Graduate Anthropology Program


Anthropology has been taught at the University of Oklahoma since 1905 and became its own department in 1927. Celebrated faculty like Morris Opler and Robert Bell established the Department as a leader in the scholarly study of Native North America. In addition to conducting research in the southwest, southeast, and plains of North America, we have maintained a secondary emphasis on Latin America.

Andrew Ozga in the labWe offer an M.A. in anthropology, an M.A. in applied linguistic anthropology, an M.A. in anthropology with a concentration in socio-cultural anthropology, and a Ph.D. in anthropology. Students receive rigorous training in the four subdisciplines of anthropology: sociocultural, archaeological, biological, and linguistic. 

Right: Graduate student Andrew Ozga in the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research

With over twenty full-time professors and about seventy graduate students, degree candidates receive personalized attention from faculty mentors. As part of a medium-sized department, our students benefit from the resources of a large research university while enjoying a nurturing intellectual environment. Our graduates have been successful in securing tenure-track academic jobs as well as positions in cultural resource management, museums, and government archaeology. 

To apply to the graduate program, please see this pageIndividual faculty are happy to provide more information on their research and on the anthropology graduate program as it relates to your subdiscipline of interest. For information on tuition and fees, you may use the Office of the Bursar tuition estimator. 

Grad student Shelbie Bartlett Not all faculty members can chair graduate student committees. Graduate students (current and applying) should check faculty members' Graduate Faculty Appointment Status and adhere to Graduate College and department guidelines when assembling their committees.

Current graduate students who wish to check the appointment status of their committee members within the Graduate College (M1, M2, M3, SM; appointment expiration date) should check this page, as well as the explanation of what these designations mean

Image: Graduate student Shelbie Bartlett with an excavated ceramic vessel, Mexico.


The Department of Anthropology maintains close connections with several academic units across campus. The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, and the Center for Applied Social Research provide research and training opportunities for our students. Also, students can establish linguistic and ethnographic projects with the more than 35 Native American tribal entities across the state. The Department offers laboratory facilities for research in genetic and physical anthropology and archaeology as well as summer field schools in archaeology.

Financial support usually consists of a half-time graduate assistantship, usually as a grader for an undergraduate class or research assistant for a faculty member.  Ph.D. students may teach their own classes. We fund master’s students for a maximum of two years and doctoral students for a maximum of four years beyond the Master’s degree. Our students have also been successful in obtaining external funding.

Recent grad student news and congratulations

Information on applying for departmental funds and awards

Janessa Doucette and Suzette Felton Chang with the award letter

Graduate students Janessa Doucette and Suzette Felton Chang (pictured at left) were just awarded a prestigious Creativity in Motion Prize. The $10,000 will be used to fund their project Boley STEAM Camp. STEAM is described as a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math Camp project. It is a five day camp for children in Boley, Oklahoma to be held during the summer of 2015. The camp will accommodate up to 50 students (ages 4-17) in Boley, providing care and instruction, parent resources, and daily meals.

Suzette Felton Chang is also a 2014 recipient of the Central States Anthropological Society's Beth Wilder Dillingham Award.

Congratulations to Kristen (KC) Carlson and Scott Ketchum, whose hard work and dedication are being recognized through a Provost’s Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Graduate Assistant Teaching. The recipients represent the top 10 percent of all graduate assistants across campus by student evaluations for courses taught during the Fall 2014 semester. The students were recognized at a special reception honoring their outstanding teaching performance on February 12.

Graduate student Juliet Morgan

2014 Opler fund award recipients

Sean Dolan (to support travel to present research at the Society for American Archaeology meetings)

KC Carlson (to support travel to present research at the Society for American Archaeology meetings)

Juliet Morgan (Image at left; to support travel to present research at the Linguistic Society of America meetings)

Derrell Cox (to support travel to present research at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings)

2014 Bell fund award recipients

Jenna Domeischel (to support attending a National Park Service Archaeology training program)

Suzette Felton (to support MA thesis research)

Recent theses and dissertations

Powers Ranch, a Mimbres Site in East Central Arizona: A Question of Identity. Michelle Wilson, MA thesis.

Social Interaction among Late Archaic and Incipient Agricultural Groups in the North American Southwest. Nicholas H. Beale, PhD dissertation.

"We Are Still Hispanic": Oklahoma Latinas and the Meaning of (Un)Expected College Success. Taylor Smith, MA thesis.

Communicability, Wellness, and Rural Health Economics: A Discourse Analysis of a Federally Qualified Health Center in Eastern Oklahoma. Ryan Blanton, PhD dissertation.

Classificatory Verbs in Plains Apache. Juliet Morgan, MA thesis.

"Rapid City Is The Mississippi Of The North": Oglala Men On Racial Tensions In Rapid City, South Dakota And The Pine Ridge Reservation. Kelly LaFramboise, MA thesis.

Metagenomics And Social Inclusion In Peru. Alexandra Obregon-Tito, PhD dissertation.

Ancient Burial Rituals And Imagery: The Relationship Of "Kill Holes" To Images On Mimbres Ceramic Bowls And The Ideology Behind Them. Shelbie Bartlett, MA thesis. 

Oxidized Mimbres Bowls: An Example Of Technological Style. Alison Livesay, MA thesis.

Materiality And Meaning At An Annual Harvest Gathering. Deborah Colbert, PhD dissertation.

Perceptions Of Women's Health Care In Oklahoma: An Ethnography Of Lived Experiences. Elisha Oliver, MA thesis.

A Comparative Study Of Standards Coding And A Differential Diagnosis Used In Paleopathological Data Collection. Richard Russell, MA thesis.

La Crosse Locality Oneota Architecture: A Functional Approach. Miranda Alexander, MA thesis.

Power's Ranch, A Mimbres Site In East Central Arizona: A Question Of Identity. Michelle Wilson, MA thesis.

An Experimental Archaeological Approach To Characterizing DNA Degradation In Bone. Leslie Neal, MA thesis.

Bison Butchering At The Badger Hole Site, Harper County Oklahoma. Pollyanna Jelley, MA thesis.

The Use Of Speech Genres In Native American Language Pedagogy. Megan Puckett, MA thesis.

Post-Removal Choctaw Chiefs And Commoners: Value, Memory, And Social Inequality Expressed Between The Ceramic Assemblages Of 34MC544 And 34MC399. Shawn Lambert, MA thesis.