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Human Health and Biology

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Graduate Anthropology Program

Human Health and Biology

Biological anthropology at the University of Oklahoma is based on a biocultural framework focusing on human biology of living populations, skeletal biology, human genetics, and demography. Medical anthropology at the University of Oklahoma includes particular strengths in applied medical anthropology in Native North America; health systems and policy; research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic knowledge; human development and health; and inquiry into the human experience of psychiatric distress and healing.

The Human Health and Biology Ph.D. track is an integrative Biological and Medical Anthropology program focusing on the adaptation, evolution, and behaviors of human ancestors and contemporary populations. The conceptual framework of this track is based on the holistic anthropological approach to understanding humanity with its global and temporal commonalities and its ecological, sociocultural, and biological diversity. Viewing the evolution of human beings through biological and cultural interactive processes provides an understanding of how humans adapted and are adapting to the dynamic world they evolved in the past and live in today. This unique perspective from biological and medical anthropology sets the foundation to studying the development of health, illness, disease, and death in both human history and the contemporary world.

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The University of Oklahoma offers a broad range of graduate-level biological and medical anthropology courses including special topics courses and seminars. Please see the OU course catalog for additional anthropology courses. Please click here to see the courses offered during the current and upcoming semester. Ph.D. students in Anthropology's Human Health and Biology track take core courses in biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and sociocultural anthropology, if they have not already done so in their Master's program. They also take an advanced theory course (Theoretical Foundations of Biological and Medical Anthropology), as well as two additional methods courses. Ph.D. requirements include 90 hours of credit (61 credit hours of course work plus 29 hours of dissertation research). For more information, please see the application procedures and graduate program requirements.

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Thesis, dissertation, and other graduate-level research is conducted in consultation with the faculty. To aid in this process, each graduate student is assigned a faculty mentor upon entry into the program. Ultimately, this individual may or may not serve on or chair the student's graduate committee. Students have a wide variety of independent research opportunities in biological and medical anthropology for the Master's and Ph.D. programs. These include research at the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR), the Center for Applied Social Research, the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, and research with Anthropology faculty members.