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We offer a 30-hour, two-year long graduate program culminating in the Master of Arts degree with specializations in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology. Our faculty conduct research across the globe and prepare our students to enter top-ranked doctoral programs and to find satisfying careers in non-academic and applied settings. Students have the option to complete a master’s thesis, which we recommend for those considering going on to a PhD program, or a capstone project for those considering non-academic careers.

Financial Support

A limited number of Graduate Student Assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to general Graduate School requirements, applicants are required to provide a completed application, including transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a writing sample. CV or resume is optional but encouraged. GRE scores are not required. The deadline for completed applications is January 10. The curriculum is set for fall admission only.

Master's Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree requires a total of 30 credit hours. All students take an introduction to anthropological research course in their first semester (ANT 501) and select a specialty area, such as archaeology, bioarchaeology, or cultural anthropology. Students who write a master's thesis will take six hours of thesis research credit (ANT 695). Students completing a capstone project (also known as a non-thesis, or Option B) take one independent study (ANT 598) and one additional course in place of the six hours of ANT 695 credit.


Full Professors

  • Daniel Troy Case
  • Nora M. Haenn

Associate Professors

  • John K. Millhauser

Assistant Professors

  • Jennifer Jean Carroll
  • Kathryn Mary Grossman
  • Dru Evan McGill
  • Julie K. Wesp

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Alison C. Greene
  • Carol Ann Lewald
  • Seth Murray

Emeritus Faculty

  • Risa Ellovich
  • J. M. Wallace III
  • William Wormsley


ANT 501  Proseminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to anthropological research process; introduction to anthropology faculty; research proposal design; career planning; professional development; campus resources.

R: Anthropology Graduate students

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 511/ANT 411  Overview of Anthropological Theory  (3 credit hours)  

A detailed introduction to anthropological theory, interpretive styles and research techniques of major nineteenth and twentieth century anthropologists working within the analytic frameworks of their times, positions espoused by anthropologists in contemporary debates concerning the discipline's future. Students cannot receive credit for both ANT 411 and ANT 511.

Prerequisite: ANT 252 and ANT 310 or ANT 325 or ANT 330 or ANT 345 or ANT 346 or ANT 354

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 512/ANT 412  Applied Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

History, aims, methods and ethics of applied anthropology. Anthropological practice in government, industry, community development, education, and medicine. Analysis of consequences of development programs for culture change. Credit cannot be given for both 412 and 512.

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 516/ANT 416  Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

A systematic overview of cultural anthropological research methods including designing research projects, research techniques, field work methods, and cross-cultural comparison. Reviews relevant ethical questions and anthropologists' reports of their own field work.

Prerequisite: ANT 252 and one of the following: ANT 310,325,330, 345, 346, 351, or 354

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 521/ANT 421  Human Osteology  (3 credit hours)  

Survey of all the bones of the human skeleton from an anthropological perspective, including their names, important features useful in recognizing fragmentary specimens from an archaeological context, and techniques for determining the side of the body they come from. Skeletal development and its relationship to skeletal abnormalities. Issues relating to the study of archaeological skeletons.

Prerequisite: ANT 251 and any ANT 300 Level

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 524/ANT 424  Bioarchaeology  (3 credit hours)  

Survey of approaches used by bioarchaeologists to understand past lifeways through the study of excavated human remains, and the theories that inform those approaches. Analysis and critique of the ways in which bioarchaeologists use skeletal and mortuary data to reconstruct health and disease patterns, mortality rates, diet, degree of interpersonal violence, and social structure among humans from the distant past.

Prerequisite: ANT 421

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 528/ANT 428  Human Paleopathology  (3 credit hours)  

Survey of diseases that manifest on the human skeleton. Analysis and identification of these diseases from a clinical perspective through all life stages from radiographic analysis, macroscopic analysis, and photographic analysis.

Prerequisite: ANT 251

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 529  Advanced Methods in Forensic Anthropology  (4 credit hours)  

Advanced methods in forensic anthropology-an applied field of biological anthropology. Application of the science of biological anthropology to the medicolegal process. Identification of skeletal remains to determine age, sex, ancestry, stature, andunique features of a decedent. Analysis of human skeletal remains. Identification techniques addressed and proficiency expected. Students must provide their own transportation to the laboratory site.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 531/ANT 431  Tourism, Culture and Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

Anthropological approach to tourism studies with emphasis on cross-cultural aspects of international tourism. Attention to impact of mass tourism as compared to alternative tourism; environmental and economic impact of tourism; impact of international tourists and tourism on local communities. Principal theories of leisure in relation to tourism. Theories of culture change in relation to travel and tourism. Credit not given for both ANT 431 and ANT 531.

Prerequisite: Three hours of cultural anthropology

Typically offered in Fall and Summer

ANT 533/ANT 433  Anthropology of Ecotourism and Heritage Conservation  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to how cultures and societies view, utilize, interpret, manage and conserve environmental and cultural heritage resources; includes examination of theory and concepts of place, identity, sacred heritage, ecotourism, wildlife management as well as the cultural politics and practices of environmentalist and heritage management. Some limited travel to NC heritage sites required at student expense.

