Master of Arts (M.A.)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Anthropology professor posing at dig site

Earn A Higher Degree in Anthropology

Understanding humans and the human condition through the past, present and future. This is just a small part of what anthropologists at UW are doing for Wyoming, North America and humankind. With its unique archaeological heritage in the area surrounding campus in Laramie, our graduate anthropology programs are rich with opportunities for our graduate students.

About Anthropology's Graduate Programs

Small and intimate, our master’s in anthropology program offers ample opportunities for faculty-student research collaboration. This graduate degree program emphasizes a four-field approach in the tradition of American anthropology. Typically completed in two years, our master’s program in anthropology grants at least a semester of funding to all of our M.A. students, and we try to fund as many graduate students as we can.

Student surveying
Student examining rock fixtures

Our doctoral degree program, typically completed in three years, is also small and intimate, which creates a close-knit yet flexible academic environment to pursue your career and research interests. Our strengths lie in hunter-gatherer archaeology, Paleoindian archaeology and archaeology of the Rocky Mountain West and Plains.

We are deeply committed to both our Wyoming-based research and our international programs — and often make strong connections between them.

The anthropology master’s program curriculum at UW includes basic coverage of archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology. The anthropology Ph.D. program at UW focuses on hunter-gatherer, Paleoindian and plains archaeology.

These are just some of the classes you might take as a student in UW’s anthropology graduate programs:

  • Lithic Analysis
  • Zooarchaeology, Geoarchaeology or Bioarchaeology
  • GIS in Anthropology

View M.A. in anthropology degree program curriculum.
View Ph.D. in anthropology degree program curriculum.

Researcher examining skull

What Can You Do With an Anthropology Graduate Degree?

Many of our M.A. graduates go on to careers in anthropology and archaeology. Most commonly, they work in cultural resource management, government or higher education.

90% of our Ph.D. graduates work in anthropology, with the majority of them building successful careers as academic professionals, including tenure-track faculty members and postdoctoral fellows.

Anthropology Careers

UW M.A. and Ph.D. anthropology graduates hold titles such as:

  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Professor
  • Professional Researcher
  • Museum Archivist or Curator
  • Collections Manager or Laboratory Manager


Professor taking photo of artifact

Department of Anthropology Professor Todd Surovell received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study how Clovis people lived at the La Prele Mammoth site near Douglas in Converse County, which will help answer questions about human adaptation to environments during the ice age.

mountain logo

Anthropology Graduate Program Highlights

Here are some reasons to consider one of UW’s graduate anthropology programs:

Research Experience

As a graduate student in UW’s anthropology master’s or Ph.D. program, you’ll have access to academic and professional opportunities such as these:

Lab research in all four subfields of anthropology

Field research in Wyoming, Peru, Croatia, Mongolia, Senegal and Alaska

Internships and jobs with state and federal agencies, including the Anthropology Museum, Archaeological Repository, the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, Wyoming State Archaeologist and the Bureau of Land Management

Graduate Program Funding

In addition to the semester of funding for M.A. students, our graduate anthropology program offers a wide variety of opportunities for all of our graduate students to earn funding for their field and lab research. These include:

Frison Scholarships

Grants from the Jason Reher Memorial Fund and Anne Slater Memorial Fund

Frison Institute awards such as the June Frison Memorial Fund, Collections Grant, Alpine Archaeology Fund, Patrick Orion Mullen Fund in Archaeological Science, William and Gloria Tyrell Fund and Rhoda Owen Lewis Fund

World-Class, Innovative Faculty

Constituting a center of multicultural global research in Laramie, Wyoming, anthropology graduate program faculty at UW possess international expertise in areas such as Iceland, Peru, Croatia, Native North America and more. Our strengths are in Paleoindian and hunter-gatherer archaeology, Wyoming’s past and biological anthropology. For example, two faculty members work in Peru on the archaeology and biological anthropology of Andean complex societies. We also have strong ties to archaeologists working in state and federal government, which have led to research and job opportunities for our graduate students.

Facilities & Labs

Even though our graduate anthropology program is small, we have big resources directly on campus in Laramie, Wyoming. UW houses the State Historic Preservation Office, UW Archaeological Repository, George C. Frison Institute, Anthropology Museum, Human Remains Repository, Frison Library, Photogrammetry and Digitization Lab, Zooarchaeology Comparative Collection and GIS Lab. Faculty labs include the Bioarchaeology and Stable Isotope Laboratory (BaSIL), Ethnographic Laboratory, Geoarchaeology Lab, Lithic Analysis Lab, Historical and Andean Archaeology Lab, Zooarchaeology Lab, Paleoindian Research Lab, Forensic Anthropology Lab and Paleoanthropology Lab with a 3-D printer and 3-D scanner.

The advising and research opportunities I received while at UW were integral in my successfully landing a tenure-track position. Faculty in the UW Anthropology Department work closely with their students to ensure they are training strong scholars and future peers. Hands-on research experience, such as field and lab work opportunities, and practical job preparation through courses like the Professionalism class create a balanced approach to academics and made me feel ready to tackle a competitive job market.

Heather Rockwell, ’14 University of Wyoming, Ph.D. in Anthropology
Assistant Professor, Salve Regina University

Contact Us

We're Eager to Help!

Anthropology Department

12th and Lewis Street

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5136