The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

General Description / Special Programs

The Department of Anthropology at The University of Iowa was founded in 1969 under the leadership of June Helm (1924 - 2004). Since then, the Department has grown substantially and enhanced both its national and international reputation. Our faculty members have served as presidents of the American Anthropological Association, the Society of Economic Anthropology, the Society for Cultural Anthropology, the Association of Feminist Anthropology, and Iowa Museum Association. They have also served as editors of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, American Ethnologist, American Anthropologist, and the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

The Department offers training in the discipline's four major subfields—cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology—as well as in topical areas such as medical anthropology, feminist anthropology, palaeoanthropology, European archaeology, and environmental anthropology. We maintain close ties with the Office of the State Archaeologist, the Museum of Natural History, International Programs, and the College of Public Health.

Our research reflects the wide range of topics, theoretical approaches, and methodologies characteristic of anthropology at large. And yet, we all share a goal of documenting and understanding the various ways of being human on a planet now inhabited by seven billion people who are interconnected through ancient migration paths, settler colonialism, the digital revolution, and many other kinds of encounters. Our teaching, research and public engagement are animated by anthropology’s appreciation for and study of all aspects of human difference.

As researchers, teachers, and members of our varied communities, we have committed ourselves to ongoing discussion, reflection and action to engage issues of diversity, inclusion, economic and social justice, and decolonization in our intellectual and institutional lives. We recognize that this difficult work is ongoing and accept responsibility to engage anti-racist and decolonial goals as they relate to curriculum, pedagogy, hiring decisions, our institution’s student body, and civic engagement.

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Degrees Offered Anthropology PhD, MA, BA, BS
Highest Degree Offered PhD
Certificate Field Areas
Museum Studies
BA/BS Field Areas
Biological Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology
BA/BS Requirements
The BA in Anthropology requires 33 semester hours in the major; at least 15 semester hours in the major must be earned at The University of Iowa. The BS in Anthropology requires 39 semester hours in the major plus 15 semester hours in an associated minor; at least 15 semester hours in the major must be earned at The University of Iowa. Graduation with honors in the major is open to students with a grade-point average of at least 3.50 in Anthropology. In addition to the regular major requirements, honors students complete an honors research seminar, a graduate-level course and an honors research project. The department offers four optional undergraduate tracks that can be earned along with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree: gender and culture, cultural resource and heritage management, environmental anthropology, and medical anthropology.
MA/MS Field Areas
Biological Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology
MA/ MS Requirements The MA in Anthropology requires 30-36 semester hours of graduate credit depending on the student's previous anthropological training; summer research is encouraged. For more information, please see the department's website.
MA/MS Specializations Students may choose to earn a terminal M.A. with a focus on cultural resource management archaeology (CRM), which prepares them for a professional career in the CRM field.
PhD Field Areas
Biological Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology
Phd Requirements The PhD in Anthropology requires 72 semester hours of course work beyond the BA degree; one foreign language, comprehensive examination, fieldwork or equivalent, dissertation, oral defense. For more information, please see the department's website.
Phd Specializations PhD students develop professional specialization for independent research and teaching. The department also offers concentrations in Paleoanthropology and Feminist Anthropology, and has key strengths in both Medical Anthropology and Asian Studies.
Internship / Grants / Funding
Internships Available 0
Internship Required 0
Support Opportunities

Multi-year teaching and research assistantships with full tuition scholarships are typically available to qualified graduate students for 5 years, with supplemental multi-year University fellowships available to highly qualified applicants. Graduate College, International Programs, Graduate Student Senate, and departmental funds are available for summer research. T. Anne Cleary Fellowships are available for international dissertation research. Ballard/Seashore dissertation write-up support also available.

Program Details
Research Facilities

Biological Anthropology, European Archaeology, multi-media Linguistic Anthropology, North American Archaeology, Zooarchaeology and Quantitative Anthropology Laboratories. The Iowa State Archaeological Repository is located on-campus at the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist. 

Library Resources

The AnthrObserver: Department of Anthropology Newsletter

Certs Offered 1
Links with: the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist: Colleges of Dentistry, Nursing and Public Health; Programs in African Studies, American Indian and Native Studies, Asian and Pacific Studies, Global Health Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Museum Studies, South Asian Studies; Departments of Biology, Geoscience, Linguistics, Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies; Museums of Art and Natural History; Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.
Online Courses
Online Courses: 0
Application Deadlines
All graduate application materials are due on January 1. For more information, please see the department's website.
Club / Honor Society
Anthropology Club: 1
Anthropology Club Info: The Anthropology Club is an undergraduate student organization at the University of Iowa focused on embracing the full scope of anthropological study.
Anthropology Club Advisor: Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Theodore Powers)
Lambda Alpha Chapter: 0