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, GRE scores, 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.
Learn about our Ph.D. Alumni and where they are now!
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.
Complete applications received by NOVEMBER 1 will receive priority in decisions regarding university-wide fellowships and funding opportunities. The final application deadline is FEBRUARY 1, at which point funding opportunities at the department level (including teaching assistantships) will be made. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
If you have any questions or would like to talk further with Anthropology faculty about the Ph.D. program, please contact:
Dr. Thad Bartlett
PhD Graduate Advisor
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
The resume or curriculum vitae should provide summary information about applicants’ academic and professional backgrounds.
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:
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.
Please see GRE for information about theexamination, including test locations and dates. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, GRE scores will be considered only as one element in the evaluation of applicants. Other elements include undergraduate and graduate academic performance, the application essay, and letters of recommendation.
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.
Applicants should 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.
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.
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