Anticipated date for this program to receive its first cohort is September 1st, 2020.

The doctoral program in Anthropology at the University of Ottawa features innovative training that brings together the existing strengths of anthropology (field work, ethnography, international experience, and multidisciplinarity) with a contemporary theoretical approach to the study of anthropology. Moreover, the doctoral program features a new curriculum that includes a professional development seminar and a comprehensive exercise that favours the integration of doctoral candidates into the labour market.

In a rapidly evolving social and environmental context, anthropology brings new critical perspectives to the problems and challenges of the contemporary world by highlighting the links between local problems and global issues. The method of inquiry grounded in field work, ethnography, allows the researcher to document in real time the complexity of phenomena all the while situating various themes, including medicine, the environment, new media, the city, politics, the economy and Indigeneity in diverse social and cultural contexts.

The School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies offers the doctoral program (Ph.D.) in Anthropology. This program is offered full time in French and in English. That being said, the three required doctoral seminars are offered only in French.

In accordance with University policy, assignments, exams, major research papers and theses can be written in French or in English.

The programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage. To be admitted to the doctoral program in Anthropology, candidates should have a master’s in Anthropology (or equivalent) and have obtained a minimum GPA of 75 per cent (B+), which is calculated according to the guidelines of the University of Ottawa. A student who has a master’s degree with the minimum GPA but in a related field can also be considered for admission. The student may be required to enrol in some master’s courses in addition to their doctoral program requirements. The exact number of courses will be determined by the Graduate Studies Committee in Anthropology after review of the student’s file.

Admission to the program is dependent on the agreement of thesis supervision by a professor or professors who specializes in the student’s main field of interest. An application must include, in addition to transcripts and letters of recommendation, a letter that identifies: 1) the field of research; 2) the specific research theme that will guide the thesis; 3) the student’s linguistic competency (French and English) 4) agreement of thesis supervision by a professor. (Please note that the two required doctoral seminars are offered only in French.) The candidate should also include a one to five-page statement of their proposed doctoral research.

Language requirements

Students require sufficient competency in French in order to actively participate in three required courses offered only in French, and must be able to read texts in both French and English. Students must be able to engage in discussions and participate actively in French. Students who choose to take their remaining courses in English must be able to engage in discussions and participate actively in English. The School reserves the right to require students to take a language proficiency test.

The list of acceptable tests is indicated in the specific requirements of the program.

Fast Track from Master’s to Ph.D.

A fast track option from the MA to the Ph.D. program is possible. Students enrolled in the MA program in Anthropology at the University of Ottawa can be admitted to the Ph.D. program, and not be required to complete a thesis or Major Research Paper, provided they meet the following conditions outlined below:

  • have completed five graduate courses in Anthropology (15 credits) with a minimum grade of A in each course
  • have a letter of recommendation from their thesis or Major Research Paper supervisor as well as letters of recommendation from members of their thesis committee, if applicable
  • have the approval of the School’s Graduate Studies Committee. The Committee will make a decision based upon the letters of recommendation and an assessment of the student’s aptitude for research.

The request to fast track must be made within 16 months from the student’s initial registration in the MA program and the request must be approved before the fourth session so as to allow the student to register to the Ph.D. program at the start of their fifth semester. Following the transfer to the Ph.D. program, the student must complete all of the requirements of the doctoral program, including the four required courses - professional development seminar, the comprehensive exercise, the thesis proposal and the thesis - as well as the five courses (15 credits) already completed. A student who transfers to the doctoral program but who does not complete the Ph.D. may receive the MA degree, providing they satisfy the requirements of the MA program.

The requirements of the PhD program are as follows:

Compulsory courses
ANT 8500 - Séminaire de doctorat 13 Units
ANT 8501 - Séminaire avancé de recherche en anthropologie 13 Units
ANT 9101 - Comprehensive Exercise
ANT 9500 - Séminaire de développement professionnel en anthropologie 2
Elective courses
6 elective course units approved by the Graduate Studies Committee 36 Units
Thesis proposal
ANT 9102 - Doctoral thesis proposal 46 Units
THD 9999Doctoral Thesis


Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences represents a place of excellence in knowledge creation, research and training. Driven by both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, research at the Faculty is rich, innovative and varied, contributing to the depth of understanding and breadth of discussions on a variety of issues nationally and internationally.  This research, whether it be fundamental, theoretical, applied or action-oriented, is generated by our renowned expertise, ultimately culminating in applications designed to influence individual communities and the betterment of society.

We have identified five research themes which collectively represent a large proportion of the research undertaken at the Faculty of Social Sciences:

  • International Studies
  • Francophonie
  • Public Policy
  • Health, Well-Being
  • Justice, Society

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM)Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS)Centre for Public Management and PolicyCentre for Research on Educational and Community Service (CRECS)Centre on Governance (COG)Human Rights Research and Education Centre (affiliation)Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and Institute for Science, Society and Policy.


For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

ANT 5100 Comparative Theoretical Approaches in Anthropology: the French and Anglo-American Traditions (3 units)

In-depth and comparative examination of the main theoretical currents in social and cultural anthropology in the French and Anglo-American traditions. The course will also focus on the development and the points of convergence and divergence of these currents throughout the history of anthropological thought as well as on their relative influence on anthropology in Francophone and Anglophone Canada.

Course Component: Seminar

ANT 5141 Research Methodology in Anthropology (3 units)

Methodological approaches specific to anthropology: ethnographic fieldwork methods; validation problems; content analysis; relationship between research questions, methods, theoretical framework, and results. Debates about the analysis of anthropological data collected in traditional and modern societies in the West and elsewhere; the qualitative-quantitative continuum; objectivity, involvement of the researcher and reflexivity; research ethics and responsibilities of the researcher.

