The Department offers about 25 term courses for graduate students each year. (Yale has two terms per academic year.) Most graduate courses are conducted as seminars and typically have small enrollments. Student interests and needs that are not met by available formal graduate course offerings in anthropology may be met by enrollment in an appropriate graduate course in another department, or in an undergraduate course if one is available (and with the instructor ‘s consent), or by registering for a Directed Readings or Directed Research course under the supervision of a faculty member, either in anthropology or another graduate department. Indeed, graduate students in anthropology are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the offerings, facilities, and faculties of other departments and schools within the University.

Because students enter the Ph.D. program with varied backgrounds, experiences, and previous training, none of the four subfield programs includes any courses that all students concentrating in them are required to take. Even so, each of those programs does include certain courses that are for various reasons strongly recommended, even to persons with extensive background in the subfield.