Research

Graduate Degrees & Specializations

We offer an MA/PhD degree program in Anthropology with specializations in Archaeology, Integrative Anthropological Sciences (IAS), and Sociocultural Anthropology. Further specialization is possible within each of these fields. We offer a terminal MA degree program only in North American Archaeology with emphases including California archaeology and paleoethnobotany. The MA-only program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in cultural resource management. An MA-only degree is not available in Sociocultural Anthropology or IAS.

Archaeology Emphasis

The archaeology program is committed to providing students with a broad understanding of anthropological archaeology while also providing opportunities for the development of scholarly expertise in particular theoretical, methodological, and geographic areas. Faculty research interests include political economy, identity politics, empires, culture contact and interaction, secondary state formation, cultural ecology, and human behavioral ecology. Student and faculty researchers pursue these interests globally with particular emphasis placed on the archaeology of Andean South America, southern Germany, northern Africa, eastern North America, Coastal California, and Mesoamerica. Methodological interests include epigraphy, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, ceramic analysis, lithic analysis,and architectural and spatial analysis.

Learn more about the Archaeology Specialization

IAS Emphasis

Graduate study in UCSB’s IAS program offers a unique combination of strengths conducive to discovery in areas of human behavior, culture, psychology, and health. First, an emphasis on past selection pressures illuminates the evolutionary bases of human phenotypic design and variation. Second, more than any other social science, anthropology is in a position to capitalize on rich ethnographic fieldwork to catalyze fruitful interactions between theory development and empirical data. Third, life-history perspectives offered at UCSB provide a powerful framework for analyzing variation in human growth, development, reproduction, aging, and mortality. Fourth, psychological approaches are emphasized to highlight the cognitive underpinnings of behavioral adaptations. Finally, a commitment to a fully interdisciplinary approach, and ties to other Centers throughout the University, allow both first-rate anthropological research and genuine contributions across the broad range of human sciences.

Learn more about the Integrative Anthropological Sciences Specialization

Sociocultural Emphasis

Our program uses the theories and methods of social and cultural anthropology to examine contemporary processes related to the changing global order. Our goal is to prepare students to participate in these matters both as scholars and as engaged citizens. Our programmatic emphases center on the cultural and social dimensions of such issues as distribution and inequality, production and reproduction, citizenship and statecraft, human-environmental interactions, religion, and media from the perspective of an engaged anthropology.  Core and affiliated faculty conduct research in Asia, including India, Japan, and China, and the Americas, from the Brazilian Amazon and Central America to the United States, Mexico, California, and “borderlands.”

Learn more about the Sociocultural Anthropology Specialization