Graduate FAQ

Can I still meet with someone in the department for questions and advising?

Yes. The best way to reach Dr. Schurr is via email (, and you can also schedule a phone call or virtual meeting by emailing him. You can reach Marie by phone (215-746-0409) or email (, Monday-Friday 8am-4pm ET (no appointment necessary.) 

We also encourage you to reach out to your advisor.  They know your project, needs, and goals best and can help guide you towards options and alternatives that make sense for you.


How should we write proposals for research when timelines are uncertain?

We are advising that the best way to write a proposal is to outline the ideal scenario and include an alternative.  Your alternative should describe how you would conduct your research without travel.  We recommend working with your advisor to think about different ways that you can research and prepare for your project.


Will first year PhD students still be taking the Comprehensive Exams?
Yes.  Comprehensive Exams will be conducted in Canvas on 26-29 May 2020 and 16-19 June 2020.  Please follow this link for more details. 


How is the university conducting Oral Exams and Dissertation Defenses?
The university is calling for all Oral Exams and Dissertation Defenses to be conducted via Zoom.  The rules for tabling the Oral Exam or Dissertation Defense are still the same as what is outlined in the Anthropology Graduate Handbook.  For more specific information on Oral Exams and Dissertation Defenses, please follow this link.

How do I submit my Masters Thesis or deposit my Dissertation?
The Graduate Division has created a page to guide you in formatting, editing, and digitally submitting your thesis or dissertation.  Please click the link to view their page for Dissertation Defense and Deposit Instructions for Spring Semester 2020.

How do I access the museum, department, or lab space?
For one-time access to the department building, you will need to utilize PennOpen Pass.  Follow the instructions to set-up access onto your smartphone.  Once set-up is finished, you will be prompted to complete a health screening which you will then present to the security guard at the East Entrance of the Penn Museum.  The Penn Museum requires all visitors to wear proper PPE.

If you wish to work in a lab that has not already resumed research, please work with the appropriate faculty member to complete this form to apply for research resumption.  

When accessing the museum, department, or lab space, you will be required to wear proper PPE.  For information on the procurement of proper PPE and lab guidelines, please follow this link.  

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

There are a variety of ways to get tested for COVID-19.  The University of Pennsylvania provides free testing at Houston Hall by appointment only.  For scheduling and guidelines, please follow this link.