Course Component: Seminar

ANT 5500 Approches théoriques comparées en anthropologie : Les traditions françaises et anglo-américaines (3 crédits)

Examen approfondi et comparé des principaux courants théoriques en anthropologie sociale et culturelle dans les traditions françaises et anglo-américaines. Le développement de ces courants et leurs points de convergence et de divergence tout au long de l'histoire de la pensée anthropologique ainsi que leur résonance au sein de l'anthropologie au Canada francophone et anglophone seront aussi examinés.

Volet : Séminaire

ANT 5541 Méthodologie de la recherche en anthropologie (3 crédits)

Approches méthodologiques propres à l'anthropologie : méthodes de terrain ethnographique; problèmes de validation; analyse de contenu; rapport entre problématiques, méthodes, cadre théorique et résultats. Débats sur l'analyse de données anthropologiques collectées dans les sociétés traditionnelles et modernes, ici comme ailleurs; continuum qualitatif-quantitatif; objectivité, implication du chercheur et réflexivité; éthique de la recherche et responsabilités du chercheur.

Volet : Séminaire

ANT 6101 Selected Topics in Political Anthropology and Socio-Cultural Change (3 units)

In-depth analysis of selected questions in the field of political anthropology and socio-cultural change (relating, for example, to indigenous peoples, immigration, cultural diversity, globalization, minority-majority relations, citizenship, gender relations, governance, security, human rights, environmental management, health, knowledge, and technology).

Course Component: Seminar

ANT 6102 Social and Cultural Anthropology: Fundamental Issues (3 units)

In-depth analysis of fundamental issues touching on one or more of the broad domains of social and cultural anthropology with the exception of political anthropology.

Course Component: Seminar

ANT 6103 The ''Culture'' Question in Anthropology (3 units)

Historical and critical in-depth analysis of the contributions and limitations of the notion of 'culture' in anthropology revolving around major issues in the discipline: identity transformations; decolonization; socio-economic upheavals and migration; global dynamics and problems of pluralism; multiculturalism and interculturalism.

Course Component: Lecture

ANT 6112 Selected Topics in Contemporary Anthropology I (3 units)

In-depth examination of a question or topic linked to new trends or research areas in social and cultural anthropology.

Course Component: Lecture

ANT 6122 Selected Topics in Contemporary Anthropology II (3 units)

In-depth examination of a question or topic linked to new trends or research areas in social and cultural anthropology.

Course Component: Lecture

ANT 6150 Research Proposal in Anthropology (3 units)

In-depth reflection on how to conceptualize and shape a research proposal, providing students with the tools required to design a research project and to discuss each stage of the project as a group.

Course Component: Seminar

Prerequisites: ANT 5141, ANT 5100

ANT 6501 Thèmes choisis en anthropologie politique et changements socioculturels (3 crédits)

Analyse approfondie de questions ciblées dans le champ particulier de l'anthropologie politique et des changements socioculturels (notamment, les questions relatives aux autochtones, à l'immigration, à la diversité culturelle, à la mondialisation, aux relations minorités/majorité, à la citoyenneté, aux rapports de sexe, à la gouvernance, à la sécurité, aux droits humains, à la gestion de l'environnement, à la santé, aux savoirs et aux technologies).

Volet : Séminaire

ANT 6502 Anthropologie sociale et culturelle : Enjeux fondamentaux (3 crédits)

Analyse approfondie d'enjeux fondamentaux s'inscrivant dans un ou plusieurs des grands domaines de l'anthropologie sociale et culturelle, en dehors de l'anthropologie politique.

Volet : Séminaire

ANT 6503 Questions autour de la notion de «culture» en anthropologie (3 crédits)

Analyse historique et critique approfondie des apports et limites de la notion de « culture » en anthropologie autour de laquelle se concentrent les enjeux majeurs de la discipline : transformations identitaires, (dé)colonisation, bouleversements socio-économiques et migrations, dynamiques mondiales et problématiques du pluralisme, du multiculturalisme et de l'interculturalisme.

Volet : Cours magistral

ANT 6512 Thèmes choisis en anthropologie contemporaine I (3 crédits)

Analyse approfondie d'une problématique ou d'une question liée aux nouvelles tendances en recherche ou aux nouveaux thèmes de recherche en anthropologie sociale et culturelle.

Volet : Cours magistral

ANT 6522 Thèmes choisis en anthropologie contemporaine II (3 crédits)

Analyse approfondie d'une problématique ou d'une question liée aux nouvelles tendances en recherche ou aux nouveaux thèmes de recherche en anthropologie sociale et culturelle.

Volet : Cours magistral

ANT 6550 Problématique de recherche en anthropologie (3 crédits)

Réflexion approfondie sur la conception et la mise en forme d'une problématique de recherche afin de permettre aux étudiant-es de concevoir un projet de recherche et de discuter (collectivement) de chaque étape.

Volet : Séminaire

Préalables : ANT 5541 et ANT 5500.

ANT 6932 Lectures dirigées en anthropologie / Directed Readings in Anthropology (3 crédits / 3 units)

Cours individuel ayant pour objectif d'approfondir les connaissances de l'étudiant dans un domaine particulier ou de lui permettre de se familiariser avec un nouveau domaine. / Individual course aimed at deepening a student's knowledge of a particular area or at gaining knowledge of a new area.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Prerequisite: Individual course aimed at deepening a student’s knowledge of a particular area or at gaining knowledge of a new area. The topic is selected and developed in consultation with departmental guidelines.

ANT 7990 Projet de recherche / Research Project

Projet individuel. / Individual Project.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

ANT 7998 Mémoire / Research Paper

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research