Apr 14, 2024  
2010-2011 Denver Campus Catalog 
2010-2011 Denver Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Undergraduate Program
Graduate Program

Chair: Stephen Koester
Program Assistant:
Connie Turner
Administration Building, 270
Undergraduate Advisor:
David Tracer
Graduate Director:
Christopher Beekman
Web site: clas.ucdenver.edu/anthropology/


Stephen Koester, PhD, University of Colorado
Tammy Stone, PhD, Arizona State University
Associate Professors:
Christopher Beekman, PhD, Vanderbilt University
John Brett, PhD, University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley
David Tracer, PhD, University of Michigan
Assistant Professors:
Sarah Horton, PhD, University of New Mexico
Charles Musiba, PhD, University of Chicago
Marty Otañez, PhD, University of California-Irvine
Julien Riel-Salvatore, PhD, Arizona State University
Tiffany Terneny, PhD, University of Texas-Austin
Adjunct Faculty:
David Ruppert, PhD, University of Arizona
Jean Scandlyn, PhD, Columbia University
Sue Woods, PhD, University of Colorado



Anthropology is the study of human origins and evolution, the present conditions of human life and the prospects for the future. It considers human beings as biological and social entities and seeks to explain both diversities and commonalities of peoples and cultures. For undergraduates, anthropology provides a rich overview of human life. It also introduces them to a variety of skills and practical research methods anthropologists apply in laboratory and field studies of the ecological constraints on human existence, the cultural bases of individual and organizational behavior and the problems and circumstances relating to the maintenance of today’s healthy, productive human action in general.

Anthropological training provides entry to a variety of careers in archaeology, museology, education, community service, public administration, public health, international affairs and business. The specific skills it provides are useful to students of environmental design, city planning, community development, the medical and nursing professions and allied health sciences, law, public affairs and secondary education.



Departmental Honors Requirements

Students wishing to graduate with departmental honors in anthropology must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, with a 3.7 minimum GPA in anthropology for cum laude (3.8 for magna cum laude and 3.9 for summa cum laude), as well as prepare an honors thesis of high quality. They must also take ANTH 4810, Integrating Anthropology. Interested students should inquire in the department no later than two semesters before graduation.




 ►  Graduate School  rules apply to this program

The unique intellectual challenge of anthropology is to integrate knowledge from many disciplines for a global understanding of cultural and biological diversity in the past and the present. Individual courses in cultural and biological anthropology and archaeology cut across lines of the humanities and social and natural sciences. Because of this integrative perspective on the human condition—and the training provided in objectively assessing cultural patterning and social interaction—anthropology graduates have a strong and versatile base for careers in a variety of fields. Graduates of our program get jobs as professional archaeologists; work in international NGOs as researchers in the health sciences and public health, as college teachers and in international development; while others have been very competitive in prestigious PhD programs (e.g., Berkeley, Pennsylvania, McMasters, Oxford).

Specialties and Tracks

UC Denver’s Department of Anthropology provides an outstanding graduate education in anthropology, giving students a broad yet thorough grounding in the three major subfields of anthropology, as well as specialized instruction in one or more research orientations in which department faculty have substantial expertise. The graduate faculty in anthropology are particularly known for their research and publications in medical anthropology; microfinance; human growth and development; experimental economics; visual anthropology; social and cultural factors in HIV and hepatitis; ethnicity; political economy; southwestern, Mexican and Neanderthal archaeology; and urban and community anthropology. Across the specializations there is a strong emphasis on research design and methodology, providing students concrete job-related skills. Area studies emphases include Latin America, East Africa, and the US Southwest. Students also have opportunities to study abroad, to participate in one of several field schools, and to gain international research experience.

Topical Concentrations

  • medical anthropology
  • archaeological studies
  • biological anthropology
  • sustainable development and political ecology 


Application Process

Application is open to holders of a BA, BS or higher degree in any field, and we welcome applications from individuals pursuing particular interests and careers, especially those related to one of the areas of concentration noted above. The departmental deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 15 for admission in the following fall.

Acceptance to the program is competitive and based on:

  • an undergraduate record of good quality (3.0 GPA or higher for all undergraduate studies)
  • prior training in anthropology
  • GRE scores (verbal, analytic and quantitative)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a statement of the applicant’s purpose in pursuing the degree
  • two copies of transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions attended

If you have no prior anthropology training, we encourage you to gain the necessary background as a nondegree student before applying to the graduate program. Prior training required in anthropology corresponds to that required for the minor, consisting of approximately 18 semester hours and including introductory courses in biological/physical anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology. Students with exceptional qualifications may be admitted without prior anthropology training but will be required to make up deficiencies without graduate credit during the course of their graduate study.

Financial Aid

The department offers limited tuition assistance, teaching assistantships and research assistantships for graduate students on a semester-by-semester basis. Appointment is competitive and is typically based on a student’s academic credentials, GRE scores and preparation in anthropology. Contact the department for details. For information on grants, federal work-study programs, scholarships and loans, contact the UC Denver financial aid office  .  


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