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Graduate Program

The Department of Anthropology's graduate program offers an M.A. with a specialization in Historical Anthropology and a Ph.D. with specializations in Historical Archaeology or Historical Anthropology. Students holding an undergraduate degree have the option of applying for admission to either the terminal M.A. program or the sequential M.A./Ph.D. program. Students with an M.A. degree in Anthropology "in hand" may apply for admission directly into the Ph.D. program.

The graduate program prepares students for careers as university professors, historical archaeologists, and professionals in museums, historical societies, government, and the private sector. Our students have an excellent record of external support in the form of grants and fellowships, as well as active participation in conferences and other professional engagements.

Students take courses in cultural theory, area studies, historiography, and methodology, with special emphasis on comparative colonialism, the African diaspora, Native America, and the archaeology of Colonial America and the Caribbean. Practical training in field and laboratory methods is available in various courses, including summer field schools. The Williamsburg area has unparalleled historical, archaeological, and museum resources, as well as opportunities to participate in a wide variety of ongoing research projects.

The Anthropology Department's teaching and research facilities include laboratories housing extensive collections of prehistoric and historic artifacts from Virginia and the Caribbean, a research library, and computer facilities for CAD and GIS. Three research centers are housed in the department: the Institute for Historical Biology which administers a large database on the 17th and 18th century African Burial Ground in New York City; and the American Indian Resource Center, which undertakes applied and collaborative projects with contemporary Native communities. Students also participate in projects run by the William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research, which provides cultural resource management services for public and private organizations, and in material science research at the Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News.