The graduate program in anthropology emphasizes archaeology. Focusing on the emergence of complex societies, simple farmers and hunter-gatherers, the program's strength is the diversity of research opportunities it affords students, especially in Mesoamerica and the Great Basin/Southwest regions of North America. Department faculty conduct field research in each of those areas, and qualified graduate students often participate.
Rather than emphasize specialized or topical interests, however, the program equips the graduate with the basics of professional anthropology: a broad and versatile perspective and the ability to (1) define a research problem, (2) choose tools wisely for approaching it, (3) gather and analyze data efficiently and creatively, and then (4) communicate results and recommendations effectively.
From four to six students enter the program each year, and most take three years to complete the requirements. The number of students in the program varies between ten and fifteen. Students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines may apply, although some prerequisite courses may be required following acceptance in the program.
The aim of this program is to prepare students (1) for productive employment at a junior professional level upon receiving an MA degree or (2) for entry into PhD programs in anthropology elsewhere.
Students interested in the Museum Certificate Program apply online and must be accepted into the Anthropology MA or a cognate discipline. It is highly recommended that students apply for the Museum Certificate Program if they are interested in museum work, do not plan to continue in archaeology at the Ph.D. level, and/or are interested in archaeology and anthropology as academic disciplines but do not wish to pursue a career that requires field archaeology, excavation, and analysis.