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Anthropology, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Get advanced experience in anthropology as you prepare to lead research programs, contribute to discoveries and teach, with a focus in all major subfields of anthropology.

Enjoy small cohorts with guaranteed funding through assistantships, and attend national conferences with faculty members. We offer flexible courses in basic and advanced theory and method, substantive knowledge areas, research design, data analysis and interpretation, and practical field skills. You'll also have a faculty mentor to help you succeed.

Program Highlights

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    Broad Scope

    Train in broad social theory as well as interdisciplinary, anthropological discourses for a well-rounded education.

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    Authentic Experiences

    Find rich opportunities for research through ethnographic and archaeological field schools locally and abroad.

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    Hands-on Training

    Gain experience through authentic simulations and laboratory classes in artifacts and material culture.

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    Engage in four subfield anthropology perspectives, and gain extensive training in research ethics.

What You’ll Study

Describe and evaluate the historical development and contemporary expressions of anthropological theory. Recognize and describe research themes and content from all subfields. Conduct document-based and field research to engage in professional-level scholarly dialogue, lead classroom discussions and present scholarly papers. A dissertation is required.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Field Research

    Gathering firsthand data and insights through direct observation and investigation in real-world settings


    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

    Intercultural Competence

    Developing the skills to communicate effectively and work collaboratively across cultures

  • Laboratory Research

    Conducting experiments and analyzing data to gain new knowledge and insights in a scientific field

    Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

    Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • College Professor
  • Coroner Technician
  • Data Analyst
  • Exhibit Arranger
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Lab Technician

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Archaeologist
  • Cultural Anthropologist
  • Science & Technology Policy Fellow
  • Lecturer

Workplace Settings

  • Education
  • Business
  • Museums
  • Nonprofits

Employers of Alumni

  • University of South Carolina
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • AAAS

This program really excels at the theory component of anthropology. Being exposed to that level of thinking and being encouraged in this department to challenge the status quo has been very exciting.

Nina Schreiner
Portrait of Nina Schreiner

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.