General Description / Special Programs

The William & Mary Anthropology Department promotes engaged anthropology that addresses the concerns and interests of diverse communities. We are a department of cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and biological anthropologists whose research methods include historical archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, sociolinguistics, oral history, ethnoecology, and museology. Our research interests include comparative colonialism, cultural landscapes, conflict resolution, and human rights. Faculty and students in the department study Africa and the African diaspora, Native North America, the Atlantic World, Polynesia, Mexico, South America, and the Middle East.

The Institute for Historical Biology offers training in biological anthropology and skeletal anthropology. The American Indian Resource Center facilitates research and collaborative activities with Virginia Indians.

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Degrees Offered BA major, MA, and PhD
Highest Degree Offered PhD
BA/BS Field Areas
BA/BS Requirements
33 semester credit hours, including Intro to Cultural Anthropology; History of Anthropological Theories; and one course in archaeology, biological anthropology and socio-cultural anthropology; a senior seminar on a variety of revolving topics.
MA/MS Field Areas
MA/ MS Requirements A terminal MA degree in Historical Archaeology requires 30 semester credits and a thesis.
MA/MS Specializations Historical Archaeology
PhD Field Areas
Cultural Anthropology
Phd Requirements The PhD program in Anthropology is designed for students who wish to specialize in Historical Archaeology or Historical Anthropology. Applicants must complete the standard Graduate School application form for the College of William and Mary; a writing sample (e.g. a term paper or publication) is required. A separate application is not necessary for financial aid. Completed applications must be received by December 15 for admission the following August. Prospective students will be evaluated for admission based on a number of factors, including GPA's, GRE aptitude scores, letters of recommendation and previous experience. Students accepted into the program will receive full tuition, fees and a stipend. They will normally spend four years of full-time graduate study and one year of dissertation preparation at William and Mary. Students are encouraged to take graduate courses in History, American Studies, and Geospatial Analysis if these subjects fit their research themes.
Phd Specializations Historical Archaeology and Historical Anthropology
Internship / Grants / Funding
Internships Available 0
Internship Required 0
Support Opportunities

Graduate fellowships and research assistantships are provided by the University. PhD students are fully funded for five years. Two of these five years they will serve as TAs and three of these five years they will serve as GAs. In their first year. PhD students typically serve as a GA with their chair/advisor to complete lab-based, book-based, or field based research. In their second year, PhD students serve as a GA in an externship to gain experience outside their main region of study. Externships have been developed through collaboration with the Center for Geospatial Analysis, Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, and other local partnerships. In their third and fourth years, PhD students will serve as TAs in Anthropology courses to gain teaching experience. In their fifth year, students serve as a GA, focusing on their own research, and will also have the opportunity to teach in Anthropology as the Instructor of Record. PhD students can also apply for a sixth year of funding in a competitive campus-wide competition. The department has some funding for MA students incoluding internships with Colonial Williamsburg and WMCAR (the CRM branch of the university) that provide small stipends and in-state tuition. 

Program Details
Research Facilities

The Anthropology Department houses two research centers, American Indian Resource Center, which brings regional Native peoples together with scholars and students for a variety of research and arts programs; and the Institute for Human Biology, which conducts research in human comparative osteology. Several faculty have active laboratory programs, including Martin Gallivan who runs the Chesapeake Archaeology Laboratory and Jennifer Kahn who runs the Oceanic Archaeology Laboratory. Work areas include four fully equipped laboratories with reference collections, materials for sorting midden and completing basic laboratory and artifact analysis, soil sieves, sonic cleaner, a soils lab with an international soil permit, a work and storage space devoted to graduate students.

Collections The department houses ethnographic collections from Liberia, North America and elsewhere; extensive archaeological collections from prehistoric and historic sites in Virginia, the Caribbean, and Eastern Polynesia, and a collection of primate and human skeletons and casts. The George W. Harley Collection includes African materials from Gana and Liberia collected between 1926 and 1960. Professor Nathan Altshuler purchased the present collection for the College in 1965. The Henderson Beadwork Collection includes artistic creations of northern Plains and Great Lakes beadworkers from the 19thand early 20th centuries.
Library Resources The SWEM library provides access to research librarians, academic books and films, and Special Collections. Anthropology has a devoted research librarian who aids undergraduate and graduate students with research.
Certs Offered 0
A cooperative relationship with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation provides access to the Foundation's library, to one of the largest databases in historical archaeology in the US, and to professional expertise and labs. The Department also has ties to other local museums; our students regularly have interships at Historic Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg. Students with interests in materials science can conduct research at the Jefferson Laboratory. Students also have access to the College-wide GIS facility located on campus (the CGA).
Online Courses
Online Courses: 0
Application Deadlines
Deadlines vary; contact before March 1st is advised.
Club / Honor Society
Anthropology Club: 1
Anthropology Club Info: The dept houses the Gamma Chapter of Lambda Alpha and sponsors The Anthropology Club.
Lambda Alpha Chapter: 1