Department of Anthropology Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Binghamton University, State University of New York

Department of Anthropology Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Binghamton University, State University of New York

Vestal, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
April 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
3 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


MA and PhD degree programs in anthropology explore what it means to be human

At Binghamton University, students may choose between the PhD in Anthropology degree program and the Master of Arts in Anthropology degree program. Binghamton is also one of few universities in America to offer a special track leading to an MA in public archaeology degree, and was the first university nationwide to offer an MS in biomedical anthropology degree (see separate listing on this website).

Within Binghamton's Department of Anthropology (, approximately 140 graduate students work closely with 22 faculty members to develop new ideas and conduct innovative research. The faculty is well represented throughout the discipline's four subfields of archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. The university is particularly proud of its biological anthropology program and considers it to be one of the best.

Through coursework, research, and fieldwork, anthropology students gain an understanding of past and present human groups, the processes that underlie human biological and cultural development and change, and the ways human society and culture are maintained. They develop an awareness of human diversity and an enhanced ability to interact with people from a broad range of backgrounds.

All anthropology graduate students at Binghamton are required to develop an original research project and communicate the findings in a research paper, thesis, or dissertation of publishable quality. The department's MA degree program, which requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, culminates in a thesis, while the PhD degree program, which requires a minimum of 56 credit hours, culminates in a dissertation.

Work with professors who are leaders in the field

The 22-member faculty within Binghamton's Department of Anthropology covers the 4 major subfields of the discipline. Faculty members have published extensively in these subfields and are focusing research in areas that include molecular anthropology, political economy, critical anthropology, forensic anthropology, ecological and biobehavioral anthropology, and the archaeology of Europe.

Among the distinguished scholar-researchers in the university's anthropology department are Rolf Quam, Ruth Van Dyke, and Josh Reno.

Binghamton's Rolf Quam is a paleoanthropologist and research associate with the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His research focuses on evolutionary aspects of the human temporal bone, mandible, and teeth. His project to reconstruct the hearing capacities in fossil humans marks the first time an aspect of sensory perception has been reconstructed in our fossil human ancestors. This line of research represents a new approach to one of the oldest questions in human evolutionary studies -- the emergence of language.

Ruth Van Dyke is an archaeologist who specializes in the North American Southwest and who is also interested in researching landscape, architecture, power, memory, phenomenology, and visual representation. One of Van Dyke's current projects explores the uses of hypermedia and video to expose and move beyond the limitations of more traditional forms of archaeological representation.

Sociocultural anthropologist Josh Reno is interested in environmental controversies such as waste and climate change, as well as how technological innovations complicate what it means to be human. His past work focused on a large landfill outside Detroit, where he documented the complicated ways our collective waste becomes entangled with the fate of particular people and places. One of his current studies is examining carbon offsets.

Research and teaching facilities

Binghamton's Department of Anthropology says it has the best collection of modern molecular genetics labs of any anthropology department in the nation. There are 10 wet and dry laboratories on the university's Vestal, NY, campus.

Wet labs are available for microbial, cellular, and molecular studies at biosafety levels two and three, and for forensic DNA identification and ancient DNA studies. The dry laboratories are used for paleontological, osteological, physiological, and morphological studies.

Most research is international in scope and is usually connected with ongoing field research programs in Latin America, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Students find success following graduation

Graduates of Binghamton's MA and PhD degree programs in anthropology often pursue advanced training and research, and the university has a successful record of having students accepted to highly ranked graduate and postdoctoral programs.

Other graduates elect to enter the workforce, with some choosing to teach in middle and high schools, colleges, and universities. Since anthropological training is an excellent foundation for careers in fields outside academia, some graduates have gone on to work in museums, government, law, cultural resource management, computer science, environmental fields, publishing, business, management, and marketing.

The MA in Public Archaeology degree program is particularly well suited to students who wish to pursue careers in public service, community organizing, and social advocacy.

Location & Contact

Department of Anthropology

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
Binghamton University, State University of New York

4400 Vestal Parkway East
Vestal, NY 13850
United States

Dr. Christine Reiber


Phone: 607-777-2738

Ms. Kishan Zuber

Recruiting and Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 607-777-2151
Fax: 607-777-2501

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Anthropology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
    • Biomedical Anthropology Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 23
    • Doctoral Degrees 5
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


60% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 100
    • Accepted 60
    • Acceptance Rate 60
    • Enrolled 35
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline April 15th April 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsFebruary 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students147
    • Female Percentage70%
    • Male Percentage30%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students147
    • Part-time Percentage56%
    • Full-time Percentage44%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino10%
    • Black / African American6%
    • White / Caucasian73%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native4%
    • Asian2%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander1%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown4%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty24
    • Full-time Percentage67%
    • Part-time Percentage33%
    • Female Percentage42%
    • Male Percentage58%