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Graduate study in Anthropology at McMaster is based on the closely matched interests of faculty supervisors and students.

The department has a complement of 17 full-time faculty, along with a number of adjunct faculty and associated members from different departments (e.g., Geography and Earth Sciences, Religious Studies).

Our faculty and graduate student research encompasses North America, Indigenous Study, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Southeast and East Asia.

The Department offers courses in the following subfields: Archaeology, Biological, Socio-Cultural anthropology and anthropology of Health.


How to Apply

At McMaster, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, and graduate students think and act as a community of scholars.

Professional development and collegiality are further enhanced through participation in the Professional Development Workshop. There are usually a total of 10-15 MA and 20-25 PhD students in the graduate program at any one academic year. In consultation with faculty, students develop their own individual programs of course work and research. We encourage every graduate student to prepare conference presentations and publications. 

We welcome applications from students whose interests match the research orientation of our program.  Students considering McMaster for graduate study are encouraged to communicate with potential supervisors and graduate students in the program before making their decisions to apply. 

Questions about our graduate programs?

John Silva, Admin Assistant, Graduate Program
Tel: 905-525-9140 ext. 24424

State of the Art Research and Teaching Facilities

The department of Anthropology at McMaster boasts state of the art teaching and research facilities with many opportunities for graduate students in the program.

Cutting-edge facilities

Fields of Study

Graduate Program in Archaeology

As a program, we encourage graduate students to engage in guided individual research projects. Our approach is to use theory and methods as tools for understanding the past rather than as ends in themselves. Consequently, research design is an integral part of every student’s program. We generally advocate syntheses of existing data and/or innovative collections analysis, augmented, where appropriate, with field research. Faculty research interests cover a range of societies, including hunter-fisher-gatherers, Neolithic village societies, and pre-industrial states. 

Graduate Program in Archaeology

Graduate Program in Biological Anthropology

Our program offers students the opportunity to study human biology, past and present, from a variety of data, methods and theoretical orientations in genetics, epidemiology, and nutrition. We are a collegial group of physical anthropologists who collaborate in research and teaching.

We have active research projects in child health and nutrition, the origins and evolution of pathogens and epidemics, Aboriginal health in Canada, mammalian phylogeography, molecular anthropology, and Roman bioarchaeology. We are addressing questions about human origins and migration, population structure, health and disease, and human-environment interactions in past and present populations.

Graduate Program in Biological Anthropology

Socio-Cultural Anthropology

A Responsible Anthropology, that Matters

As cultural anthropologists at McMaster University we are committed to an engaged and relevant anthropology that focuses on issues of public concern, and we maintain a strong critical and theoretical focus on three thematic clusters: democracy, violence, and humanitarian intervention; media, visuality, and art; and a broad range of topics within medical anthropology, including welfare, care, well-being, religion/spirituality, and Indigenous knowledge. 

Cultural Anthropology


Based on the crosscutting expertise of our faculty, McMaster University’s Department of Anthropology is uniquely situated to offer MA and PhD degrees in Anthropology with a concentration in Culture, Health, and Disease. In addition to research skills, problem solving, and critical analysis, this concentration offers an intellectual breadth beyond traditionally defined medical anthropology.

Graduate Program in Health

The Professional Development Workshop

The Professional Development Workshop is a student-focused bi-weekly workshop that is defined for and by graduate students along with the faculty facilitator.

It is twinned with the departmental visiting speakers’ series on alternate weeks, so that each week (Tuesdays at 3:30) there is a collective forum for intellectual discussion outside of specific course-work.

The Professional Development Workshop covers key skills required in professional development in all fields of Anthropology. Areas covered include proposal writing, getting research projects started, dealing with the different types of data produced, communicating results in various formats, and career paths open to those with a graduate degree in anthropology.

The Professional Development Workshop is mandatory in year 1 for all entering graduate students. 

News & Events

MRPs and Theses

Have a look at a listing of Major Research Projects and Theses in the Graduate program.

Browse our recent MRPs and Theses

Bright Future

Anthropologists work in a wide array of areas, from government to large corporations, to NGO's and education. Our graduates are work all over the world in a variety of careers.

Career Paths