The Anthropology program emphasizes archaeology. Additionally, the department offers a Museum Studies Certificate that many students complete in combination with their M.A. program in archaeology.
The MA program offers students diverse research opportunities in the Great Basin and American Southwest regions of North America, Mesoamerica, and the Near East. Annual archaeology field schools focus on providing training in both survey and excavation, with an emphasis on detailed documentation, resolving field problems through hands-on mentored learning, data-analysis, and reporting findings. The Museum Studies Certificate allows students hands-on professional training in all aspects of museum collections management, exhibition development, and public outreach. Museum internship opportunities are often available, both on and off campus, for students in the Museum Certificate program.
Rather than emphasizing specialized or topical interests, the programs equip each graduate students with the skills necessary for a future in professional archaeology and/or museum studies. After completing the MA program, students are prepared for further academic work in an anthropology or archaeology PhD program, for a career in public archaeology or for employment in a museum.
Up to six students are admitted to the graduate program each year. Most students take three years to complete the requirements. The total number of graduate students in the program varies from about 12 to 15 participants.
Chair: Michael Searcy
Graduate Coordinator: Gregory Thompson
Resources & Opportunity
Museum of Peoples and Cultures. The Museum of Peoples and Cultures offers unique research opportunities for Anthropology students and faculty. Located north of campus on Canyon Road, the museum holdings include important archaeological and ethnographic collections from cultures of the Great Basin, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, the Near East, and other parts of the world. These collections provide material for exhibits, MA theses, museum certificate projects, and professional publications. Publications produced by the Museum of Peoples and Cultures include a Technical Series, Occasional Papers, and a Popular Series. The Occasional Papers and Popular Series publications are marketed by the University of Utah Press.
Office of Public Archaeology. The Office of Public Archaeology (OPA) is one of the most active archaeological contracting organizations in the intermountain area. Since its inception in 1980, OPA has carried out archaeological survey and excavation projects throughout Utah, OPA often provides archaeology MA students with experience in field work, laboratory analysis, and report writing.
The New World Archaeological Foundation. The New World Archaeological Foundation is a research institution focused on Formative Mesoamerican cultures, especially in Chiapas, Mexico. Established in 1952, the NWAF maintains a staff and research facilities in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. The NWAF publishes a monograph series (papers) to disseminate research findings. Graduate student opportunities through the foundation include laboratory research and limited field work opportunities in Mexico and Guatemala.
Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. Established in 1972 under an endowment from Charles Redd, a prominent Utah stockman and philanthropist, the center is charged with promoting the study of all aspects of the American West. The center publishes a monograph series, assists faculty and student research through grants and fellowships, and sponsors lectureships each year.
The Department of Anthropology offers tuition assistance to all incoming graduate students. Additional support comes through assistantships, grants, and employment offered by the department and the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, but these funds are limited. The goal is to provide some support for as many students as possible rather than generously support only a few. The Office of Public Archaeology (OPA) also regularly provides employment and valuable professional experience to students prepared to participate in contract archaeology projects.