Graduate Program

Graduate Program

The Department of Anthropology offers graduate work leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. We have a current enrollment of about 30 graduate students. Our department has a broad scientific approach to understanding human biology and behavior, both past and present, that is grounded in ecological and evolutionary theory.

The graduate program provides rigorous coursework with a rich combination of hands-on field and laboratory research experiences. Students work closely with a faculty advisor who helps them pursue fellowships/grants and develop collaborative research projects. Additional anthropology faculty and others outside the department at MU typically serve as committee members and resources for expanding students’ research programs (e.g. Biological Sciences, Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Integrative Anatomy, Public Health, Museum of Anthropology, MU Research Reactor). Current and former graduate students have successfully pursued research in the field, lab, and analytical domains. Graduates of our program have found success with careers not only in academia and higher education, but also in, for example, contract archaeology, public health, or the nonprofit sector.

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Active areas of research by faculty

Students are welcome to choose research topics that span across the three sub-fields represented by faculty, and often collaborate with students and faculty in other departments such as Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Psychological Sciences, Art History and Archaeology, and Geological Sciences.

We are certain that Mizzou Anthropology offers many opportunities for you to pursue a successful graduate career. We look forward to seeing your application soon.

Discover our research


Recent Graduates

Colleen Young

Colleen Young, PhD, 2021

Current Position – Data Science and Data Fluency Instructor, Bayer

Dissertation Title – “Body size and shape in insular environments and applications of the island rule in biological anthropology”

Advisor – Libby Cowgill

Dr. Young earned her PhD in anthropology with a focus on biological anthropology in 2021. She is currently teaching and mentoring researchers at Bayer Crop Science in St. Louis, Missouri, as a Data Science and Digital Fluency Instructor. In this role, she is able to harness her expertise as an ecologically-minded anthropologist to guide leading solutions on societal issues relating to climate change and sustainability. She also continues to write and do research on anthropological projects with colleagues, and is an editor of a popular science magazine in Mexico, Revista íconema.

Jeff Alvey

Jeffrey Alvey, PhD, 2019

Current Position: Archaeologist, Missouri State Historic Preservation Office

Dissertation Title: “Paleo Demographic Modeling in the Lower Mississippi River Valley”

Advisor – Michael O’Brian & Karthik Panchanathan

Jeffrey Alvey has worked as an archaeologist with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office since 2019. Prior to this he served as the director of the Office of Public Archaeology at the Cobb Institute of Archaeology, Mississippi State University for 16 years. He received his PhD in 2019 from the University of Missouri, Columbia. His primary duties at SHPO involve review of projects for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and public education related to Missouri’s cultural resources. 

Stephanie Child

Stephanie Child, PhD, 2017

Current Position – Assistant Professor, Idaho College of Medicine

Dissertation Title – “Femoral Angles and their Correlates

Advisor – Libby Cowgill & Danny Wescott

Dr. Child earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology in Fall of 2017. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Anatomy (founding member) at the Idaho College of Medicine, serving as the Co-Course Director for the medical Gross Anatomy Course. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of Research and directs the Anatomy Research Program and Anatomy Tutors.

Monica Keith

Monica Keith, PhD, 2020

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University

Dissertation Title: “Genetic variation and health in a rural Caribbean village”

Advisor – Greg Blomquist

Dr. Keith earned her PhD in Anthropology in 2020. After graduating, she completed a position Postdoctoral Scholar and Data Science Fellow at the University of Washington, and is currently an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. She's focusing her research on biosocial determinants of health outcomes and disparities among populations in Dominica, Bangladesh, Argentina, and the US. In 2021, Dr. Keith earned an award from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for developing a model to assess causal pathways between social determinants of health, biomarkers of chronic stress, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in the United States.

Visit our Recent Graduates page for a complete list of past graduate students.

Get Involved

Anthropology Students Association

Join the Anthropology Students Association (ASA)!  ASA is an organization for both undergraduate and graduate anthropology students, as well as anyone with an interest in anthropology at the University of Missouri. We are committed to fostering a supportive environment of peers and encouraging academic progress for anthropology students. We meet regularly to discuss a variety of topics, attend lectures, take field trips, assist and attend department events and have fun exploring anthropology. For more information visit the MU Engage Anthropology Students Association website or find us on Facebook.


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