Master of Arts in Anthropology

The unique intellectual challenge of anthropology is to integrate knowledge from many disciplines for a global understanding of cultural and biological diversity in the past and the present. Individual courses in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology cut across lines of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Because of this integrative perspective on the human condition, and the training provided in objectively assessing cultural patterning and social interaction, an advanced degree in anthropology provides a versatile base for career development.

Students in our terminal Master’s program have the benefit of receiving the faculty’s full attention. Our program is unique in several respects. First, our extracurricular activities help build community among graduate students, including our active Anthropology Club. Second, Our program also offers students a range of opportunities for professional development that are unusual in programs that focus on MA students. For students wishing to find employment after their MA, the department offers a mentorship program that pairs them with alumni who have forged careers in students' fields of interest. . For students considering the possibility of doctoral-level work in anthropology, the department has an excellent record in placing students in top-tier graduate programs. Students with residency in 14 states are eligible for in-state tuition, and funding opportunities in the form of Teaching Assistantships and graduate fellowships are available to students on a competitive basis.

The University of Colorado Denver Department of Anthropology provides outstanding graduate education in anthropology, giving students a broad yet thorough grounding in the four subfields of anthropology as well as specialized instruction in one or more of a number of research orientations and/or geographic area concentrations. These orientations encompass the areas of research and application in which department faculty have substantial expertise.

The graduate faculty in anthropology are particularly known for their research, creative work, and publications in:


  • Prehistoric and Modern migration
  • Prehistoric political economy
  • Sociopolitical evolution
  • Southwestern and Mexican Archaeology
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Political systems and ideology

Biological Anthropology

  • Human ecology
  • Human and non-human primate evolution
  • Functional morphology
  • Locomotor Biomechanics
  • Decision-making theory
  • Childbirth and reproduction
  • Primate social behavior

Medical Anthropology

  • Applied Medical anthropology
  • Immigration and labor
  • Childbirth and reproduction
  • Disability studies
  • Drug use
  • Digital storytelling
  • Health care access
  • Political ecology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • The Anthropology of development

Learning Objectives