Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Stony Brook, NY
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


An Innovative, Research-Based Doctoral Program in Anthropology

The Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook University offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program dedicated to researching culture, behavior, and biology in primate and human populations. The unique program provides a broad education in anthropology, bringing together faculty and resources from several university departments, including anatomical sciences, anthropology, Asian and Asian American studies, ecology and evolution, geosciences, and history. All IDPAS students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and opportunities for field research at sites around the world.

Successful Careers for IDPAS Graduates

The goal of the IDPAS program is to prepare students for careers as researchers or teachers at research universities. Currently, over 90 percent of graduates of the program find tenure-track positions within major universities across the country, including Duke University, Yale University, Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University, and Midwestern University.

Other IDPAS alumni have gone on to do postdoctoral work with organizations including the San Diego Zoological Society, The Smithsonian Institution, the Durrell Institute in Madagascar, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

Stony Brook University -- A Top Ranked University

Stony Brook University is a noted graduate and undergraduate research university. Stony Brook is ranked in the top 1 percent of all universities in the world by the London Times Higher Education World University Rankings; the university also ranks among the top 100 best national universities and top 50 public national universities according to "U.S. News and World Report."

Doctoral Curriculum and Research Tailored to Students' Interests

The IDPAS is a 7-year program that combines coursework, research, teaching, presentations and guest lectures, and a written dissertation. The IDPAS offers 3 areas of specialization: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology. Graduate students studying physical anthropology can choose to pursue either evolutionary morphology or primate behavior.

During the first 3-4 semesters, IDPAS students focus on completing anthropology coursework in their area of specialization. Research projects help students define their areas of interest and identify potential dissertation topics. At the end of the third or fourth semester, students must pass a qualifying exam.

After the qualifying exam, a student collaborates with his or her Dissertation Guidance Committee to plan future work -- including electives, research, and fieldwork -- related to the student's chosen dissertation topic. IDPAS students are required to submit and defend a written dissertation proposal by the end of the third year. The dissertation will be defended orally at a seminar open to the academic community usually at the end of the 7th year.

IDPAS Faculty Boasts Broad Expertise

The National Research Council (NRC) has recently rated IDPAS at Stony Brook University among the top U.S. doctoral programs in anthropology in the areas of publications, citations, and grant dollars per faculty member. Each member of the IDPAS faculty is an expert in his or her respective field and is actively engaged in research.

Faculty members includes two MacArthur Fellows, two Guggenheim Fellows, three Fulbright Fellows, two Alexander-von-Humboldt fellows, four recipients of Aesculapias Awards for excellence in teaching, and four SUNY Distinguished Professors. Notable faculty members include Professors Karen Baab, William Jungers, and Susan Larson, who are most well-known for their current participation in the research and analysis of the new "Hobbit" fossils from Indonesia. Professor Pat C. Wright spearheaded the establishment of Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar and is the director of the Institute for Conservation of Tropical Environments. David J. Bernstein, associate professor, is also the director of the Institute for Long Island Archaeology.

Cutting-Edge Laboratories and Research Facilities

The IDPAS program at Stony Brook University offers students access to a wide range of laboratories, research facilities, and equipment from several departments where students conduct their own original research projects. IDPAS students benefit from first-class facilities in the anatomical science, anthropology, and geosciences departments.

The Department of Anatomical Sciences is home to several research facilities, including the Vertebrate Fossil Preparation Laboratory and the Functional Morphology and Primate Locomotion Laboratory. Additional resources include a veterinary facility, an anatomical museum, and an online workspace for morphological phylogenetics.

The Department of Anthropology offers laboratories dedicated to the study of dental structure and primate and human fossils. The archaeological laboratories feature work spaces equipped with scanners, specialized software, microscopes, and printers as well as a fully equipped GIS laboratory. In the geosciences department, assistant professor Troy Rasbury provides students with research-quality petroscopes, drilling equipment, and digital photography equipment.

A World of Field Work Opportunities in Anthropology

Doctoral candidates in Stony Brook's IDPAS program have ample opportunities to engage in hands-on, practical research in a variety of locations and specializations. Faculty members in archaeology are involved in excavation and survey projects worldwide, from Long Island, to Africa and the Middle East. Paleontological research is being conducted in South America, Africa, and Madagascar. Stony Brook's new Turkana Basin Institute under Dr. Richard Leakey has opened up more field work opportunities in Kenya both for archaeological as well as paleontological work.

Additionally, the IDPAS has 3 separate primate research facilities, including research stations at Ranomafama National Park in Madagascar, Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic, and Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand.

IDPAS Admissions and Financial Support

While most students applying to the IDPAS at Stony Brook University hold a baccalaureate degree in anthropology, previous experience in the field is not required for admission. Students interested in the IDPAS program must complete an online graduate application to Stony Brook University and submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts, GRE or TOEFL scores, 3 letters of recommendation, and an application fee.

IDPAS students have access to several sources of financial support in the form of tuition scholarships, teaching assistantship stipends, and travel funds for research. Additionally, IDPAS students have extraordinary success in obtaining grants and fellowships, including National Science Graduate Research Fellowships, National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grants, Leakey Foundation Grants, and Wenner Gren Foundation Grants.

A Vibrant Educational Community Near New York City

Stony Brook University boasts a medical center, an 8,300-seat stadium, a performing arts center, and a federal research laboratory. The 1,000-acre campus also features a nature preserve and miles of hiking and biking trails. Stony Brook also has a satellite campus in Manhattan.

Stony Brook is located on Long Island's North Shore, only 60 miles away from New York City. Students have easy access to the city's vast array of museums, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, and iconic architecture.

Location & Contact

Department of Anthropology

College of Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Prof. Frederick Grine


Phone: 631-632-7622

Tara Powers


Phone: 631-632-7606
Fax: 631-632-9165

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Anthropology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 3
    • Doctoral Degrees 8
    • 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? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


12% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 45
    • Accepted 8
    • Acceptance Rate 12
    • Enrolled 3
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $100
    • Application Fee - International $100
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st 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

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$4,685
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Career or Field-Related Internships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students33
    • Female Percentage61%
    • Male Percentage39%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students33
    • Part-time Percentage6%
    • Full-time Percentage94%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino12%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian69%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races8%
    • Unknown7%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty16
    • Full-time Percentage94%
    • Part-time Percentage6%
    • Female Percentage50%
    • Male Percentage50%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchAnthropology, primatology, human evolution, archaeology, cultural or social anthropology
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$349,611