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Anthropology (PhD)

Our PhD program will provide you with a research-intensive experience alongside close academic mentorship. Our coursework and candidacy process facilitates professional and academic development. You’ll engage deeply with anthropology’s conventional disciplines through our core integrative themes:

  • Culture, Health and Inequality
  • Evolution and Ecology
  • Space, Place, Knowledge and Power
  • Visual Anthropology and Materiality

We strongly support doctoral students working in community-engaged contexts, as well as those pushing the boundaries of conventional fieldwork and lab techniques.

You have the option of combining this program with the interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought PhD.

Expected length Project or thesis Course-based
4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Study options:
Full-time study
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional


Our department structures doctoral students’ learning experiences to reflect the content, values and skills of our dynamic contemporary discipline.

Students in this program will:

  • encounter a breadth and depth of anthropological ways of knowing from a multiplicity of perspectives
  • engage deeply with the current state of knowledge within the chosen topic/area
  • gain in-depth, multifaceted knowledge of particular peoples, processes, places and histories
  • contribute original research to an important question in the discipline
  • conduct fieldwork and/or work in the lab to generate valued knowledge informed by experience
  • articulate a complex research proposal and communicate research results
  • develop second language competency to aid in scholarly communications and/or fieldwork
  • undergo professional development as a scholarly practitioner of anthropology
  • practice project management skills including time management, data management, quality control
  • practice accountability and leadership
  • foster respectful, reciprocal, and collaborative partnerships
  • engage in sustained community relationships
  • understand and employ ethical principles, relationship and practices
  • understand and navigate ethical dilemmas involved in different forms of anthropological research
  • cultivate personal and professional integrity and accountability

Find a supervisor

PhD students must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • You must list a potential supervisor on your application.
  • This faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission.
  • Include an email from your supervisor with your application.

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you’ve found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier

Associate Professor and Graduate Student Adviser Visual Anthropology, sound studies, creative practices, digital media, infrastructure, Cuba, Canada

Alison Murray

Assistant Professor Biological anthropology, functional anatomy, skeletal biology, life history

Ammie Kalan

Assistant Professor Biological anthropology, primate behavioural ecology, conservation and communication, animal cultures, tool use, bioacoustics, camera trapping

Andrea N. Walsh

Associate Professor and Smyth Chair in Arts & Engagement Visual anthropology, visual culture & theory, contemporary First Nations visual culture

Ann B. Stahl

Professor and Distinguished Lansdowne Fellow (2020-23) Archaeology, comparative colonialism, materiality, digital heritage initiatives, Africa; Ghana

April Nowell

Professor Neanderthal, Paleolithic art and archaeology, Hominin life histories, Cognitive archaeology, Archaeology of children, Levant and Europe

Brian Thom

Associate Professor and Provost’s Engaged Scholar Cultural anthropology, Indigenous legal orders and land rights; ethnographic mapping; space and place; Coast Salish

D. Burnett

Assistant Professor Medical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Race, Anthropology of Religion

Daromir Rudnyckyj

Professor Globalization; ethnography; religion; money; cryptocurrency; development; economy; social studies of finance; the state; liberalism & neoliberalism; Southeast Asia; North America; Europe

Dr. Helen Kurki

Associate Professor and Chair Biological anthropology, skeletal biology, hominin functional anatomy

Erin Halstad McGuire

Associate Teaching Professor Archaeology, material culture, funerary rituals, gender identities, Medieval North Atlantic, Historical archaeology, Experimental archaeology, teaching and learning in undergraduate education

Helen Kurki

Department Chair

Iain McKechnie

Associate Professor Coastal Archaeology, Historical Ecology, Northwest Coast, Zooarchaeology

Melissa Gauthier

Associate Teaching Professor Economic anthropology, border studies, informal & illicit economies, cross-border trade, Mexico-U.S. Borderlands, Mexico, Yucatán

Quentin Mackie

Associate Professor Archaeology, Haida Gwaii, Salish Sea, stone tools, Northwest Coast

Robert L.A. Hancock

Assistant Professor and IACE Associate Director Academic Indigenous–state relations, Metis studies, Indigenous anthropology, history of anthropology, Indigenous education, Indigenous Studies

Stephanie Calce

Senior Lab Instructor/Adjunct Assistant Professor Biological anthropology, skeletal biology, forensic anthropology, paleopathology, aging & osteoarthritis, taphonomy, zooarchaeology & faunal analysis

Tatiana Degai

Assistant Professor Indigenous research methodologies, ethics, and community-engaged research, ethnographies of the North-Pacific/Arctic, language revitalization

Tommy Happynook

Assistant Professor Nuu chah nulth ways of knowing land, language, knowledge and Identity

Yin Lam

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Adviser Archaeology, zooarchaeology, palaeoanthropology

Show me program details

Providing you accurate admission requirements, application deadlines, tuition fee estimates and scholarships depends on your situation. Tell us about yourself:

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You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Faculties & departments

Need help?

Contact Jindra Bélanger at or 250-721-7047.

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