Graduate Programs

Welcome Prospective Anthropology Students

Graduate Programs in Biological Anthropology

The University at Albany department of Anthropology offers both a Masters and a PhD program in Anthropology that focus on biological anthropology. Our faculty specialize in biological diversity and health, demography, functional anatomy, human adaptation and physiology, paleoanthropology, and paleodemography.

The department has approximately 90 graduate students working toward graduate degrees in the four subfields of Anthropology. Biological Anthropology graduate students make up nearly 20% of the total number of active graduate students in the program.

The Anthropology department hires between 18 and 21 teaching assistants each year. These assistantships are competitive and several are held for qualified incoming students. Other forms of financial aid are also available including Diversity Fellowships, research assistantships, and non-academic assistantships in Administrative Units.

Biological anthropology graduate students also compete sucessfully for external funding from agencies such as NSF and NIH. We currently have 2 students who have earned NSF Dissertation improvement grants.

MA Program

The MA program is a 30 credit degree program that requires students to take courses in the four sub-disciplines of Anthropology along with specialized courses in their major area of interest. Students normally write a masters paper in conjunction with an advanced level seminar in biological anthropology or a formal masters thesis on a project approved by their faculty mentors.

Full Program Requirements

PhD Program

Students may be admitted to the PhD program with an appropriate undergraduate degree, with a masters degree in anthropology, or a degree from a related field (biology, chemistry, human biology, public health etc.). Students who are admitted to the PhD program with an undergraduate degree will need to complete two phases (Phase 1 equivalent to MA Program above and Phase 2 listed below). Students begining with advanced degrees will complete at least 30 credits in Phase 2 and consult with their advisor about specific course requirements.

Full Program Requirements

Graduate Admissions

The University at Albany Graduate Admissions website provides all of the relevant forms and documents that prospective students will need to apply to the graduate program in Anthropology.

The Anthropology department admits between 15 and 20 new graduate students every year (between 3 and 7 in biological anthropology). The admissions process is competitive and we expect students to have above average GRE scores and undergraduate/graduate GPAs. Clear, well-written, and well-thought out statements of purpose are also requirements for admission. We recommend that prospective students contact the faculty member(s) with whom they plan to work prior to applying to the program.

Students interested in obtaining a PhD in Anthropology should apply for the PhD program and not the MA program. (Students in the PhD program earn a Masters degree en route.)

Faculty Laboratories

Children's Environmental Health Studies Laboratory

Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory

Human Thanatology Laboratory

Human Osteology and Paleodemography Laboratory


Center for the Eliminatination of Minority Health Disparities

Center for the Social and Demographic Analysis

Recent Graduate Courses in Biological Anthropology

Topics in Biomedical Anthropology:  Bio-cultural Interactions
Topics in Growth & Development: Evolution and Fetal Programming
Topics in Biomedical Anthropology: Cities and Human Health
Topics in Growth & development: Growth as an outcome- the eco-sensitivity of growth.
Human Osteology
Forensic Anthropology
Human Population Genetics
Primate Evolutionary Biology
Evolutionary Medicine
Quantitative methods


Louis Calistro Alvarado (Ph.D, University of New Mexico, 2015)
Assistant Professor
Interests: Behavioral and reproductive ecology, evolutionary endocrinology, prostate cancer epidemiology, social inequity and health disparities
Areas: rural Poland

Mercedes Fabian (PhD, University at Buffalo, 2015)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Interests: Forensic Anthropology, Human Anatomy

Timothy B. Gage (PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1982)
Director, Center for Social and Demographic Analysis
Interests: Human biology, demography, population genetics, quantitative methods
Areas: Oceania

Chuck Hilton (PhD, University of New Mexico, 1997)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Interests: Human evolutionary anatomy, Postcranial evolution of the genus Homo, Hunter-Gatherer and pastoralist behavioral ecology, Human paleopathology, Epidemiology.

Adam Gordon (PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2004)
Assistant Professor
Interests: Paleoanthropology, primate anatomy and evolution, primate ecology
Areas:Madagascar, Africa, Asia, Neotropics

Julia Jennings (PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 2010)
Assistant Professor
Interests: Human biology, demography, household ecology, historical population change
Areas: Europe

Cara Ocobock (PhD, Washington University at St. Louis, 2014)
Assistant Professor
Interests: Human biology, biological anthropology, energetics, humans in the extremes.
Areas: North America and Finland

Lawrence M. Schell (PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1980)
Director, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
Interests: Biological anthropology, medical anthropology, human growth and development, cities and health
Areas: urban North America