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Graduate Program in Anthropology

The graduate degree program in anthropology is designed to provide broad training for students who wish to enter a Ph.D. program, prepare for undergraduate or community college teaching, or pursue a non-teaching career for which M.A.-level training in anthropology is appropriate and useful. The program emphasizes training in basic theory and methods. Because we follow a four-field approach to anthropology, all students take "core" classes in each subfield (cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics), but can then specialize in their area of interest by taking elective courses and conducting thesis research.

If you are interested in applying or learning more about the program, you should contact the professor who best matches your research interest to learn about his/her research and to inquire if he/she is accepting new students. The anthropology faculty who supervise graduate students are:

Dr. Brett A. Houk: Texas prehistory, Mesoamerica, Maya archaeology, ancient urban planning, Cultural Resource Management (CRM).

Dr. Tamra Walter: Historic archaeology, Spanish Colonial Texas, coastal Ecuador.

Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Michael Jordan: Ethnohistory and Expressive Culture of the Plains Indians, Economic Aspects of the Southern Plains Powwow, Historical Consciousness in Indigenous Communities, Digital Heritage Initiatives.

Dr. Jeffrey Williams: descriptive and documentary linguistics, contact linguistics, dialectology, endangered languages, Papuan languages, varieties of English in the West Indies, languages of mainland Southeast Asia.

Physical Anthropology
Dr. Arthur Durband: Paleoanthropology, with research interests in modern human origins.

Dr. Robert Paine: Human osteology, skeletal histology, forensic anthropology, paleopathology (Texas prehistory, Villanovan culture, Iron-Age to Roman Imperial periods of Italy, 20th century South Africa autopsies, Roman-Byzantine burials of Turkey), nonhuman primate functional anatomy & histology.


Decisions on the program of study, specific courses, and thesis topics are made through consultation with the graduate advisor and other faculty members as appropriate on the basis of the individual student’s background, interests, and objectives. With departmental approval, requirements may be amended for individuals with exceptional qualifications, or additional courses may be required for applicants with inadequate undergraduate preparation.

The anthropology curriculum requires 12 hours of core courses in the following four subfields: archeology, physical anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Each student is required to take ANTH 5305, 5341, 5352, and either 5311 or 5312. The minimum requirements are an additional 18 hours of graduate-level courses plus 6 hours of thesis credit. The 18 hours of electives may include a 6-hour minor of courses outside of anthropology. Students in the anthropology program are encouraged to use the minor to develop an area of emphasis either within the department (such as sociology) or outside (such as biology, geology, history, or museum science). A grade of B or better is required for graduate credit. Coursework is planned in consultation with the graduate advisor or thesis director soon after admission to the graduate program. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) should consider the CRM track.


In the anthropology program, students are encouragd to write a thesis based on original research in one of the four subfields. In addition to the thesis, students must submit a thesis prospectus prior to initiating their research, and present a thesis defense to the department before the thesis may be submitted to the Graduate School.

Non-Thesis Option

Students choosing the non-thesis option are required to take 36 hours of coursework (including the 12 core hours, 18 elective hours, and 6 additional hours of electives). In addition to the coursework requirement, students must choose a three-person committee (two of these faculty must be in the anthropology program) to administer an exit examination in their final semester. More information on the non-thesis option is avialable here.


General admission requirements are those established by the Graduate School. The best preparation is an undergraduate major in the same field. However, students from other fields are also encouraged to apply. More specific information regarding admission procedures or other aspects of the graduate programs may be obtained from the anthropology graduate advisor.

Applying for the Graduate Program in Anthropology

Applicants should have a clear idea of which subfield of anthropology they wish to pursue and with which faculty member they would like to work prior to applying. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members prior to applying to express their interest, as noted above.

Applicants should have a preferred score of at least 300 on the GRE (verbal and quantitative combined), and GRE scores must be reported prior to review for admission.

The deadlines for applying to the SASW Department for the Anthropology Program are:

Deadline for Fall admission: February 25th*
Deadline for Spring admission: October 15th
Deadline for Summer admission: February 1st

*Note that students wishing to be considered for a Fellowship through the Graduate School must apply by February 1st.

You may download guidelines for applying to the Anthropology program here: TTU_Anth_Grad_App_Guidelines.doc.

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