Prerequisite: ANT 252

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 544/WGS 544/ANT 444/WGS 444  Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women  (3 credit hours)  

Comparison of women in a variety of societies: western and non-western; hunting and gathering to industrialized. Cross-cultural perspective on the similarity and diversity of women's statuses and roles. Effect of gender on social position

Prerequisite: ANT 252 and one of the following: ANT 310,325,330 or 346

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 550/ANT 450  Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Living  (3 credit hours)  

Examines the myriad ways that culture serves to mediate the human-environmental equation. Focus is given to different belief systems, subsistence strategies, technological achievements, and policy formulations. Topics covered include cultural ecology, gender and the environment, land tenure, development, ethnoscience and cognitive ecology, subsistence and social organization, historical and political ecology, environmentalism, and environmental policy issues.

Prerequisite: One of the following: ANT 310,325,330 or 346

ANT 560/ANT 460  Urban Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

Anthropological study of cities. Examination of cross-cultural patterns of behavior in urban areas and adaptive strategies that urban dwellers employ. Introduction to major theoretical and methodological approaches relevant to an understanding of contemporary urbanization.

Prerequisite: ANT 252 and one of the following: ANT 310,325,330 or 346

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 561/ANT 461  Wealth, Poverty and International Aid  (3 credit hours)  

Examines notions of wealth and poverty in a variety of cultural settings, as well as ideas of whether and how people categorized as poor or rich might alter their status. These findings are applied to case studies of current international aid organizations that carry out poverty relief.

GEP Global Knowledge, GEP Social Sciences

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 564/ANT 464  Anthropology of Religion  (3 credit hours)  

Examination of various anthropological perspectives on the role of religion in social life, and discussion of theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to the study of ritual and belief.

Prerequisite: ANT 252 and one of the following: ANT 310,325,330 or 346

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 571/ANT 471/IS 471  Understanding Latino Migration  (3 credit hours)  

This collaborative, hands-on class examines what ultimately drives migration and how families, communities, and policy-makers respond to migration in ways that can keep the process going. Focusing on emigration from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, the course reviews the historical foundation for today's migration with attention to migration to North Carolina.

GEP Global Knowledge, GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives, GEP Social Sciences

Typically offered in Summer only

ANT 575/ANT 475  Environmental Archaeology  (3 credit hours)  

Archaeological investigation of human-environmental interactions and human impacts on ancient environments. Focuses on the causes of environmental change (climate, human activity) and the implications for understanding human nature, predicting future problems, and addressing current crises. Topics include reconstructing paleoclimate, the extinction of megafuana, anthropogenic landscapes, environmental degradation and the collapse of ancient states, sustainability and the Anthropocene.

Prerequisites:ANT 253 and one 300-level anthropology course

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ANT 583/ANT 483  Theories of Archaeological Research  (3 credit hours)  

Covers the theories that inform archaeological research in the effort to locate and interpret material evidence about past human activities. Topics include the history of archaeology, theories of archaeological practice and interpretation, ethics, and working with stakeholders. Relies on case studies and major syntheses and critiques of current theoretical debates. Cases focus on the origins of social complexity, human-environmental interactions, and critical perspectives on inequality, race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Students may not receive credit for both ANT 483 and ANT 583.

Prerequisite: ANT 251 or 253 and 3 cred 300-level ANT

Typically offered in Fall only

ANT 585  Skeletal Biology in Anthropology  (3 credit hours)  

Skeletal biology is the study of human skeletal remains; understanding past populations' demographics, health and disease, physical activity, diet, and biological relatedness to other groups, past and present. Must hold graduate standing.

ANT 587/HI 587  Cultural Resource Management  (3 credit hours)  

Theoretical and practical overview of U.S. federal and state laws, institutions, and practices related to the inventory, evaluation, preservation, protection, and overall management of cultural resources; history and philosophical bases of Cultural Resource Management (CRM); professional ethics; indigenous and other stakeholder interests in CRM; and comparative national regulations outside the U.S. and the international heritage management and organizations. Graduate standing in history required.

Typically offered in Spring only

ANT 595  Special Topics in Anthropology  (1-6 credit hours)  

In depth exploration of specialized topics in Anthropology. Also used to test and develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

ANT 598  Independent Study in ANT  (1-3 credit hours)  

Independent study of a topic in anthropology. Topic and mode of study determined by faculty member(s) and student(s).

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ANT 610  Special Topics in Anthropology  (1-6 credit hours)  

Provision for in-depth investigation of some particular topic in anthropology. Reflection of current student needs and interests through variations in course content and mode of study. Determination of topics by faculty member(s) and student.

ANT 693  Masters Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research, and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty. Restricted to Masters Students in Anthropology.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ANT 695  Masters Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research conducted under the supervision of student's thesis committee chair or other graduate faculty member. Restricted to Masters Students in Anthropology.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ANT 696  Summer Thesis Res  (1 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Summer only

ANT 699  Masters Thesis Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hours, full-time enrollment, and other requirements for the masters degree, and are writing and defending their thesis. Restricted to Masters Students in Anthropology.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ANT 810  Special Topics in Anthropology  (1-6 credit hours)  

Provision for in-depth investigation of some particular topic in anthropology. Reflection of current student needs and interests through variations in course content and mode of study. Determination of topics by faculty member(s) and student.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer