Dec 03, 2020  
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog 
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Undergraduate Program
Graduate Program

Chair: Stephen Koester
Program Assistant:
Connie Turner
Administration Building, 270
Undergraduate Advisor:
Christopher Beekman
Graduate Director:
John Brett
Web site:


Stephen Koester, PhD, University of Colorado
Associate Professors:
Christopher Beekman, PhD, Vanderbilt University
John Brett, PhD, University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley
Tammy Stone, PhD, Arizona State University
David Tracer, PhD, University of Michigan
Assistant Professors:
Sarah Horton,  PhD, University of New Mexico
Charles Musiba, PhD, University of Chicago
Marty Otanez, PhD, University of California-Irvine
Julien Riel-Salvatore, PhD, Arizona State University
Tiffany Terneny, PhD, University of Texas-Austin
Adjunct Faculty:
David Ruppert, PhD, University of Arizona
Jean Scandlyn, PhD, Columbia University
Sue Woods, PhD, University of Colorado



Anthropology is the study of human origins and evolution, the present conditions of human life and the prospects for the future. It considers human beings as biological and social entities and seeks to explain both diversities and commonalities of peoples and cultures. For undergraduates, anthropology provides a rich overview of human life. It also introduces them to a variety of skills and practical research methods anthropologists apply in laboratory and field studies of the ecological constraints on human existence, the cultural bases of individual and organizational behavior and the problems and circumstances relating to the maintenance of today’s healthy, productive human action in general.

Anthropological training provides entry to a variety of careers in archaeology, museology, education, community service, public administration, public health, international affairs and business. The specific skills it provides are useful to students of environmental design, city planning, community development, the medical and nursing professions and allied health sciences, law, public affairs and secondary education.



Departmental Honors Requirements

Students wishing to graduate with departmental honors in anthropology must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 with a 3.7 minimum GPA in anthropology for cum laude (3.8 for magna cum laude and 3.9 for summa cum laude), as well as prepare an honors thesis of high quality. They must also take ANTH 4810, Integrating Anthropology. Interested students should inquire in the department no later than two semesters before graduation.




 ►  Graduate School  rules apply to this program

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 and biological anthropology and archaeology cut across lines of the humanities and social and natural sciences. Because of this integrative perspective on the human condition—and the training provided in objectively assessing cultural patterning and social interaction—anthropology graduates have a versatile base for career development. In particular, the training you’ll receive in the department provides entry to careers in archaeology, education, community service, development, international affairs and business, public administration and public health. The specific skills gained are also useful to students of city planning, community development, environmental design, law, the health professions (including medicine and nursing), public affairs and secondary education.

Specialties and Tracks

UC Denver’s Department of Anthropology provides an outstanding graduate education in anthropology, giving students a broad yet thorough grounding in the three major subfields of anthropology, as well as specialized instruction in one or more research orientations in which department faculty have substantial expertise. The graduate faculty in anthropology are particularly known for their research and publications in the areas of applied medical anthropology, biological anthropology, ethnicity, evaluation methods, food and nutrition, functional morphology, human ecology, political ecology and globalization, primate evolution, primate behavior, prehistoric political economy, sociopolitical evolution, Southwestern and Mexican archaeology and urban and community anthropology. Students also have opportunities to study abroad, to participate in an archaeological field school and to gain international research experience.

Topical Concentrations

  • medical anthropology
  • archaeological studies
  • biological anthropology
  • sustainable development and political ecology 


Application Process

Application is open to holders of a BA, BS or higher degree in any field, and we welcome applications from individuals pursuing particular interests and careers, especially those related to one of the areas of concentration noted above. The departmental deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 15 for admission in the following fall.

Acceptance to the program is competitive and based on:

  • an undergraduate record of good quality (3.0 GPA or higher for all undergraduate studies)
  • prior training in anthropology
  • GRE scores (verbal, analytic and quantitative)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a statement of the applicant’s purpose in pursuing the degree
  • two copies of transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions attended

If you have no prior anthropology training, we encourage you to gain the necessary background as a nondegree student before applying to the graduate program. Prior training required in anthropology corresponds to that required for the minor, consisting of approximately 18 semester hours and including introductory courses in biological/physical anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology. Students with exceptional qualifications may be admitted without prior anthropology training but will be required to make up deficiencies without graduate credit during the course of their graduate study.

Accelerated BA/MA option application:
Students may apply for the Plan III option when the following minimum criteria are met. Please note that admission is not automatic but is competitive, based on a review of the application, statement of purpose, transcripts and letters of recommendation. Minimum criteria are:

  • 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work at UC Denver (i.e., junior-level standing)
  • 24 semester hours of anthropology course work, and be enrolled in and intend to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours from UC Denver faculty in anthropology by the end of the semester in which application is made
  • an undergraduate record of good quality (overall minimum GPA of 3.25; minimum GPA of 3.5 in anthropology)

To apply, students must complete an application available in the Department of Anthropology; prepare statement of purpose or essay describing academic interests, objectives and career goals; and submit letters of recommendation from at least two UC Denver anthropology faculty.

Financial Aid

The department offers limited tuition assistance, teaching assistantships and research assistantships for graduate students on a semester-by-semester basis. Appointment is competitive and is typically based on a student’s academic credentials, GRE scores and preparation in anthropology. Contact the department for details. For information on grants, federal work-study programs, scholarships and loans, contact the UC Denver financial aid office.  


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