Our department offers a number of graduate options to help you in the next step of your career, whether it's a private or public sector role or a doctoral program.

For more information, contact Professor and Graduate Chair Dr. LuAnn Wandsnider at lwandsnider1@unl.edu .

The deadline for Fall 2021 admission is February 1, 2021.

MA and Certificate Options

Master of Arts in Anthropology

We offer three options for a Masters of Art degree: a thesis option and two non-thesis options. The department usually encourages students to pursue the thesis option to create more employment or graduate school opportunities.

All students complete three elective courses in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology.

The Professional Archaeology specialization for our Master of Arts program prepares students for work in federal and state entities as well as private CRM firms and includes internships at the Midwest Archaeological Center (MWAC).  Nearly all of our graduates find jobs in archaeological enterprises.

Degree and certificate requirements

Graduate Certificates

  • Digital Humanities: 3D modeling of historic and pre-historic building, settlements, and artifacts and geo-spatial technologies. Check out the work of some of our students.
  • Forensic Anthropology: involves internships and training at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency office in Omaha.  This well-funded federal unit is largely staffed by forensic anthropologists and is responsible for the recovery of U.S. war dead around the world.  Skills in skeletal identification, artifact analysis, and excavation relevant to crime scene investigation and other forensic investigations are taught.
  • Museum Studies: a multidisciplinary collaboration designed to prepare graduates for positions in museums and historical societies.

How to apply

The required materials outlined below are submitted online to the Office of Graduate Studies.

If you have any questions, please contact Kat Krutak-Bickert at 402-472-2411 or kbickert2@unl.edu.

apply online

Applicant evaluation

The department reviews graduate applications in mid-February for Fall admission.

Statement of Purpose:
A statement detailing your career goals and educational objectives (2-3 double-spaced pages). We look at your writing ability, how focused your interests are, and how much we can help you meet your objectives and goals.

If, for example, you indicate that you wish to study eastern North American archaeology, then we would not admit you since we have no one on staff to supervise such work.

We have no minimum GRE cutoff but use these scores to evaluate your potential performance. Mediocre GRE scores can be compensated for with experience, good grades, glowing letters of reference, and so on.

Transcript of Courses:
We consider your performance in undergraduate classes, especially in anthropology. Students with better grades tend to know what they are good at and have mastered the skills needed to be successful graduate students. Some students may have low grades from their freshman and sophomore years; we expect to see As and Bs in anthropological coursework by their junior year.

If there are gaps or series of withdrawals or incompletes in your academic career, we look for explanations.

Letters of Reference:
Three letters of reference should come from professionals who can speak to your ability to perform graduate level work, such as a professor you partnered with for independent study, senior seminar work, field school, or lab work. A supervisor from work could also be a reference.

Be sure they know you well enough to write you a positive letter, tailored to admission. Provide them with a resume or summary of work and academic experiences.

Why graduate admission is competitive

Our department is small but active. Rather than admitting a higher number of students who would receive less attention, we admit a limited number of students to better support intellectually and perhaps financially.

Additionally, professors suited to particular interests may be on leave or working with other graduate students.