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University Catalog

Office of the Registrar

Department of Anthropology

James Ahern, Department Chair
103 Anthropology Building
Phone: (307) 766-5136, FAX: (307) 766-2473


JAMES AHERN, B.A. Beloit College 1991; M.A. Northern Illinois University 1993; Ph.D. University of Michigan 1998; Professor of Anthropology 2014, 2000.
B.A. University of North Carolina 1980; M.A. University of Chicago 1984; Ph.D. 1988; Professor of Anthropology 2003, 1993.
ROBERT L. KELLY, B.A. Cornell University 1978; M.A. University of New Mexico 1980; Ph.D. University of Michigan 1985; Professor of Anthropology 1997.
MARCEL KORNFELD, B.A. University of New Mexico 1974; M.A. University of Wyoming 1982; Ph.D. University of Massachusetts-Amherst 1994; Professor of Anthropology 2008, 1996.
MARY LOU LARSON, B.A. University of Wyoming 1976; M.A. University of California-Santa Barbara 1982; Ph.D. 1990;  Professor of Anthropology 2007, 1996.
LIN A. POYER, B.A. Bucknell University 1975; M.A. University of Michigan 1978; Ph.D. 1983; Professor of Anthropology 2003, 1997.
AUDREY C. SHALINSKY, B.A. University of Chicago 1973; M.A. Harvard University 1975; Ph.D. 1979; Professor of Anthropology 1991, 1980.
TODD SUROVELL, B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1995; M.A. University of Arizona 1998; Ph.D. 2003; Professor of Anthropology 2015, 2003.
SARAH STRAUSS, A.B. Dartmouth College 1984; M.P.H. San Jose State University 1987; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 1997; Professor of Anthropology 2013, 1997.

Associate Professors

PAMELA INNES, B.A. Bryn Mawr College 1986; M.A. University of Oklahoma 1992; Ph.D. 1997; Associate Professor of Anthropology 2007, 2001.
MELISSA MURPHY, B.A. Haverford College 1994; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 2004; Associate Professor of Anthropology 2014, 2008.
NICOLE WAGUESPACK, B.A. Colorado State University 1996; M.A. University of Wyoming 1999; Ph.D. University of Arizona 2003; Associate Professor of Anthropology 2009, 2003.

Assistant Professors

ALEXANDRA KELLY, B.A. University of Chicago 2004; M.A. 2005; Ph.D. Stanford University 2014; Assistant Professor of History and Anthropology 2014.
JASON TOOHEY, B.A. University of California Santa Barbara 1995; M.A. California State University Northridge 2000; M.D. University of California Santa Barbara 2009; Assistant Professor of Anthropology 2011.

Adjunct Faculty

Adams, Becker, Clauter, Dewey, Gingrich, Janković, Karavanić, Lynch, Miller, Naudinot, Olujić, Page, Peterson, Peterson, Pierce, Raguž, Rapson, Smith, Walker, Watson

Academic Professional Research Scientist

Rick Weathermon

Professors Emeriti

George C. Frison, George W. Gill, Charles A. Reher


The department of Anthropology promotes the understanding of humankind from an integrated, holistic approach which examines past, present and future trends in cultural, biological and linguistic diversity and uniformity. Though the department serves undergraduate and graduate majors who will become professional anthropologists or will pursue other related careers, it also provides information to a large number of non-majors and to the larger community regarding cross-cultural issues. Furthermore, because of its commitment to the four field approach including biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology, the department fosters among its students an awareness of the interrelatedness of scientific concepts, methods and theories, and the humanistic foundation of scientific inquiry. The Department of Anthropology prepares its students both to understand the cultural resources of Wyoming and to participate as informed citizens in an increasingly complex global community.

