Graduate Anthropology Program


Health and Human Biology Courses

The University of Oklahoma offers a broad range of graduate-level biological and medical anthropology courses including special topics courses and seminars. Ph.D. candidates in the Health and Human Biology track take core courses in biological anthropology, archæology, linguistics, and sociocultural anthropology, if they have not already done so in their Master's program, as well as two required courses (ANTH 5753 and ANTH 6643) that focus on theory and method in biological and medical anthropology. Please see the OU course catalog for a complete list of anthropology courses. Please click here to see the list of courses offered during the current and upcoming semester. 

The required Anthropology core courses are:

  • ANTH 5223 Theories of Culture OR the two course sequence ANTH 5223 Foundations of Social Thought (core) [3 credits] + ANTH 5123 Contemporary Culture Theory (core) [3 credits]. Students should discuss which to take with their advisors. Anth 5223 is a prerequisite for ANTH 5123.
  • ANTH 5363 Linguistic Anthropology
  • ANTH 6713 Archaeological Theory
  • ANTH 6633 Theory and Method in Biological Anthropology

The additional required courses for Anthropology Ph.D. students in the Health and Human Biology track are:

  • ANTH 6843 Theoretical Foundations of Biological & Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 6643 Methods in Living Populations Research

Graduate level Biological and Medical Anthropology courses

The Anthropology of Human Reproduction (ANTH 4593). This course examines the major features of human fertility and reproduction, exploring the interactions between physiology, ecology, and behavior. The course applies an anthropological perspective to such issue as cross-cultural patterns of fertility, the timing and probability of conception, age at first and last reproduction, and male reproductive physiology. Prerequisite: 2503 or junior standing. (Irreg.)

Statistical Concepts in Anthropology (ANTH 4713). An introduction to anthropological statistics. Emphasis will be placed on anthropological research design and analysis of anthropological data. Prerequisite: 1113 or junior standing. (Irreg.)

Advanced Biological Anthropology
(ANTH G4933). Special topics in biological anthropology such as advanced human osteology, human variation, and theory of evolutionary change. Prerequisite: ANTH 2503 or permission of instructor. May be repeated with change of content; maximum credit nine hours. (Irreg.)

Human Osteology and Paleopathology (ANTH G4943). Allows the student to develop a basic familiarity with human skeletal remains, standard anatomical terminology, and methods and techniques of data collection. In turn, these osteological skills will provide a means to explore questions of human adaptability, variation, evolution, patterns of health and disease in prehistory, and the applicability of these findings to contemporary problems. Prerequisite: ANTH 2503.

Human Adaptability
(ANTH 5193). The study of biological adaptations of human populations to environmental conditions. Human adaptability as a subfield of physical/biological anthropology will be examined from historical, theoretical, and methodological perspectives. No student may earn credit for both 4193 and 5193. Prerequisite: ANTH 2503, graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Anthropology of Aging (ANTH 4323/5323) This course examines the process and experience of aging as it relates to culture. We will examine what it means to get older in a variety of cultural contexts, including the United States. Special attention will be devoted to cultural ideas about aging, the roles of older people, illness, care giving, dying, and what it means to age well in a variety of cultures. No student may earn credit for both 4323 and 5323. Prerequisite: ANTH 5223, graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Anthropological Demography (ANTH 5343). This course will consider demography, the study of human populations, from an anthropological perspective. The course will focus on critical discussion of the readings, which will cover theory, methods, and empirical case studies, and will emphasize small-scale societies, natural fertility populations, and developing countries. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Anthropology and the Health of Indigenous People (ANTH 5393). Introduces graduate students to research in medical, biological, linguistic, and sociocultural anthropology and archaeology that relates to the health and well-being of global indigenous populations, with an emphasis on the native peoples of the Americas. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (F)

