Students interested in pursuing degrees in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will find themselves members of a vibrant intellectual community. The University is an important crossroads where a diversity of debate and intellectual exchange can be found. The Department is actively involved in this diverse community and regularly invites renowned scholars from all over the world to give talks and hold seminars. When a new student is admitted to the Department that student also becomes a colleague to a diverse group of scholars.
The Department recognizes that the methods, perspectives, and theoretical orientation originating in Anthropology have now invigorated many other disciplines. This blurring of the borders between disciplines has created a cross fertilization that is unprecedented in the history of Western Academics. The Department encourages students to take part in this process, as it relates both to intra disciplinary relationships between the sections and to interdisciplinary relationships between Departments.
The primary focus of the Department of Anthropology is on the doctoral degree. A master’s degree is awarded in the process of pursuing the Ph.D., but students are not admitted for the sole purpose of obtaining a master’s degree.
The Department of Anthropology offers prospective graduate students the opportunity to pursue study within one of three major subfields of contemporary Anthropology: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology plus an Intersectional Degree (see below for more information on these programs).
Archaeology is the investigation and analysis of the remains from past cultures, uncovered through excavation.
Admission to the Archaeology area in the Anthropology Graduate Program is determined by the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and by the Archaeology faculty. Prospective students must send their application to the Graduate School Admissions Office and the Anthropology Department. The deadline to apply is December 1.
Biological Anthropology is the study of human evolution and the roots of the biological and genetic diversity found among contemporary peoples.
Admission to the Graduate Program in Biological Anthropology is determined according to the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and by the Biological Anthropology faculty. Prospective students must apply through the Graduate School Admissions Office and the Anthropology Department by December 1.
Cultural Anthropology is the comparative study of society, politics, economy, religion, and culture, whether in historical times or in our contemporary moment.
Admission to the Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology is determined according to the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and by the Cultural Anthropology faculty. Prospective students should apply to the Graduate School Admissions Office and the Anthropology Department by December 1.
Intersectional Degree Program
We offer an Intersectional Degree Program for students who combine interests in two of the major subfields. While there are important differences among the three sections within the department, there also are significant overlaps. We encourage students to explore the similarities and to benefit from the different approaches that characterize the three sections.