A distinctive characteristic of Penn is its Graduate Group organization, offering students flexibility in pursuing interdisciplinary training and research based in anthropology. All full-time faculty members of the Department of Anthropology are members of the Graduate Group. However, the Graduate Group also includes selected faculty from other departments and schools at Penn (including biology, education, history, and history and sociology of science, linguistics, music, psychology, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology). All Graduate Group members are eligible to supervise advanced training and research in anthropology at Penn. In addition, graduate students at Penn interested in working with a faculty member from anywhere in the University can propose that individual for inclusion in the Anthropol
Penn is a need-blind institution for students that are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Penn’s financial aid packages are awarded on the basis of financial need, not merit. Penn is committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of their financial background, are able to attend Penn. Under guidelines of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate Group in Anthropology only admits students to the PhD program who are fully funded. The Graduate School makes a limited number (currently a maximum of twelve) Benjamin Fellowships available to the Graduate Group annually, so, potential applicants are encouraged to apply to outside sources such as the National Science Foundation for funding. Benjamin Franklin Fellowships provide five years of support, including tuition, stipend and health insurance. All students in the PhD Program teach in their second and third years as part of their degree requirements. Students who may not be eligible for Benjamin Franklin Fellowships may still be admitted to the Graduate Program, but only at the MA level, or with outside funding. PhD students who have completed course work and passed the Oral Examination are eligible for one-year Dissertation Fellowships provided on a competitive basis by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dissertation Fellowships can on rare occasions be renewed for a second year, but only if the student has completed a substantial portion of the dissertation. The Graduate Group has a limited amount of Field Funds that provide support for students in the primary stages of their dissertation research. Field Funds are awarded on a competitive basis with the highest priority given to students who are testing the feasibility of their research. Additional opportunities for field work exist through faculty research grants and the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
The Department of Anthropology includes laboratories for Archaeology, Molecular Anthropology, Biocultural Anthropology Methods, Semiotics and Paleoecology. The Museum Library, a branch of the Penn Libraries, offers extensive collections and research training. Students have access to the University of Pennsylvania Museum through the Academic Engagement Department. The Center for Experimental Ethnography supports ethical and engaged multi-modal ethnographic research. The Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials offers training and laboratories for student training and research aspects of the intersection between archaeology and the hard sciences. The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities fosters interdisciplinary environmental collaboration at the University and beyond by connecting science, art, and public engagement.