Office: 137 Manoogian Hall; 313-577-2935
Chairperson: Thomas W. Killion

Anthropology Courses (ANT)

Anthropology (M.A. Programs)

Anthropology, Medical (M.A. Program Concentration)

Anthropology (Ph.D. Program)

Financial Aid

Graduate Degrees


Barbara C. Aswad (Emerita), Bernice A. Kaplan (Emerita), Mark Luborsky, Guerin C. Montilus, Andrea Sankar

Associate Professors

Allen W. Batteau, Tamara L. Bray, Gordon L. Grosscup (Emeritus), Thomas W. Killion

Assistant Professors

Thomas Abowd, David A. Barondess, Sherylyn H. Briller, Pamela Crespin, Jacalyn Harden, Barry Lyons


Susan Frekko, Meghan Howey, Beth Kangas

Adjunct Professors

Morris Goodman, Eugene Perrin

Adjunct Associate Professors

Elizabeth Briody, Dorothy Nelson

Graduate Degrees

MASTER OF ARTS with a major in Anthropology
MASTER OF ARTS with a major in Anthropology and a concentration in applied medical anthropology
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY with a major in Anthropology and specializations in cultural anthropology, archaeology, medical anthropology, physical anthropology, urban anthropology, applied anthropology, and business and organizational anthropology

Anthropology is a comparative social science that seeks to uncover principles that govern human behavior. Anthropology is divided into the fields of cultural, physical, and linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Wayne State's department offers a broad-based Master of Arts degree in anthropology and a Master of Arts with a concentration in applied medical anthropology. Additionally, the Ph.D. with a major in anthropology is offered in a variety of sub-fields. The Department also offers an opportunity to pursue graduate studies in business and organizational anthropology at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels.

Today, anthropologists are employed in a wide range of areas. Some work in traditional institutions such as colleges, universities, and museums, but the general and specialized skills of anthropology also prepare them for employment in numerous other public and private settings. These include most notably health, governmental, and social agencies, business and organizational settings, and institutions supporting historic preservation and public archaeology. Accordingly, graduate programs in this department are designed to accommodate a variety of specific student interests and objectives.

Individuals who hold degrees in fields other than anthropology and desire admission to graduate degree programs will be individually reviewed. Admission will be granted at the discretion of the Graduate Committee after review of the applicant's background, training, and academic standing; supplementary work may also be individually prescribed. Three letters of recommendation and a statement of personal and research goals should be sent directly to the graduate director of the department.

Scholarship: All course work completed to satisfy the following degree requirements must be done in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College governing graduate scholarship and degrees; see Academic Regulations and Admission Requirements. All students are required to maintain a `B' average. A grade of `B-minus' or below in two courses will be sufficient reason to dismiss a student from a graduate program.

A student may not register to repeat a graduate course in which he or she has received a grade of B-minus or below, without first obtaining approval in writing from the College Graduate Officer (for M.A. students), the Anthropology Graduate Committee (for Ph.D. students), and the Dean of the Graduate School (all students). No more than two courses may be repeated during the student's graduate study.

Anthropology (M.A. Programs)

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School; for requirements, see Admission, Regular. Additionally, applicants must satisfy the following:

1) The student must have completed Anthropology 2100 or its equivalent. Admission may be granted while this deficiency is remedied.

2) The student must submit three letters of recommendation. Forms for this purpose may be secured from the Department office and are to be returned to the Chairperson of the Graduate Committee.

3) The student must submit a letter of intent outlining his/her research interests and intentions in the field of anthropology, so that the Department may determine if the student's goals are compatible with its available expertise. The student may also mention any life history experience which may be helpful in the decision to admit.

4) A writing sample such as a research paper for a previous course.

5) The student may arrange for his/her Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to be sent to the Department if he or she wishes.

6) The student must have an undergraduate grade point average (g.p.a.) of at least 3.2 except for applicants in the areas of business/organizational and medical anthropology where a minimum of 3.5 is required. Admission may be granted in exceptional cases where the grade point average is less than 3.2. Admission is contingent upon g.p.a., GRE scores (if applicable), recommendations, the compatibility of research and educational goals with departmental resources, and the availability of openings in programs with high demand.

7) All applications and admissions material may be submitted to the Department and Graduate Admissions at any time. Generally, all materials should be submitted by November 1 for admittance to the Winter Semester, and by April 1 for admittance in the following Fall Semester. Applicants will not be permitted to perform graduate study until all material has been received and reviewed.

Each student must file a Plan of Work prior to completion of twelve credits.


Students pursuing the M.A. in anthropology have three options, referred to as Plans A, B, and C, below. Students pursuing the M.A. with a concentration in applied medical anthropology must follow Plan C. All other applicants for the M.A. must initiate their graduate work in either Plan A or Plan B.

ANT 6300 is required for all first-year graduate students except those in Plan C unless they have completed this course as an undergraduate. Students who have not completed ANT 2100 or the equivalent as an undergraduate must complete this course with a grade of at least `A-minus' within their first year of graduate studies (credits for this course do not apply toward the M.A.).

Students must petition to the Graduate Committee for any exceptions to the M.A. requirements.

Plan A: Twenty-four credits in course work plus an eight-credit thesis.

Plan A is designed for students who wish to conduct research and write a thesis on a topic of particular interest. One component of the thesis should be the demonstration of an ability to integrate information from at least two of the traditional sub-fields in anthropology. Students interested in Plan A must secure the agreement of their adviser and constitute an M.A. thesis committee of three faculty members.

