Program strengths in archaeology include the origins of agriculture and pastoralism, ethnoarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, and the prehistory of North America, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. The overall focus of the sociocultural subfield is culture and political economy, which encompasses the study of nation-building and local identities, political ecology, political economy of development, postcolonialism, and the political economy of health. Sociocultural faculty have active research projects in Africa, Indonesia, India, Central Asia, Latin America, North America, the Middle East, Europe, and Tibet. The biological anthropologists have a program emphasis in human evolution, primate behavior, ecology and evolution, quantitative studies of morphology and genetics, with ongoing paleontological, behavioral, and ecological field research in Africa, Madagascar, Europe, and South America. The department is actively expanding its program for training and research in medical anthropology, and applications from qualified students are encouraged. Strong links with academic and clinical programs at the medical school permit the development of integrated medical anthropology research projects, which draw upon the resources and strengths of the University and the community.
Graduate students who are accepted into the PhD program receive support from a combination of fellowships and teaching assistantships for up to six (6) years, assuming continued high academic standing. The department does not accept students for a terminal MA.
Modern research facilities in the department include well-equipped teaching and research labs in archaeology, zooarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, paleoanthropology, geoarchaeology, GIS methods, African archaeology/ethnoarchaeology, primate behavior, primate genetics/genomics, and human physiology, reproductive ecology and behavioral endocrinology.