Evolutionary Anthropology Graduate Programs II

Other West Coast Schools (Part 1 of 2)

This is the second in a series highlighting US graduate programs in evolutionary anthropology. This and the following installation continues with West Coast schools outside of California. All programs were asked to answer the 6 questions below. Here, in no particular order, are abbreviated responses from U Oregon, U Nevada Las Vegas, U Utah, Washington State U, and Boise State U. See here for the full responses from all programs contacted so far.

  1. What are areas of expertise in your department related to evolutionary anthropology?
  2. What funding opportunities are available for graduate students?
  3. What kinds of research are current students involved with?
  4. Can students earn a MA, PhD, or both? Are there dual-degree programs available?
  5. What are students’ favorite aspects of your department?
  6. Is there anything else you would like to highlight about your department?

University of Oregon

  1. Expertise: Primatology, molecular anthropology, human biology, primate paleontology, life history
  2. Funding: We only accept students we are able to fully fund through Graduate Employee Teaching positions, or those who have outside support.
  3. Research opportunities: Topics include primate microbiome, human-parasite interactions and life history tradeoffs, and skeletal functional morphology of fossil primates. Complete listing here.
  4. MA, PhD offered: Both, but we really only admit students whose ultimate goal is the PhD
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Close working relationships with advisers and other mentors. Flexibility to tailor their curriculum to their specific needs.
  6. Other highlights: Close ties with other campus organizations including the Institute for Ecology and Evolution, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Center for the Study of Women in Society, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Graduate students in our program can be automatically admitted to the Museum Studies certificate program as well.

University of Nevada Las Vegas

  1. Expertise: Childhood and parenting; food, subsistence, and nutrition; human adaptive strategies; sexuality, gender and identity; hominin evolution; evolutionary psychology; DOHaD; origins of agriculture; human-animal interactions.
  2. Funding: The main funding source is departmental Graduate Assistantships (GAships). Some summer and pilot funding is available.
  3. Student research: Recent research includes: postpartum maternal sexuality in the Philippines; human placentophagy; Hadza women’s postpartum moods; US women’s mate preferences; hormone responses of children to competition in Hong Kong; jealousy in polyamorous relationships.
  4. MA, PhD offered: Both terminal MA and PhD offered. Students can enter the PhD program with either a BA or MA.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Professors are excited to work with graduate students on a variety of projects, fostering a supportive environment. The accessibility and collaborative atmosphere of the professors who have a biological anthropology mindset is a real strength.
  6. Other highlights: Las Vegas and UNLV are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. The city affords opportunities for research and engagement with world-class entertainment, sports, and sexuality (if you are a student here, you will have many visitors).

University of Utah

  1. Expertise: All subdisciplines fully embrace Evolutionary Ecology, with expertise in archaeology, genetics, behavioral ecology, demography, and hunter-gatherers.
  2. Funding: We typically offer multi-year support packages (involving teaching and research assistantships) covering fees, tuition, health care, and a stipend. Faculty encourage independent grant funding; a required course is “Preparation of Grant Proposals.”
  3. Student research: Current projects include: economics of small-scale societies; anthropogenic fire; gender division of labor; biocultural perspectives on mate choice; primate immunogenetics and molecular ecology; evolution and economics of childhood and parenting; social psychology and ritual society and labor exchange
  4. MA, PhD offered: Students earn a Masters and continue on to the PhD; MA students enter directly into our PhD program.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: There is extensive interaction and collaboration among faculty and students, making for an exceptionally collegial environment.
  6. Other highlights: The entire faculty is dedicated to applying evolutionary theory to an integrated understanding of human behavior, culture, and biology past and present. In 2018, we will move into a new building with state of the art facilities, integrated with Geography, for studying ancient and modern DNA, archaeology, stable isotopes, and zooarchaeology.

Washington State University

  1. Expertise: Human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution.
  2. Funding: We are relatively selective; all of our students have funding for six years or more.
  3. Student research: We emphasize international fieldwork and expect students to begin fieldwork at the end of their first year. Recent topics include pathogens and tobacco/cannabis use; cooperation in small-holder agricultural labor; immune responses in pregnancy; antibiotic use and resistance; evolutionary psychology of leadership; social networks and informal insurance among small-holders; agent based models of paleodemographic processes; microbiome and human milk composition
  4. MA, PhD offered: Students earn the MA on the way to the PhD. We do not admit students for MA study only.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Students benefit from close contact with advisors and graduate faculty, the theoretical diversity in the program, and the “three-paper” dissertation option.
  6. Other highlights: Our program cuts across sub-disciplinary boundaries, with strengths in ethnobiology and psychological and medical anthropology. We are one of the only anthropology programs offering training in agent-based modeling.

 Boise State University

  1. Expertise: Reproductive success, mate choice, network analysis, OFT/CP analysis
  2. Funding: We offer full and part-time GAships and scholarships.
  3. Student research: Graduate projects include field studies and meta data analyses. Recent projects include mate selection in Indonesia and developing protocols for archaeological data collection for federal agencies.
  4. Student’s favorite aspects of department: The MA and MAA programs are very structured, meaning that students know what requirements must be met and when.
  5. Other highlights: Our department is housed in Biology, and participates in a PhD program in Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior.

**Keep an eye out for more posts throughout the year. Check department websites for application guidelines and deadlines.**

Melanie Martin is a postdoctoral associate in the Yale Department of Anthropology and a co-Editor for EAS’s AN column.

Cite as: Martin, Melanie. 2017. “Evolutionary Anthropology Graduate Programs II.” Anthropology News website, August 1, 2017. doi: 10.1111/AN.511

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