Office of University Assessment Logo 2014 Program Plan Program View Image Icon of page
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Anthropology - Doctorate
Anthropology - College of Liberal Arts
Program Coordinator: ERIN STILES

Mission Statement
The Mission of the Anthropology department's Doctorate program is to create independent, original thinkers who can design and carry out complex research in specific Anthropological subfields, communicate the results of that research clearly, and make significant advances in the scientific study of humanity. Underlying this mission is the goal of contributing to scholarly excellence within the University of Nevada, Reno.

The methods used to achieve this mission are:
  1. to transmit to students the knowledge, perspectives, and methods of the various branches and sub-fields of anthropology, in forums as diverse as lectures, seminars, discussion sections, and formal academic and career advisement settings;
  2. to acquire, synthesize, and disseminate knowledge by means of original research and scholarly activities; and
  3. to provide knowledge, guidance, and experience as a service to the university community, the public at large, and fellow members of the profession of anthropology.
Student Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to read and summarize scholarly articles in anthropology books or journals, to evaluate the soundness of arguments and conclusions, and to produce written and oral critiques of them.
Student Performance IndicatorsAssessment Method
  • A dissertation prospectus is rigorously examined by a focused faculty committee, after the doctoral comprehensive exams are passed and before the student begins original dissertation research.
  • Doctoral qualifying exams or core seminars require regular oral and written presentations.
  • Faculty committee members quiz the student during the prospectus defense, testing knowledge of general and specific theory, methodology, and relevant literature.
  • All students are evaluated by entire faculty once a year, and deficiencies in individual seminars or on examinations are specifically addressed.

Students should be able to find employment in a career that makes use of "anthro-thinking"
Student Performance IndicatorsAssessment Method
  • Job-seeking success in anthropological career
  • We keep tabs on student success because students almost always must ask for letters of recommendation from faculty to get the jobs.

Students should be able to teach and explain the concepts that allow the intellectual integration of four sub-fields together into anthropology, and each sub-fields major contributions to the scientific and humanistic study of our own species
Student Performance IndicatorsAssessment Method
  • All doctoral students must teach introductory Anthropology courses; student evaluations are read by the faculty, and faculty may visit classrooms to grade student performance
  • Students receiving poor evaluations are either dismissed, re-trained, or closely monitored and guided through improvement

Students will demonstrate mastery of an area of specialization in anthropology by completing a comprehensive exam consisting of essays and an oral defense.
Student Performance IndicatorsAssessment Method
  • Students successfully complete and defend comprehensive exam
  • Student's Graduate Advisory Committee evaluates the comprehensive exam.

Students who graduate with a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UNR will have original research skills and experience that results in professional scholarship and publications.
Student Performance IndicatorsAssessment Method
  • Publication of articles or reports and presentations at professional conferences.
  • The student will successfully complete and defend a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to anthropological scholarship.
  • The student's faculty mentor and Graduate Advisory Committee will assess the publications and presentations.
  • The student's faculty mentor and Graduate Advisory Committee will assess the dissertation and its defense.

Use of Results

Files with student evaluations of doctoral student instruction are kept in the office and will be read annually by the department assessment committee. Deficiencies in outcomes will be addressed annually, such as through contacting potential employers and the graduates of the PhD programs, as well as faculty from other universities. Changes to curricula and course content may follow from these discussions.

Implementation Plan
Assessment committees are selected annually to evaluate student performance; changes in mentoring are implemented as necessary.

Download Program Plan


University of Nevada, Reno
Last Program Update: 6/28/2012