BS in Biological Anthropology/MS in Human Paleobiology


A student in the lab holding a tool and examining fossils


The dual Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology and Master of Science in Human Paleobiology program allows students to complete the graduate degree on an accelerated timeline by completing nine graduate credits as part of the undergraduate program. 



Application Requirements

Students in the BS in Biological Anthropology degree program may apply to the MS in Human Paleobiology once they have accumulated 60 credits at GW and have consulted with biological anthropology advisors. Applicants must be declared anthropology, archaeology or biological anthropology majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major. Students must also fill out a Combined Degree Credit Form specifying the double-counted courses they plan to take and submit it to the director of graduate studies. GRE scores are not required.

Eligible students will apply for formal admission into the BS/MS program, through the CCAS Combined Degree Application process. Students will be recommended for admission to the MS program on the same basis as other applicants for the MS degree, with the final decision being made by the CCAS graduate dean.


Degree Timeline

BS/MS students receive their BS in Biological Anthropology after four years, and are admitted to the MS in Human Paleobiology program with the understanding that nine credits of graduate coursework taken during their senior year will double-count towards the BS degree. This schedule leaves another 27 credits following the end of the student’s senior year to complete the MS degree. The remaining 27 credits for the MS degree normally will be taken during the summer after the senior year (six credits of coursework or field or laboratory research), plus two additional semesters with the normal full-time MS student load of nine credits per semester. Students will therefore be able to complete the BS/MS dual degree with one year of full-time study beyond the BS degree.

Sample Schedule


Fall (15 hours)

  • Two upper-level biological anthropology and palaeolithic archaeology electives (ANTH 3400-3499)
  • Upper-level elective in anthropology (not biological or paleoarchaeology)
    • ANTH  2000 or above, but not including courses in the 3400-3499 or the 3802 or 3832 range
  • Upper-level BISC elective organismal, evolutionary or ecological biology 
  • 1 elective/GPAC course 
  • Apply for admission to BS/MS before Feb 15 of academic year

Spring (15 hours)

  • Upper-level elective in biological anthropology/paleoarchaeology (ANTH 3400-3499 and 3800-3899)
  • Upper-level elective in biological sciences, cell and molecular biology (BISC 22## and 32### course numbers)
  • Upper-level anthropology class (ANTH 2000 and above, excluding 3400-3499)
  • Additional science or math or statistics class
  • 1 elective/GPAC course/or research credits


Fall (15 hours, including 3 for undergraduate/graduate credit)

  • 4 upper-level electives in biological anthropology and/or in biological sciences, including one graduate course for combined graduate/undergraduate credit
  • 3 hours research or thesis credits

Spring (15 hours, including 6 for undergraduate/graduate credit)

  • 3 electives in biological anthropology and/or biological sciences, or another science -- should include one graduate course for combined graduate/undergraduate credit
  • Elective or research/thesis credits
  • First graduate core class in hominin paleobiology, paleolithic archaeology, genetics or primatology

Summer After Senior Year (nine hours)

  • Anth 6995, graduate research

In limited circumstances, students may be able to take upper-level undergraduate courses (3000-level courses) for graduate credit, but this must first be approved by the Director of Graduate Study and the Course Instructor prior to registration.  

Fall (nine hours)

  • Second core class in biological anthropology
  • Two electives (could include three hours thesis research /internship)

Spring (9 hours)

  • Third core class in biological anthropology
  • Two electives (could include 3 hours thesis research/internship)
  • Submit approved thesis in May or August


Course Requirements

Students take nine graduate credits as part of their undergraduate program. All requirements for both the BS in Biological Anthropology and the MS in Human Paleobiology must be fulfilled.