Department of Anthropology

Dr. Diane Warren, Chair
Dr. Patrick LIvingood, Graduate Liaison
521 Dale Hall Tower
455 W Lindsey
Norman, OK 73019-2005
Phone: (405) 325-3261
FAX: (405) 325-7386

General Information

Faculty Roster

Professors Harris, Pitblado, Spicer; Associate Professors Anderson, Hirschfeld, Jervis, Kemp, Klein, Lewis, Livingood, O’Neill, Rambo, Swan, Warren; Assistant Professors Bessire, Duwe, Hofman, Levine, Marshall, Pailes, Randall, Sapién, Trabert, Warinner.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts in Applied Linguistic Anthropology
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Information on both undergraduate and graduate programs is included. Please refer to the Graduate College section of this catalog for general information on graduate programs. 

General Information

Anthropology is the holistic study of human beings, including the biological and cultural aspects of people in all times and all places. The four parts of anthropology are archaeology, biological, archaeology, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. The Department of Anthropology focuses on the archaeology and biological anthropology, linguistics, and sociocultural anthropology of Native America, but we also have strengths in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. We are the only anthropology department in the state system of higher education. 

An undergraduate degree in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma requires at least two courses in each of the four subfields, as well as course requirements in research methods, resulting in a well-rounded understanding of people in this country and around the world, both past and present. The department sponsors fieldwork opportunities and is active in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Honors College, so that undergraduates who so desire can obtain actual experience in anthropology. We maintain close ties with the Oklahoma Archeological Survey and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, and we encourage international study to augment these opportunities. 

undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Study

A major in anthropology provides a broad understanding of human beings and a central part of a liberal arts education. It also is the basis for obtaining certain kinds of jobs in archaeology, museums, or the human resources sector, as well as for graduate study in anthropology or other social science fields. 

A total of 120 hours is required for the Bachelor of Arts. The undergraduate major requires a minimum of 36 hours of coursework in anthropology, 15 hours of Anthropology core courses and 21 hours of Anthropology electives.

A total of 120 hours is required for the Bachelor of Science. The undergraduate major requires a minimum of 30 hours of coursework in anthropology, 9 hours of Anthropology core courses and 21 hours of Anthropology electives.

See Arts & Sciences Degree Requirement Checksheets for specific degree requirements.


Students who are majoring in other subjects may complete a Minor in Anthropology. An Anthropology Minor consists of 15 hours of coursework including ANTH1113, General Anthropology. At least nine hours must be in upper-division courses.

See Minors checksheets for specific requirements.

Graduate Study

Graduate Study

The Department of Anthropology offers both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology, and an M.A. in applied linguistic anthropology. The department’s geographical area of emphasis is the Americas. 

Because of its location in a state with 38 federally recognized tribes, important archaeological sites and museum collections, and many nationally prominent anthropological research facilities, graduate study at the University of Oklahoma offers unique educational opportunities. The department has a concentration of specialists in Native America. The department recognizes the historical relationship of anthropology to other areas of the world and to other peoples, and we also have faculty with such research interests. Paralleling our focus on Native America are those of faculty in the departments, colleges, and programs of art history, English, geography, health sciences, history, linguistics, and Native American Studies. Faculty in the department have helped Oklahoma tribes design and implement studies that include health care, native language education, ethnomedicine, federal recognition, genealogy, historical anthropology, politics, sociolinguistics, oral history, tribal histories and archives, and tribal cultural studies programs. We offer language courses in Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek/Seminole, and Kiowa, with native speakers as instructors. The department and the affiliated Oklahoma Archeological Survey support several on-going archaeological research projects in Oklahoma and Kansas, the North American Southwest and Southeast, and northern Mexico. The projects include the earliest settlers in the New World, Paleoindian, Archaic, formative village agriculturalists, hierarchical societies, and historic peoples.


  • Museum collections at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the Fred Jones Museum of Art, and the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. 
  • The Oklahoma Archeological Survey, a state agency housed at the University of Oklahoma, conducts archaeological research in the state of Oklahoma and offers field and laboratory opportunities for research. 
  • Archival collections at OU’s Western History Collection, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the Regional Federal Archives. 


The Anthropology department welcomes applications from students with bachelor’s degrees in any field. However, we encourage applicants to gain exposure to all of the subfields of anthropology. Students with a master’s degree from another institution may transfer up to 30 credit hours toward a Ph.D. degree. Although the department requires the GRE for application, there is no minimum score for consideration. Most important in the decisions for admission are the undergraduate transcript, the statement of purpose, and the two letters of recommendation. The University of Oklahoma uses an integrated electronic application for its graduate programs. The Department admits applicants once a year to start in the Fall Term.


The master’s program provides a broad, generalized knowledge of anthropology, along with specialization in one of the four fields. A master’s student will take courses in each of the four fields and will concentrate the elective coursework in any one of those fields. 


The Master of Applied Linguistic Anthropology degree is devoted to the preservation of the world’s endangered languages, with the hope that careful documentation — coupled with community-based educational programs — will one day reverse the devastating effects of language loss throughout much of the world today. It is imperative that we train a new generation of scholars to continue the documentation of endangered languages throughout the world. Yet, because the future of a language ultimately rests with its speakers, it is equally important that we prepare our students to promote community-based educational programs aimed at revitalizing native languages at the community level. 

In addition to writing a thesis, a student in this degree program will enroll in core courses and must earn a grade of B or higher in each course. Students will also complete graduate linguistic anthropology courses and guided electives selected in consultation with his/her adviser and committee.

See College of Arts & Sciences Master's Programs degree requirement checksheets for current specific requirements for the Masters degrees. Additional detailed information may also be obtained from the Graduate Liaison.

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts

The accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts provides students with the opportunity to simultaneiously receive an Anthropology Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree with a spacialization in Sociocultural Anthropology. Admission to the program follows departmentally-determined guidelines for admission, including minimum GPA, excusing GRE scores, application materials, and application due date. A total of 139 credit hours is required for the degree, with 13 credit hours of graduate-level electives counted toward both degrees.


There are three tracks in the Ph.D. Program in Anthropology: Archaeology, Human Health and Biology, and Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology. There are specific additional required courses within each track. The tracks generally require 60 hours of coursework and 30 hours of dissertation research for a total of 90 credit hours.

The Ph.D. student’s advisory committee will determine which courses, including core courses, may be used toward the 90 hours and will define the plan of study. Each doctoral student will complete a General Examination and dissertation defense. 

Detailed information is available from the Graduate Liaison.