New Anthropology Ph.D. Program to Launch in 2018

New Anthropology Ph.D. Program to Launch in 2018

UCF will begin offering a Ph.D. program in integrative anthropological sciences next fall, but it won’t be your traditional anthropology degree.

Students who enter the program will benefit from a methods-focused program that encourages them to integrate advanced methodological expertise with anthropology’s strengths in diversity to address enduring problems not just in the social sciences, but in the health sciences and business. They will learn practical skills such as geospatial analysis, modeling and visualization, and ethnographic analysis, which are applicable to many career paths. The focus is on giving students critical skills to analyze the dynamics of transformation and change in societies in the past and today.

Those who complete the program can expect to get jobs in high-growth areas including remote-sensing sciences, health-sciences research and management, and cultural-resource management, in addition to becoming life scientists, natural-science managers, and college educators.

“We are very excited about this program,” said Stacy Barber, an associate professor in anthropology and the undergraduate coordinator.

Barber and others in the department and college have been working on the doctoral program in response to the needs they see in the field.

UCF has a thriving undergraduate program with hands-on opportunity for students. Professors and researchers each year conduct field work using traditional and innovative techniques in such places as Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and Central Florida.

“It combines the best of social science with the methods of STEM. We plan to produce graduates ready to move into high-level positions in government and business because of their expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods. Our students will also benefit from anthropology’s strengths in understanding diverse cultures to prepare students for the demands of an increasingly globalized workplace.”

The program will require 51 credit hours beyond the master’s degree consisting of 36 hours of coursework and 15 hours of dissertation.

“Anthropologist Ruth Benedict once said that the purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences,” said Associate Professor Beatriz Reyes-Foster, the graduate coordinator who will be implementing the program. “I think this brand-new program, with its unique focus on preparing students who are literate in both the “hard” sciences and the analytical strengths of anthropology, will help future anthropologists continue to fulfill this purpose in an ever complex and challenging world.”

The program was more than four years in the making. The Florida Board of Governors approved the program Nov. 9, following the UCF Board of Trustees’ unanimous support of the proposal in March.

This is the second new Ph.D. program at UCF that has been approved for 2018. Earlier this year the Board of Governors approved a Ph.D. in Big Data Analytics.