FAQs for Current Students

Plan of Study
Funding Options
Research Assistantships
Mentoring
Master's Thesis
Doctoral Dissertation
Need Help?


Plan of Study

How long will it take to get my degree?
Master's students complete the Master of Science degree in two academic years. Most students will take an additional three to four years to finish a PhD.

When do I need to submit my plan of study?
Master's students should develop a Plan of Study by the end of their first semester in the MS program, and submit the Plan of Study by the start of their second semester in the MS program. Failure to have an approved Plan of Study on file by the end of the second semester may delay graduation.

PhD students are encouraged to submit a plan of study by the end of their first semester in the PhD program. A plan of study for the PhD degree must be filed with the Graduate School prior to the submission of a request for the appointment of a preliminary examining committee.

The Qualifying Exam cannot be taken unless a student's plan o study has been officially submitted to the department

How do I file a Plan of Study?
Log on to MyPurdue, and then go to the Plan of Study Generator and follow the instructions to create a Plan of Study. Contact the Anthropology Graduate Office if you need assistance.

Funding Options

What are my options for funding?
There are three types of funding sources available to all students:

  • Departmental funding: Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships provide tuition and partial fee remission, if hired at 25% CUL or greater, plus a monthly stipend.

  • Other funding sources at Purdue University: The Graduate School provides a comprehensive list of grants and fellowships available on campus. Students may also seek teaching assignments in other departments on campus or teach distance learning courses and evening classes for Purdue's Office for Distance Learning.

  • External funding sources: External agencies may have fellowship or grant programs applicable to your research. Some Purdue students also teach courses at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette.

Research Assistantships

How do I get a Research Assistantship?
Students seeking RAship"s should contact faculty members directly to ask about possible funding.

What does an RA do?
RA's assist faculty members with research tasks. Duties may include data collection, data analysis, library research, etc.

Mentoring

How do I choose a major professor?
Master's students are assigned to a temporary faculty upon admission.  By the end of the 1st semester in the program, Master's students must select a major professor. You might ask a fellow student to introduce you to a faculty member. Approach a faculty member whose research interests are similar to your own interest or with whom you think you could work closely.

Who can be my major professor?
Any faculty member in the Anthropology Department can be your major professor, but we strongly recommend that you consider tenured members of the faculty.

How do I choose an advisory committee?
Choose faculty members who can help you with your research and who will work well as a team. Your major professor may help you select an advisory committee.

How many committee members do I need?
Three (including major professor) for the MS. Four (including major professor) for the PhD.  A majority of the members of the advisory committee must be members of the Department of Anthropology at Purdue. The advisory committee may also include faculty from other departments or universities who are qualified and willing to assist the student in his/her studies or research. Faculty from outside the university must be certified by the Graduate School. Consent to serve on this committee must be obtained from each prospective member. The members of a student’s advisory committee are listed by name on the Plan of Study with their specialties and electronic signatures.

Master's Thesis

When should I choose a topic for my Master's Thesis?
Students should begin meeting with an advisory committee to discuss the theoretical basis and research design for their project during the second semester in residence. A two-page prospectus for the thesis must be submitted to and approved by the committee by the end of the second semester, along with a brief 15 minute presentation of their MS prospectus draft to the department.

How far in advance do I need to plan for my Master's Thesis defense?
At the beginning of the semester in which you plan to defend, notify the Anthropology Graduate Office and request to be registered as a candidate for graduation.

At least three weeks prior to the date of your defense, notify the Anthropology Graduate Office of the date, time and location of your defense. You will prepare a "Request for Appointment of Examining Committee" electronic document (available through the plan of study portal) to be signed by your major professor and submitted to the Anthropology Graduate Office at least three weeks prior to the exam date.

Doctoral Dissertation

When should I take my preliminary exams?
Ideally, by the end of your 2 nd semester in the PhD program, but no later than the end of the 4th semester. To be eligible for the exam, you must have filed a PhD Plan of Study with the Graduate School and satisfactorily completed most (or all) or your course work for the PhD including the foreign language requirement. Your preliminary exam must be completed at least two academic sessions prior to the expected date of graduation.

How far in advance do I need to plan for my dissertation defense?
At the beginning of the semester in which you plan to defend, notify the Anthropology Graduate Office and request to be registered as a candidate for graduation.

At least three weeks prior to the date of your defense, notify the Anthropology Graduate Office of the date, time and location of your defense and your final dissertation title. You will prepare the online form to the Graduate School requesting the appointment of a PhD Examining Committee and submit it online at least three weeks prior to the exam date.

Need Help?

Anytime you have a problem or question and don't know where to get help, you can start by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students (765-494-1747, SCHL 207), who can direct you to many campus resources where you can find assistance. Please also refer to the attached document for helpful information.

*Information on this page might not be current. Please contact us for questions about the program.

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