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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.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS) Biomedical anthropology
Master of Arts (MA) Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Anthropology

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 19
Doctoral Degrees 7

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

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required for some
Thesis Required for some
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline April 15th April 15th Yes
Spring deadline October 15th October 15th Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 80

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards January 15
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Health Care Benefits
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 7.41%
Black or African American 1.23%
White or Caucasian 65%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.62%
Asian 3.7%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.62%
Two or more races 3.09%
Unknown 3.7%


Male (29%)
Female (70%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 23
Part-time - 0
Male (13)
Female (10)

Location & Contact

Address 4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY  13902-6000
United States
Contact Kathleen Sterling
Graduate Director
Phone: 607-777-2100

Binghamton University, State University of New York