 25A, 30A, 30C, 45A, Anthropology 120-179 View the following website for Undergraduate Certificates: Students interested in fulfilling the requirements for one of the Dept's certificate programs should plan their topical and elective courses accordingly. Certificate programs require four courses from the list approved for each certificate. Minor in Medical Anthropology and an Interdisciplinary Minor in Archaeology.
MA/MS Field Areas
Cultural Anthropology
Medical Anthropology
MA/MS Specializations MA concentration in Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies. Highly-qualified students seeking training for responding to the significant and rapidly changing impact of medicine and technology upon economics and societies around the world are invited to apply to this master's degree program, administered by the Department of Anthropology, but drawing expertise from faculty across the Irvine campus. Students who complete the program earn an M.A. in Social Science with a concentration in Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies.
PhD Field Areas
Cultural Anthropology
Phd Requirements Students must complete a one-year Proseminar in Anthropology (ANTHRO 202A-ANTHRO 202B-ANTHRO 202C) during their first year. In their second year, students are required to complete a three-course sequence in ethnographic methods, research design, and grant writing (ANTHRO 215A, ANTHRO 215B, ANTHRO 215C). Students are also required to complete six elective courses in Anthropology, which are selected in consultation with their advisor and which normally cover a coherent area of specialization within the field. All course work must be completed before a student is advanced to candidacy. Students must demonstrate competence to read one foreign language, in accordance with the requirements of the Ph.D. in Anthropology. At the end of the first year, students must pass a formal evaluation which is made by the Department on the basis of the first-year course work and examinations to be taken as part of the Proseminar. Students should advance to candidacy by the end of the third year; the advancement to candidacy examination is based on a research proposal, a review of relevant literature, and an annotated bibliography. The fourth (and, in many cases, some or all of the fifth) year is normally devoted to extended anthropological fieldwork. The sixth year (in some cases, also part of the fifth) is devoted to writing the dissertation, in close consultation with the advisor. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is seven years, and the maximum time permitted is eight years.
Other Degree Field Areas
Program in Law and Graduate Studies JD/PhD; JD/MA. Highly qualified students interested in combining the study of law with graduate research and/or professional qualifications in Anthropology are invited to undertake concurrent degree study under the auspices of UC Irvine's Program in Law and Graduate Studies (PLGS). Students in this program pursue a coordinated curriculum leading to a JD degree from the School of Law in conjunction with a Master's or PhD degree in Anthropology. Additional information is available from the PLGS Program Director's office (949) 824-4158, or by email, to
Internship / Grants / Funding
Internships Available 0
Internship Required 0
Support Opportunities

Sixty-three (63) students total received merit-based financial support during academic year 2017-18. Thirty-two (32) students were supported as Teaching Assistants, with appointments of at least one quarter each. Fifty-four (54) held fellowship awards: 30 extramural fellowships; 19 Social Science Fees Fellowship; 2 Social Science Merit Fellowship; 2 Social Science Associate Dean's Fellowship; and 1 internal campus fellowship. Seven (7) students were supported with Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointments of at least one quarter each.

Program Details
Research Facilities

The Department is distinctive in its exclusive emphasis on sociocultural anthropology; its tightly-focused theoretical and methodological training; its wide network of interdisciplinary collaborations; and its emphasis on the study of contemporary issues and modern problems. The PhD program includes a year-long Proseminar sequence in the history of anthropological theory as well as contemporary movements in theory. The Program also emphasizes rigorous training in a range of research methods (including quantitative, qualitative, archival, hermeneutic, and visual/filmic). Faculty have active research programs on five continents and three island regions. The Department has strong research links with and/or faculty associates from the College of Medicine, the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, the Paul Merage School of Business, and the Schools of Humanities and Social Ecology. PhD students can pursue graduate emphases in Critical Theory, Feminist Studies, Visual Studies, and other interdisciplinary programs. Faculty are actively involved in the Center for Ethnography, a campus-based interdisciplinary initiative for methodological innovation and theoretical reflection on the discipline?s core methods. Faculty are also actively involved in a number of other campus-based centers, including the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, the Critical Theory Institute, the Center in Law, Society and Culture, and the Center for Research on Latinos in a Global Society. Based on a commitment to detailed ethnographic research grounded in rigorous theoretical and methodological innovation, the faculty do not merely pursue research on the traditional subjects of anthropological study, but push the boundaries of the field toward new objects and subjects of inquiry and bring anthropological analysis to bear on pressing social issues.


Certs Offered 1
Online Courses
Online Courses: 0
Club / Honor Society
Anthropology Club: 1
Anthropology Club Info: Undergraduate Anthropology Club, and National Anthropology Honor Society: Lambda Alpha Kappa National Honor Society (contact Department for more information); Anthropology Graduate Student Organization
Anthropology Club Advisor: Professor Ian Straughn
Lambda Alpha Chapter: 1