The minimum requirements for the M.A. are 30 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis. The core sequence of work includes courses in each of the three subdisciplines represented by the faculty in the department. Students also are encouraged to take one or two semesters of advanced quantitative methods. A variety of graduate seminars are offered regularly in the department and students are encouraged to take appropriate courses in related disciplines, e.g. biology, geology, and geography. In most cases, students complete degree requirements by submitting original research work as a formal document, the Master’s thesis.
Students are encouraged to develop research questions that will serve as the basis for the Master’s thesis in their second semester. The department has an exceptional cast collection of fossil hominoids as well as casting, photography, X-ray, computer, anatomy, and archaeology labs and collections. A number of out-of-department options for research are also available to students including museum collections, faculty administered field sites in South America, Asia, and North America, and molecular biology labs.