Each year in the United States hundreds, actually around a 1000, people decide to undertake a PhD in Anthropology and several hundred of those in its sub-field Archaeology. Maybe you are considering undertaking such a PhD. What sort of time commitment are you looking at?
The better part of a decade as less than 15% of PhDs are completed in under six years.
This information comes from analysis of data from the National Academies’ A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States survey which asked questions to degree programs (82 Anthropology PhD programs in the US). 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.