What to know how long it will take you to get a Anthropology or Archaeology PhD in the United States? Looking at the data from the National Academies (82 Anthropology PhD programs in the US) we get two sets of data (the data is from a questionnaire which asked 2 questions relevant to completion of PhDs) . One question asked was what % of students that completed PhD in under six years (from start of PhD program- all dates are from the start of a PhD program). Taking the completion rate of different schools (ranges from 0% to 55.6%) and multiplying it by the number of students they have we find that %14.9 of anthropology PhDs are completed in under 6 years.
YES, less than 15% of Anthropology PhDs are completed in under six years. That is a brutal attrition rate.
The other set of data provided was the median point, by schools, of those who do obtain their PhDs. Median being the half way point- half the students graduate before and half after. The table below shows the percent of schools that have certain median points e.g. 2.6% of anthropology programs graduate at least half of their students in under six years (schools with medians of 6 or higher still will have a percent of their students graduate in under six years, see above, it just won’t be higher then 49%) . This data is limited in what it can tell us as it only gives a halfway point and not much else.
The median range was from 5.3 to 12.41 years. The majority of programs only graduate half of their students in under 8-8.99 years. Can you imagine that the majority of Anthropology/Archaeology programs can not even graduate more then half of their students in 8 years? If you are completing a PhD be in it for the long hall.