Undergraduate Major

In addition to university and college requirements listed in this Catalog, anthropology majors must complete three semesters of foreign language and a statistics course—STAT 2050 or 2070. Anthropology majors must complete two lab science courses outside the major. Specific requirements for a B.A. in anthropology are ANTH 1100, 1200, 1300, 2000, 3300, 3310, 4010; one course from each of the following series: archaeology, ANTH 4110, 4111, 4115, 4116, 4120, 4125, 4130, 4150, 4160, 4170, or six credits of archaeological field school (ANTH 4140 or 5180); cultural anthropology—ANTH 4300, 4310, 4320, 4325, 4330, 4340, 4350, 4360, 4380, 4020 (with instructor’s consent); linguistic anthropology—ANTH 4740, 4775, 4785, 4795, 4020 (with instructor’s consent); and biological anthropology—ANTH 4210, 4215, 4220, 4230, 4255, 4260, 4020 (with instructor’s consent). It is recommended that anthropology majors take ANTH 1101 to fulfill the First-Year Seminar requirement, but it is not required that students take this particular First-Year course. In some cases (e.g., ANTH 3300, 3310) students will be required to take one hour of a section of ANTH 4975. Courses required by the department for the major and minor must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

At the completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge about the four subfields of anthropology and their interrelationships; they will have participated in a research experience and understand its process; and, they will demonstrate ability to analyze and synthesize in relation to anthropological issues or theories.

Undergraduate Minors

The minor for non-anthropology majors requires two of the introductory courses: ANTH 1100, 1200, 1300, 2000, and 11-12 hours of electives from 2000, 3000, or 4000-level anthropology courses with no more than 3 hours at the 2000-level. See the anthropology web site for more details.

Teacher Education

Anthropology courses may be used to complete part of the requirements for teacher certification in social studies.

Graduate Study

The department offers programs of study leading to Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology. Check Anthropology department web pages for any updates.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Master's Program

Deadline for application is March 1 for the following fall.

See graduate admission requirements.

Submit letter of intent, resume, copies of GRE scores, transcripts, and an optional writing sample as digital documents to the UW online application system. A minimum of three letters of recommendation are required; a standardized recommendation form is provided through the application system.

In the letter of intent, students should describe their research interests, career goals, and how Wyoming's program will help them achieve these goals.

The Department of Anthropology requires that at least two of the recommendation letters be from academic supervisors or instructors.

Students must present evidence of a satisfactory background in anthropology, which should include coursework in all four subfields of Anthropology (socio/cultural, bio/physical, archaeology, and linguistics). Deficiencies in anthropology may require remediation. Students must have three semesters of a single foreign language or equivalent, and one semester of statistics. In those instances in which the undergraduate background of the student is deficient, the department reserves the right to prescribe course work that would correct such deficiencies.

The M.A. program is designed to be completed in two full years of graduate study. Appropriate allowance will be made for part-time students. Students who graduate with a Master of Arts degree will be able to explain the content of the four fields of Anthropology and their interrelationship in written and oral formats; they will have an experience in original research; and, they will develop skills which foster professionalism in their chosen fields.

Doctoral Program

Deadline for application is December 15 for the following fall.

See graduate admission requirements.

Submit letter of intent, resume, copies of GRE scores, transcripts, and an optional writing sample as digital documents to the UW online application system. A minimum of three letters of recommendation are required; a standardized recommendation form is provided through the application system.

In the letter of intent, students should identify whom they would like as their faculty adviser and describe their research interests, career goals, and how Wyoming's program will help them achieve these goals.

Note: Contact department for GRE requirements and preferences.

Students with a master's degree may apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

Students with a bachelor's degree may apply to the Ph.D. program. If admitted, students are expected to complete the master's degree requirements following the Plan A or Plan B option before formal admission to the Ph.D. program. At the thesis defense or hearing for the Plan B paper, the student will receive a no pass, pass-terminate at the master's degree, or a pass-admit to the Ph.D. program.

Students admitted to the department's M.A. program are not guaranteed admission to the Ph.D. program.

For admission to the Ph.D. program with the Bachelor's degree, students must have course work in the four subfields of anthropology, three semesters of a single foreign language, and statistical competency at either the B.A. or M.A. level. If these are not satisfied, the student's faculty adviser in coordination with the student's graduate committee assigns remedial work as appropriate.

