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Anthropology | Graduate Studies

College Hall is home to the Department of Anthropology


Student Learning Goals – MA PhD

Graduate Student Handbook 2023-24

Graduate Student Handbook 2022-23

Graduate Student Handbook 2021-22

Graduate Student Handbook 2020-21

Graduate Student Handbook 2019-20



The Department of Anthropology at WSU offers the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology. Each program area offers specialized courses in methodological, theoretical, and topical areas.


For answers to any questions not covered in these pages please email, call or write to us:

Main Office Information:

College Hall 150
PO Box 644910
Pullman, WA 99164-4910
Phone: 509.335.3441
FAX: 509.335.3999


Graduate Program in Archaeology

The program in archaeology emphasizes research and training in the archaeology of the Americas including Alaska, the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to northern California, the Columbia Plateau, the Great Basin, the northwestern plains, the Pueblo societies of the Southwest, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Faculty research employs ceramic analysis, lithic analysis, paleoeconomic and paleoenvironmental approaches including geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, microbotanical and macrobotanical analysis, as well as well as stable isotope analysis, archaeometry via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and modeling and simulation. Students gain practical experience in methods through a group of laboratory training courses unique to WSU and are exposed to explanatory perspectives derived from indigenous ontology, agency and practice theory, and the political economy.

Please contact the Archaeology Graduate Coordinator or Student Representative for more information:

Archaeology Coordinator: Erin Thornton,
Student Representative: TBD


Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology

The graduate program in cultural anthropology at WSU emphasizes three constellations of subject matter within the broad range of the subdiscipline: (1) psychological and medical anthropology; (2) children, family, and gender; and (3) ecological anthropology. Within these specialties the cultural anthropology faculty has ongoing research and experience in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, North America, Oceania, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The cultural anthropology program offers an MA and a PhD.  Cultural anthropology emphasizes the importance of conducting original field-based research as part of their graduate training.

Please contact the Cultural Anthropology Graduate Coordinator or Student Representative for more information:

Cultural Coordinator: Dr. Anne Pisor,
Student Representative: TBD

Graduate Program in Evolutionary Anthropology

The program in evolutionary anthropology is built on a strong and unified theoretical foundation in human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural transmission. We engage in laboratory and field research that makes use of computer simulation, molecular, ethnographic, and ethological methods. We have a strong record of research funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. State Department and a variety of private foundations. Graduate students are regularly involved in research and teaching from their first semester at WSU. We maintain a strongly collegial environment with national and international collaborations that facilitate comparative research and a broad student experience. As a result, many of our graduate students obtain experience at several field sites and laboratories early in their careers. Current research projects include multiple field sites in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Asia and North America.

Please contact the Evolutionary Anthropology Graduate Coordinator or Student Representative for more information:

Evolutionary Coordinator: Dr. Rob Quinlan,
Student Representative:  TBD

Application Process

We recommend that prospective students review our research areas and consider who might supervise their research. Prospective students should review our faculty biographies and contact any faculty with whom they wish to work with before applying to our program.

The deadline for receipt of a complete application and all supporting materials is December 1st **Tip – The WSU graduate school receives thousands of applications a year. In order to ensure that your whole application reaches the Department of Anthropology by the deadline you should plan to have submitted it at least a week or two in advance**

Please review our admission requirements page and program pages for additional information. The application is completed on-line.

Supporting documents should be sent to:
WSU Graduate School
PO Box 641030
Pullman, WA 99164-1030