Human Growth (ANTH 5403). Examines human growth from a biocultural perspective. Human growth is shaped by genes and factors including physical environment, nutrition, disease, and activity. Topics include basic principles of growth and development; assessment methods; growth in primates and early hominids; ecological, genetic, and other factors influencing population variation in growth and the developmental basis of disease. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Introduction to Population Genetics (ANTH 5423). Population genetics is a classic course in biological anthropology sciences, and studies the fundamental forces that cause genetic change within and between populations. No student may earn credit for both ANTH 4423 and ANTH 5423. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Suffering and Meaning (ANTH 5493). Focuses on individual and collective human suffering, and examines causes of suffering and the existential crises that often ensue. Prerequisite: 5223 and graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Human Evolutionary History (ANTH 5553). Biological anthropology course focusing on the subfield of paleoanthropology, concerned with the examination of the origins of modern Homo sapiens. Focus on evolutionary theory and processes of evolutionary change; theory and method of paleoanthropological research; primate archaeological/fossil record, emphasizing the evolution of hominoids and hominids; analysis and interpretation of fossil records; and major trends, issues, and debates in paleoanthropology. No student may earn credit for both ANTH 4553 and ANTH 5553. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Medicine and Society (ANTH 5563). Current theoretical concerns in medical anthropology examined through investigations of six topical areas: representations of sickness, medicine and social control, medical pluralism and ethnomedicine, the politics of reproduction, transcultural psychiatry, and the political economy of health care. Emphasis is on the social construction of the experience of sickness and the health ramifications of sociopolitical processes. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Human Variation
(ANTH 5603). Provides an understanding of human biological variation from an evolutionary, historical, and anthropological perspective. An examination of the history of classification of human variation, including concepts of race; the genetic basis of variation, including variation in discrete and complex traits; population-based variation; and human behavioral genetics. No student may earn credit for both ANTH 4603 and ANTH 5603. Prerequisite: ANTH 2503, graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Psychiatric Anthropology (ANTH 4673/5673). Explores historical and contemporary thinking about culture and mental illness, and examines classic formulations of the relationship between anthropology and psychiatry. Prerequisite: ANTH 5223 and graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Gender and Health (ANTH 5723). Provides an overview of the complex scientific and cultural interface between sex, gender, and health. Topics covered include gender identity and biological sex, various life cycle issues such as birth, sexual maturity, reproduction, and post-reproductive years. No student may earn credit for both ANTH 4723 and ANTH 5723. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Sp)

Topics in Medical Anthropology (ANTH 5853). May be repeated with change of content; maximum credit 12 hours. Seminar with research paper for graduate major with special interest in medical anthropology. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Ethnicity and Health Disparities
(ANTH 5903). Topics will vary. May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. Laboratory (F, Sp)

Topics in Biological Anthropology (ANTH 5913). An opportunity for a seminar of interest in biological anthropology. Laboratory (F, Sp). Prerequisite: graduate standing. May be repeated with change of topic; maximum credit 12 hours.

Advanced Osteology and Paleopathology
(ANTH 5983). For the advanced skeletal biology graduate student preparing for laboratory and/or fieldwork research. Training in techniques, analysis and reporting skeletal research. Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Research in Medical Anthropology
(ANTH 6300). May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. Permits graduate student to undertake independent fieldwork or research in medical anthropology. Such research is normally limited to original or unpublished work. Prerequisite; graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Research in Biological Anthropology (ANTH 6440). May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. Permits students to undertake independent fieldwork or laboratory research in biological anthropology. Such research is normally limited to original or unpublished work. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Irreg.)

Methods in Living Populations Research (ANTH 6643). This course is a survey of the methods used by biological and medical anthropologists to investigate the health and biology of living populations. The course focuses on the ethics of research involving human subjects, strategies for establishing collaborative relationships with communities, and strategies and techniques for collecting, managing, and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data.

Theoretical Foundations of Biological & Medical Anthropology (ANTH 6843). This course introduces the theoretical foundations of biological and medical anthropology. These include: evolutionary theory and adaptation, evolutionary medicine, theory in medical anthropology, and a series of intensive case studies.