Anthropology and Social Change (ANTH), in collaboration with Zhejiang University (ZJU) in Hangzhou, China, offers a rare new integral opportunity for activist-scholar doctoral studies: the ANTH PhD with China Studies Scholarship (ANTH-ZJU Scholarship).

Starting in Fall 2017, this space-limited path is open to several prospective ANTH PhD students who demonstrate a desire to integrate an extra intensive China Studies year abroad at ZJU in addition to 36 units of ANTH PhD coursework.

The intensive experience abroad occurs during the student’s second year and results in an MA in Contemporary China Studies from ZJU. Travel, tuition, and living costs are covered by the scholarship for the ZJU year abroad only.

The ANTH-ZJU scholar then returns for a third year of coursework, where they complete their doctoral coursework before beginning comprehensive exams and doctoral dissertation research:

Year 1: First year ANTH PhD coursework (18 units)

Year 2: Full scholarship year Hangzhou, China, resulting in master’s degree from ZJU

Year 3: Final year ANTH PhD coursework (18 units)

Year 4: Comprehensive exams phase (exams I and II)

Year 5 to 7: PhD candidacy phase (doctoral dissertation proposal, research, defense, and publication)


The Anthropology and Social Change program seeks applicants for this scholarship who demonstrate a serious academic interest in combining contemporary immersive China Studies with an activist-scholar PhD program. These prospective students, in addition, will need to demonstrate preparedness and potential for success during the intensive educational year abroad in China.  There are no Chinese language requirements. 

Learn More and Apply

Please contact ANTH Admissions Counselor Ebrahim Nasher ( to learn more about requirements and eligibility for application.  To discuss how this path might be an academic fit for your activist-scholar research, please contact Professor Andrej Grubacic (


Year 1 (21 units) Full-Time

Fall (9 units)

  • ANTH 6160 Activist Ethnography I (3 units)
  • ANTH 6163 Alternative Economic Systems (3 units)
  • Elective or TBD China Studies Course (3 units)

Spring (9 units)

  • ANTH 6161 Activist Ethnography II (3 units)
  • ANTH 6172 Other Ways of Knowing: Alternative Epistemologies... (3 units)
  • ANTH 6198 Contemporary Capitalism (3 units)

Summer (3 units)

  • ANTH TBD Pre-ZJU Transitional Seminar (3 units)

Year 2

China (ZJU) Masters Curriculum TBD

Year 3 (15 units) Full-Time

Fall (9 units)

  • ANTH TBD Post-ZJU Integrative Seminar (3 units)
  • ANTH 6890 Social Research Methods (3 units)
  • ANTH 6166 Other Ways of Being Human (3 units)

Spring (6 units)

  • ANTH 7890 Directed Seminar in Research (3 units)
  • ANTH 6158 Alternative Political Systems (3 units)

Year 4 (Comp Exams) Full-Time


  • ANTH 6900 Comprehensive Examination I


  • ANTH 6900 Comprehensive Examination II

Year 5+ Full-Time


  • ANTH 6900 Dissertation Proposal Completion


  • ANTH 7900 Dissertation Writing and Completion (7900 until dissertation defense)

Q: Do I need an MA to be an eligible applicant for the ANTH-ZJU Scholarship path?
A: No. Eligibility to apply for this particular graduate path does not require a master's degree. An MA is built into this program of study before advancing to PhD candidacy.

Q: As an ANTH-ZJU Scholar, is my doctoral activist ethnographic research required to focus on social change issues related specifically to China or Contemporary China Studies?
A: Applicants will be drawn to this unique doctoral learning opportunity for several reasons. Some applicants may have a clear interest in producing original ethnographic research related specifically to China or communities of struggle in China. Others may leverage the opportunity abroad to further enrich a postcapitalist scholarly exploration that, while not specifically focused on China, incorporates the experience (e.g., the themes: alternative economic systems, alternative political systems, social possibilities, grassroots political engagement).
The applicant will need to demonstrate a clear scholarly link between their intended dissertation research and the intensive year at ZJU in their goal statement and be able to articulate this in their interview. For more information on possible research fits, please contact Andrej Grubacic (

Q: What does the ZJU Scholarship cover?
A: The ZJU Scholarship only covers the tuition, travel, housing, and limited living expenses for the year abroad (year 2). The scholarship does not cover cost of attendance for CIIS coursework. Students may wish to consider financial aid options to fund the ANTH PhD curriculum requirements. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact to connect with a CIIS financial aid counselor.

Q: Can I return to China-or another location-after my PhD coursework is complete?
A: Yes, all ANTH PhD students-including ZJU Scholars-are only required to be on the CIIS campus for their coursework phase.  During the comprehensive exams and dissertation phases, students are not required to be on campus to complete their work.

Q: What does "demonstrating preparedness and potential for success" mean for the ZJU scholar-applicant?
A: ANTH faculty will select students who can demonstrate academic readiness for a demanding doctoral path that includes one intensive year abroad in China. ANTH-ZJU Scholars are mature, resourceful individuals who can adapt to a challenging immersive experience in a foreign university and can participate in supporting other cohort members on a similar path. The successful ZJU Scholar also plans for the nonacademic transitions that will be part of the path (e.g., logistics of securing housing near CIIS for years 1 and 3).  Successful applicants will reflect on these "preparedness" themes in their goal statement and be able to discuss them during their interview. 

Q: Do I need to be fluent in Chinese languages?
A: Applicants will not need to demonstrate fluency in Chinese languages as an eligibility requirement.  The immersive classroom experience with Chinese faculty at Zhejiang University will use English, primarily. Students planning to conduct post-coursework activist ethnographic research with a primarily Chinese-speaking community will need to pass a foreign language competency exam to advance to candidacy for doctoral research.

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