Biological Anthropology Graduate Programs

A graduate program in biological anthropology allows students to attend courses that introduce advanced anthropological theory, but students may also take courses in areas as diverse as archaeology to biology.

Graduate programs in biological anthropology allow students to either attain a degree specifically in biological anthropology or to concentrate in biological anthropology as a part of the broader anthropology degree. Students can look forward to courses in areas ranging from primate studies to archaeological theory.

Program Coursework

Completion of a graduate program in this field can take between 2 to 6 years, depending on the type of degree that you are seeking. The following is an example of the type of coursework you can expect to complete during that time.

Anthropological Theory

Coursework in biological anthropology requires becoming familiar with the fundamental theories that underlie the field. These theories are the framework by which anthropologists conduct their work and analyze evidence, such as that of human remains. Students attending theory oriented courses may also learn more about the modern debates surrounding anthropology, including what purpose it serves and where it is moving toward the future.

Primate Studies

The study of primates is important to the field of anthropology, and there are multiple courses that focus on this area of study. Students can look forward to studying about the fossil record and how primates adapted to their environment. They might also study about how primates currently operate in their environment, including how they organize in groups.

Archaeological Studies

The fields of archaeology and anthropology often operate closely together. Students can typically take a range of archaeological coursework as part of their anthropology program, including courses in archaeological theory and studies of architecture from throughout the world. These coursers help students come to a better understanding of how human culture has unfolded over the centuries.


Part of the study of humanity includes the study of how it has evolved throughout the millennia. Students taking evolutionary courses will come to a better understanding of how humans originated. They can also look forward to coming to a better understanding of how humans are related to other hominids.

Evolutionary Medicine/ Human Biology

Evolutionary explores how disease and health are related to the evolutionary process. This course includes a study of how human predecessors shaped modern biology. Students also learn about modern diseases and health differences between groups.

Program Requirements

Students who want to enter a graduate program in biological anthropology can look forward to having to meet the following requirements. Students will need to submit their transcripts and demonstrate that they maintained between a 3.0 and 4.0 during their bachelor's program. Some courses may require a higher minimum GPA. Schools also typically ask for GRE scores, though schools rarely publish any GRE minimum requirements. It's also common for students to submit up to three letters of recommendation as well as write a personal statement justifying why they believe they should be admitted to the program.

The courses you can expect to take cover a wide variety of topics focused in areas such as evolution and biology. However, since specific universities may offer unique courses, you will want to consult with the school you are interested to find out more about their course offerings.

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