Students who graduate with a Ph.D. in Anthropology will have specialized and professional training so they can move into academic or non-academic tracks; they will have a dissertation experience that results in professional publications; and they will have professional experiences that facilitate their move into careers in a reasonable amount of time.

Program Specific Graduate Assistantships

Doctoral students generally receive two years of assistantships. First semester, first year M.A. students are generally not awarded assistantships; however, the department occasionally does make exceptions. M.A. students are eligible to apply for assistantships beginning in the second semester.

Assistantships are awarded through a departmental application process. An application form, cover letter, and resume are required.

Information and deadlines may be obtained in the department office.

Failure to complete steps in the M.A. program by established deadline (e.g., advisor selection, proposal presentation, etc.) means the student is not eligible for an assistantship. Failure of the Ph.D. preliminary exam means the student is not eligible for an assistantship.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master's Program Plan A (thesis)

See university minimum requirements.

Completion, with a grade of "B" or better of a four core-course sequence. This sequence will consist of ANTH 5010, 20th Century Anthropological Theory; ANTH 5015, Archaeological Theory and Method; ANTH 5020, Biological Anthropology; and ANTH 5030, Linguistic Anthropology.

  • First semester (fall): Students will submit form to the graduate advisor and department head identifying their thesis advisor BEFORE the graduate assistant allocation meeting (mid-late November).
  • Second semester (spring): Students will work with their advisor to select their committee, which must be formed and on-file in the department office by the end of the semester. During the core classes' final exam periods, students give a presentation to departmental faculty which outlines the general ideas for their proposed thesis.
  • Third semester (fall): Working closely with their advisor and committee, students complete a detailed prospectus and gain approval from thesis committee for MA thesis topic.
  • Fourth semester (spring): Thesis is completed and is approved by thesis committee.

Any M.A. student receiving a grade of C or less in two core classes will be expelled from the program. Second semester research presentations are assessed by all department faculty in attendance at the presentation and evaluations will be given to the student's advisors. It is expected that students will work closely with their advisors to rectify any problems before they complete their thesis prospectus in the third semester.

If not completed prior to admission; three semesters of a single foreign language and one statistics course must be completed.

Plan B (non-thesis)

See university minimum requirements.

All requirements for a Plan A except thesis, if not completed prior to admission; three semesters of a single foreign language and one statistics course must be completed.

Doctoral Program

See university minimum requirements.

After completion of an M.A. program in anthropology.

A minimum of six content courses (18 hours) chosen by the student in conjunction with the student's committee. These courses are normally completed in the first two years of the Ph.D. program. In addition to anthropology courses, the other 4000/5000-level courses outside of the department may be required by the committee or chosen by the student in consultation with their committee.

Two additional courses in their first or second year: ANTH 5880, Professionalism in Anthropology and the two-semester sequence of ANTH 5000, Teaching and Learning in Anthropology (3 hours total).

Teaching experience, including stand-alone courses, after completion of the first semester of Teaching and Learning (ANTH 5000), as well as teaching assistance to UW faculty members.

Participation in an approved internship experience (6-24 credit hours). Students pursue internships in state and federal agencies, museums, contract archaeology organizations, and other organizations that offer potential career experience.

Committee meeting and successful completion of a dissertation proposal.

Preliminary exams take place after the completion of 18 hours of content courses. ANTH 5880, and Teaching and Learning in Anthropology (ANTH 5890, or other as designated), normally before the end of the second year. If a student does not receive a passing grade on the preliminary exam, it can be repeated once. Failure to pass the preliminary examination the second time results in termination from the anthropology program.

International experience is highly recommended but not required, e.g. pre-dissertation summer fieldwork.

Student maintains a portfolio which documents teaching, internship, and research experience.

Students are encouraged to present papers at professional conferences and submit articles for publication throughout their tenure as a student. After admission to candidacy, the student is expected to research, write, and defend a dissertation based on original research (up to 48 credit hours). Students may either submit a single dissertation or a series of integrated publishable articles (30-40 pages each). The student's committee must approve this choice and decide on the number, length and content of the articles at the same time, usually at the committee hearing prior to the preliminary exams.

Anthropology (ANTH) Courses

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