Twenty-one credits must be in anthropology, six of which must be in anthropology courses at the 7000 level (directed studies and thesis credits excluded; see below). The following core courses or their equivalents must be completed with a grade of `B' or better: ANT 5140, 5200, 5210, 5270, 5320, 6300, and two 7000-level courses, including a 7000-level seminar. Any of the above requirements, with the exception of ANT 7200, 7210 and the graduate seminar, may have been completed as an undergraduate. A student who enters the M.A. program after completing a B.A. in anthropology is expected to complete the above core requirements (some of which may have been completed as an undergraduate), and in addition complete: one further course in the student's sub-field; one course in another of the three sub-fields; and one additional seminar at the 7000 level.

Plan B: Twenty-nine credits in course work plus a three-credit essay.

Plan B requires thirty-two credits. Course requirements for this option are the same as for Plan A except that a three-credit essay replaces the thesis and there is no committee or final oral examination. The essay should be directed by the student's adviser in his or her area of concentration, and must demonstrate scholarly research and analysis at the M.A. level. A second faculty reader in addition to the adviser is required for approval of the essay.

Anthropology, Medical (M.A. Program Concentration)

Plan C (M.A. with a Concentration in Applied Medical Anthropology):

(Thirty-one credits) This master's degree program is not intended to lead into the doctoral program.

The following courses must be completed as an undergraduate or graduate student: ANT 5140, 5210, 5320, 5400, 5420, 5700, a statistics course, and three electives, of which two must be seminars at the 7000 level.

Additional information regarding this program is available from the Department upon request.

Anthropology (Ph.D. Program)

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School; for requirements, see Admission, Regular. Only a limited number of applicants who have demonstrated superior ability can be accepted. To be considered for admission, a student must have a master's degree.

In addition to the transcripts and other materials required by the Graduate School, the department requires all materials cited above for admission to the Master of Arts program. An applicant's admissibility into the doctoral program will not be reviewed until all these materials have been received.

Unlike the M.A. admissions process, for the doctoral program all applications, transcripts, other documents, and fees should be sent to the Chairperson of the Graduate Committee, Department of Anthropology. For further information contact the Anthropology Graduate Coordinator. Students will be notified of admissions decisions on the final recommendation of the Graduate Committee.

Ph.D. candidacy status is established by filing a Plan of Work and successfully completing Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations. The Plan of Work should be filed at the time the student has completed ten to twelve graduate credits.


The Doctor of Philosophy requires ninety credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, thirty of which must be earned as dissertation credit. The thirty credit dissertation registration requirement is fulfilled by registering for the courses ANT 9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994 (Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction I, II, III, and IV, respectively), in consecutive academic year semesters.

Once the student has attained candidate status, he/she is required to register for doctoral dissertation credits. Students must register for 9000-level credits (ANT 9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994) through the Graduate Office and must fulfill 7.5 9000-level credits each semester for four consecutive semesters (excluding spring-summer). All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School governing graduate scholarship and degrees; see Academic Regulations and Admission Requirements

The student is expected to have completed as an undergraduate or graduate student ANT 2100 and the core requirements for an M.A. degree in anthropology at Wayne State University. In addition, the student must complete two or more 7000-level anthropology seminars and ANT 6300, 6310, 7200, 7210, and 7780. ANT 6300 is required for all first-year graduate students. The student must also complete eight graduate-level credits (cognate credits) in a discipline outside anthropology. All eight cognate credits are to be taken within the same discipline. A minimum of thirty credits of graduate work must be at the 7000 level or above (excluding dissertation credits). Students must petition the Graduate Committee for course equivalents, substitutes, or any other exceptions to the Ph.D. requirements. The student is expected to command in detail theories, concepts, methodology, and research techniques in common usage in the student's subfield of concentration (cultural anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, or physical anthropology).

In the Qualifying Examinations, the student must demonstrate, by written examination, competence in depth in at least three specialties and is expected to satisfactorily complete an oral examination in his/her specialties. After passing the Qualifying Examinations and prior to beginning fieldwork, the student must submit the following documents:

a) an approved doctoral dissertation outline and record of approval form;

b) a prospectus; and

c) a Human Investigations Committee Behavioral Protocol Summary Form.

Additionally, the student is expected to:

1) complete substantial field research, which will ordinarily be of sufficient duration and scope to provide materials for the student's dissertation (in the case of physical anthropology and some other specializations, the dissertation may be based on laboratory research); and

2) submit an acceptable dissertation and present a final lecture.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Doctoral students must demonstrate a proficiency in an approved scholarly language. Approved foreign languages include (but are not limited to) Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Proficiency may be demonstrated in any of the following ways:

1) a grade of `C' or better in one and one-half years of work in the language offered to meet the requirement (three semesters or five quarters of classwork at any accredited college or university);

2) satisfactory performance on a standardized (Educational Testing Services) examination; and

3) certification of competence to carry out research in the relevant language by a member of the graduate faculty of Wayne State or an equivalent university. The nature of the tools of research and requirements for satisfactory proficiency will be determined by each student's doctoral committee. Additionally mandated tools of research may include additional statistics, mathematics, computer science and/or a field language.

Additional Information: A more detailed discussion of the doctoral program, and information on graduate study in business and industrial anthropology and in medical anthropology, is available from the department upon request. See Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.), for information on the required minor, residency, and other University requirements.

Financial Aid

General sources of financial aid for graduate students may be found at Financial Assistance, Graduate. The following information pertains to the Anthropology Department:

Assistantships and Fellowships:

A limited number of assistantships and fellowships are available. Consult the Department Chairperson for further details.

Leonard Moss Memorial Scholarship: One or more awards are made annually to graduate students in support of tuition or an outstanding research proposal.

Barbara C. Aswad Award: Several awards are made annually to graduate students to support research in cultural anthropology.