Anthropology Image


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Students in the Anthropology (PhD Thesis) program will benefit from study and research under a department that combines rigorous training with extensive field experience and lab investigations around the world. The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology embraces an integrative approach, offering innovative studies in anthropology that include the socio-cultural stream. This ranges from anthropology and militarization to medical anthropology, natural resources and environment, political economy and globalization, sustainability, and urban anthropology. The biological anthropology stream includes behavioral ecology, conservation, health and nutrition, human osteology, sex differences and reproduction, population genetics, primatology, and paleoanthropology.

Completing this program

  • Select a Specialization: Either primatology or social and cultural anthropology.
  • Field Work: Field work for social and cultural anthropology is required.
  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.
  • Courses Requirements: Independent study and a reading course in the student's substantive area.
  • Language Requirement: Demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Biological Anthropology (Interdisciplinary)


Cultural Resource Management, Corporate Consulting, International health organizations, International and community development, Market research, Law, Humanitarian efforts, forensics, medicine, veterinary medicine, conservation, academic positions.

With a PhD in anthropology, you may be able to pursue post-doctoral opportunities.

Thesis-based program

Thesis-based with written and oral examination components


One reading course; additional courses tailored to the student's needs

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

Explore the University of Calgary (UCalgary) from anywhere. Experience all that UCalgary has to offer for your graduate student journey without physically being on campus. Discover the buildings, student services and available programs all from your preferred device.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Susanne Cote

    Susanne Cote

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Naotaka's headshot

    Naotaka Hayashi

    Environmental Anthropology, Community Building and Development
  3. Steig Johnson

    Steig Johnson

    Accepting Inquiries
  4. Ben M. McKay

    Ben M. McKay

    Global Development Studies
  5. Amanda Melin in field gear in Costa Rica holding a DSLR camera with a zoom lens

    Amanda Melin

    Accepting Inquiries
    Sensory ecology; Field Primatology, Sensory Ecology, Genetics and Genomics, 'Omics and the aging eye, Aging processes and consequences
  6. Photo of Kathryn Reese-Taylor

    Kathryn Reese-Taylor

    Accepting Inquiries
    Maya archaeology, Mesoamerican anthropology, Remote sensing in archaeology, Landscape archaeology, Urbanism, Ceramic analysis
  7. WM Wilson

    Warren Wilson

    Accepting Inquiries
    Biological Anthropology

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Master of Arts, degree or equivalent from a recognized institution.

Work samples

Statement of Academic Intent for PhD applicants.


  • None

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: December 15 application deadline
  • International students: December 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

Earth Sciences 620

2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

Highlights of the Anthropology program

These stories from those involved in the program show what it's like to be involved yourself.

Jennifer Leason

Anthropology's Jennifer Leason receives CIHR New Investigator's Award

Scholar investigates disparities and inequities in maternity experiences within Indigenous communities

Michele Bianchi

2017 Vanier Scholar explores daily life in the aftermath of national tragedy

Michele Bianchi is one of UCalgary's 11 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars

Ian MacNairn

Passion for anthropology fuels student's interest in global conversation on incl

Ultra-marathoner Ian MacNairn is first UCalgary student to earn one of 30 spots at exclusive international conference