College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Doctorate of Philosophy in Anthropology

The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Ph.D. program in Environmental Anthropology offers advanced training in integrating theory and research in order to better understand and solve the environmental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Students will develop empirical understandings of how humans culturally construct and organize past and present environments; how power relations are embedded in these activities; and the impact socio-physical environments have upon human and non-human primates. Graduate course offerings view ecological anthropology through multiple lenses: political economy, environmental politics, indigenous epistemologies, landscape production, agrarian economy, social, behavioral and evolutionary ecology, medical anthropology, and primate conservation.

Faculty area specializations include archaeology of the Maya lowlands and Andean South America; archaeology of Texas, the American Southwest, and Northwest Mexico; primate behavioral ecology in Southeast Asia; primate conservation ecology and genetics in Africa and Madagascar; ethnoprimatology in the Caribbean, South Africa, and Asia; resource management practices and human-animal relations in the Island Pacific; environmental politics, resource extraction, water scarcity, and ecological contamination in North and South America; coastal political ecology and the making of environmental markets in Belize and the United States; the cultural anthropology of Texas and the Plains; ethnography and applied anthropology of Mexico and the United States; medical anthropology of the US-Mexico border region and the Circumpolar North; evolutionary physiology and ecological immunology; and conservation medicine/One Health issues.

Many incoming students are offered some form of financial assistance. During the admission review process, all Ph.D. applicants are simultaneously considered for teaching assistantships and scholarship funding. Evaluation criteria include undergraduate and graduate GPAs, applicant statements, supporting letters, and writing samples. Other funding sources include research assistantships, departmental small grants, and teaching opportunities. Learn more about funding opportunities here.

To see our current Doctoral Student Handbook, click here.

Learn about our Ph.D. Alumni and where they are now!

Admission Deadline

Prospective students interested in applying to our doctoral program are strongly encouraged to directly contact faculty members with whom they are interested in working prior to beginning the application procedure. The list of our graduate faculty members is posted here.

The application deadline is DECEMBER 30, 2022. Incomplete applications will not be considered. To begin the application process, please go to the UTSA Graduate Application portal here.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further with Anthropology faculty about the Ph.D. program, please contact:

Dr. Jamon Halvaksz
PhD Graduate Advisor

MH 4.03.24
(210) 458-5872

or any of the Anthropology faculty in your particular area of interest

General Application Information
The Graduate School

University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
(210) 458-4331

Application Materials

Resume or CV

The resume or curriculum vitae should provide summary information about applicants’ academic and professional backgrounds.

Record of Academic Performance

Applicants must provide official transcripts documenting undergraduate and graduate coursework and degrees.


Include a statement describing your reasons for entering UTSA’s Ph.D. program in Anthropology. This document should be 750-900 words in length (approximately three to five double-spaced pages) and should answer the following questions as completely as possible:

  • What particular facet of anthropology do you wish to pursue in your graduate education, including topical and regional specializations?
  • How have your prior coursework and related experiences prepared you for graduate work in anthropology?
  • How do your graduate interests mesh with an environmental emphasis in anthropology?
  • How do your interests mesh with our faculty and resources?
  • Which of our faculty members (at least 2) would you be interested in working with? Please outline the reasons for this designation.

Three Letters of Recommendation

As part of your application, you will need three letters of recommendation. Recommendations should preferably be from Anthropology faculty with whom you have worked during your academic training. We realize that this is not always possible, especially if you were trained at a smaller institution or Anthropology was not your major. In such cases, recommendations from other social science faculty or faculty in related fields are appropriate. Recommending faculty should be given information about how to submit letters electronically.

Writing Sample

Please include a writing sample that shows your writing abilities and analytical skills. Students usually submit a term paper from an upper-division or graduate class or a chapter of their Masters thesis.

Record of Undergraduate Academic Performance

Applicants are recommended but not required to have successfully completed at least 18 hours of undergraduate anthropology coursework. In addition, this background should reflect facility in anthropology’s four fields: archaeology, biological/physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

Admission Statuses

A degree-seeking applicant admitted to the Ph.D. program may receive unconditional, conditional, or probationary admission status. Please see UTSA’s Graduate Catalog for clarification of these terms.

In any given application cycle, Ph.D. applicants will be evaluated on the strength of their application materials and also against other applicants in the same pool.

Applicants for the Ph.D. program may be denied admission but asked to reapply to the M.A. program. If admitted to the M.A. program, such students may reapply to the Ph.D. program upon successful completion of their M.A. degrees.


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Main Office: MH 4.03.38

Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644