The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest degree offered at LSU. It recognizes and demands mastery of one or more subfields of the discipline. Doctoral students go far beyond the level required for lesser degrees, and their work is expected to be of such quality that it could grace the pages of scholarly books and journals. Although doctoral students are expected to exhibit the intellectual breadth required of an academic position, the Ph.D. is primarily a research degree, and doctoral students should expect to spend little time sitting in undergraduate lecture courses in geography, save those needed to remedy deficiencies.
The PhD curriculum involves a total of 31 hours beyond the master’s degree (1/2 at 7000-level+) including:
- GEOG 7901 Introduction to Graduate Study (1)/ANTH 7901 Introduction to Graduate Study (1)
- GEOG 7902 Introduction to Research Methods in Geography (3)
- Selection of a Concentration in Geography or Anthropology
- 6 hours of 7000-level courses (exclusive of 7901 and 7902) including one seminar in the Concentration
- External minor OR 9 hours in approved cognate fields (including one 7000-level course)
- 3 additional hours of 4000 or 7000-level coursework
- 9 hours of dissertation research (GEOG 9000 or ANTH 9000)
External Minor or Cognate Field
Departmental policy requires either an external minor or nine hours in approved cognate courses for the completion of the doctoral degree. The cognate courses or minor must be listed on the student’s program of study.
Requirements for a graduate minor are determined by the department issuing the minor (for example History, French Studies, Geology) and not by Geography & Anthropology. Students pursuing an external minor must have one member from the minor department on their committee. Geography PhD students may pursue a minor in Anthropology.
The cognate field requirement is composed of a suite of courses—nine hours in cognate fields outside of Geography — of which at least three credit hours should be in an upper-level seminar (usually 7000-level). The courses need not be within a single discipline. The development of the cognate field may be quite flexible, and the specific suite of courses is developed by the student in consultation with the major professor and advisory committee. The cognate field may include traditional disciplines and emerging interdisciplinary fields, including, for example Oceanography, Geology, History, Atlantic Studies, Disaster Science Management (DSM), Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Performance Studies.
Note that the concentration in Anthropology satisfies the minor or cognate field requirement.