Evolutionary Anthropology Graduate Programs III

Midwest and Southern Schools

This is the third in a series highlighting US graduate programs in evolutionary anthropology. This installation continues with schools in the Midwest and the South. All programs were asked to answer the 6 questions below. Here, in no particular order, are abbreviated responses from the University of Missouri, the University of Michigan, Emory University, Northwestern University, and Texas A&M University.  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 Missouri

  1. Expertise: scientific approaches to the study of human biology, behavior, and culture, evolutionary theory, quantitative methods, hands-on field and laboratory experiences
  2. Funding: Life Sciences Fellowships carry a yearly stipend of $25,000 for four years, Graduate Studies Fellowships carry a stipend of at least $18,000 for up to 5 years. Teaching opportunities are available on a year-to-year basis within Anthropology and in other departments.
  3. Research opportunities: We currently have students doing fieldwork in Indonesia (religious activities among the Iban), Italy (Roman pottery), and Suriname (large-scale cooperation among the Trio), among others.
  4. MA, PhD offered: Most students earn an MA degree on their way to completing their PhD. A terminal MA degree is also an option, as is coming into the program with an MA in hand. A number of our students also get their MPH degree.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Some of the advantages of our department include the coherent focus in evolutionary theory and quantitative methods, our collegial working environment, and our bi-weekly Evolution and Social Science seminar series.
  6. Other highlights: A few of the many useful training opportunities available outside the department include learning skeletal biology in the Anatomy department, R programing and statistics in the Biology department, and archaeometric techniques at the Research Reactor.

University of Michigan

  1. Expertise: human biology, behavioral ecology, paleo-ecology, endocrinology, epigenetics, genetics, paleoanthropology, primatology
  2. Funding: We fund our students for five years.  After that students are eligible for various internal grants.  We encourage and help students to write NSF applications.
  3. Research opportunities: Our students are carrying out projects across the range of faculty interests in #1 above.
  4. MA, PhD offered: Students can earn an MS, PhD, or MD PhD.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Great funding and supportive faculty with diverse interests.
  6. Other highlights: MD PhD opportunity

Emory University

  1. Expertise: human biology, human genetics / genomics, primate behavioral ecology, human behavioral ecology, and neurobiology / neuroanatomy (as well as others)
  2. Funding: All graduate students receive a five-year stipend with additional funding for research, language training, and travel. There are also fellowships and other sources of internal funding students can apply for.
  3. Research opportunities: There are a number of opportunities to collaborate with faculty within the department (research on primates, humans, archaeology, neuroimaging, biomarkers) and in other departments like Psychology, Neuroscience, and the School of Public Health.
  4. MA, PhD offered: There is no terminal master’s program. Students earn an MA along the way to the PhD. We do offer dual degrees (MD/PhD, MPH/PhD)
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: diversity of expertise among faculty members, great funding, and research opportunities
  6. Other highlights: There are a number of centers and programs on campus that offer students opportunities to be well-rounded scientists and anthropologists. (See the full answer for more details.)

Northwestern University

  1. Expertise: developmental plasticity in biology, behavior and health, evolutionary medicine, the psychobiology of human relationships with a focus on fatherhood, human and comparative/primate microbiome, primate behavioral ecology, human growth and development, intergenerational effects of maternal experience on biology and health in offspring, human energetics, human adaptability, nutrition, and many others
  2. Funding: Students enter with 5 years of support (tuition, full stipend of $30,780 for 2017–18, health insurance and other benefits). There are various opportunities across campus to obtain funding to support pilot field work, language training, and conference travel, along with grants to supplement dissertation fieldwork and fund other sorts of professional development.
  3. Research opportunities: Opportunities are available for students in Cebu (the Philippines), Siberia, lowland Bolivia, Tanzania, Kenya, Argentina, Mexico, and other locales, with a focus on both humans and non-human primates. Students can also receive training in laboratory and statistical methods.
  4. MA, PhD offered:All students apply directly into the PhD program. Students who have completed coursework and other requirements may obtain an MA, typically after their second year.
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: See Google doc for a list of answers directly from students
  6. Other highlights: Faculty have strong ties with other departments and programs across campus, as well as area institutions like the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Field Museum, and the University of Chicago. (Again, see Google doc for more details.)

Texas A&M University

  1. Expertise: behavioral ecology, human evolutionary ecology, human technological variability, parenting and life history, primate conservation, the earliest peopling of Eurasia and the Americas, quantitative methods, phylogeny and systematics, and the craniofacial morphology of Australopithecus and early Homo.
  2. Funding: All incoming students will receive a graduate assistantship. There are multiple sources of additional funding available on campus as well. (See Google doc)
  3. Research opportunities: Here are some (of many) examples: Michael Alvard’s research among cooperative marine foragers in Dominica, Jeff Winking’s research on parenting among horticulturalists Nicaragua with J. Koster, and Allison Hopkins’ research on the medical practices of the Yucatec Maya.
  4. MA, PhD offered: PhD only
  5. Student’s favorite aspects of department: Our friendly and supportive atmosphere and lots of opportunities to do research and finish with PhD.

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

Katie Starkweather is a postdoctoral scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and co-editor for EAS’s AN column.

Cite as: Starkweather, Katie. 2017. “Evolutionary Anthropology Graduate Programs III.” Anthropology News website, November 13, 2017. doi: 10.1111/AN.10.655

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