University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Anthropology Ph.D. - Cultural Heritage and Applied Anthropology

Students in Ph.D. in Anthropology with a concentration in Cultural Heritage and Applied Anthropology focus not only on cutting-edge research, but also on the application of anthropology to one or more central issues of the 21st century. These include the preservation of heritage and traditions, whether objects, landscapes, or language; international social issues, particularly global development and health delivery; or understanding the biological basis of humankind. This program requires more extensive coursework than the M.A. and, even more importantly, the achievement of independent professional-level scholarship demonstrated by completion of a major research project presented to the faculty as a dissertation. This comprehensive yet individualized program provides seasoned professionals and recent B.A. and M.A. graduates alike an opportunity to earn a doctoral degree.

Cultural heritage studies analyzes 'heritage' as an archaeological, ethnohistorical, social, biological, linguistic, and legal construct. Heritage reflects a socially and personally important set of cultural, linguistic, and biological attributes that have developed through historical processes and have social and legal meanings and consequences. The concept recognizes diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds while grounded in principles of the unity of heritage for all people. Different notions of heritage are explored from a theoretical perspective using various anthropological and other relevant paradigms. The course of study covers topics such as cultural resource management, social impact assessment, the interaction between cultures, invention of tradition through time, cultural landscapes, cultural property, biological heritage issues, and retention of culture and language. An overlapping concern of the program is applied anthropology, the use of the anthropological perspective to solve real-world problems, including cultural heritage, medical anthropology, and a host of international development issues.

At the heart of this program is a strong commitment to employing anthropological theory to engage contemporary issues with focused research for communities. While some that are awarded a Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Montana may look toward teaching careers, a goal of the program is to produce applied anthropologists who will serve in government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), tribal and ethnic associations, and businesses.

Doctor of Philosophy - Anthropology; Cultural Heritage and Applied Anthropology Concentration

Required Credits: 60; This includes credits taken as part of the M.A.

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0

The Ph.D. in Anthropology requires 60 credits total beyond the bachelor’s degree, completion of the coursework for the UM Anthropology M.A. or an equivalent 30+ credit master’s degree from another institution, completion of courses in specific areas of the curriculum, a comprehensive examination consisting of a defense of the student’s research proposal, a dissertation on a topic of relevance to Anthropology, and a defense of that dissertation.

The faculty expects completion of the Ph.D. within three years of earning the master’s degree. All students entering the Ph.D. program must have the equivalent of an M.A. degree before they can proceed to Ph.D. status. Students accepted into the program with only an undergraduate degree must complete the requirements of an M.A. degree prior to moving into the Ph.D. program. Students initially accepted into the M.A. program may continue into the Ph.D. program, but they must complete the M.A. degree prior to continuing; those students must also apply for the Ph.D. program during the regular application cycle (even though they are extant M.A. students).


Coursework for the Ph.D. in Anthropology requires 30 credits beyond those required for the master’s degree, for a total of 60 credits.


Reasonable substitutions of courses, including courses from other departments and institutions, may be approved by the student’s committee.

Complete all of the following courses:
ANTY 600Issues in Cultural Heritage3
ANTY 601Research Design & Proposal Preparation3
ANTY 602Cultural Heritage Policy & Practice3
Electives - Complete at least 51 credits of the following courses:51
Any graduate level course chosen in consultation with your advisor
Professional Project
Advanced Research
Additional, non-course requirements:
Comprehensive examination consisting of a defense of the student’s research proposal
Dissertation on a topic of relevance to the field of anthropology
Dissertation defense
Total Hours60