MS in Human Paleobiology

student digging with a pickaxe

In the Master of Science in Human Paleobiology program, students investigate the origins and evolution of humankind through interdisciplinary research using the latest instrumentation. 

The STEM-designated program works in tandem with the Anthropology Department’s Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and incorporates faculty from the GW Departments of  Biological Sciences; Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; and Anatomy and Regenerative Biology. MS students also benefit from the program’s ties to the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program and other research centers in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Master’s level coursework includes small-group seminars, original research in our state-of-the-art facilities and two laboratory rotations or fieldwork at institutions outside of GW. 

Our alumni have gone on to exciting careers in secondary and higher education, academic publishing, data anlytics, research program management, library sciences, museum exhibition development, and more. Our MS graduates have also furthered their education and enrolled in various doctoral programs.  

Application Deadlines and Guidance

The MS Program's deadline will be in the February before the semester you intend to enroll (almost always in September). Please contact the DGS if you have any other questions.

GRE scores are not required for application to the MA, MS and PhD programs and, if submitted with the application, will play no role in our departmental admissions decisions. The department of anthropology values building a thriving intellectual community that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. We do not consider GRE scores to be a valid predictor of intellectual promise — indeed we believe the GRE often promotes injustices that are contrary to our values.



Course Requirements 

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

36 credits in a program developed in consultation with the advisor.

Core courses
HOMP 6202Lab Techniques: Paleoanthropology *
HOMP 6203Ethics and Professional Practice I
ANTH 6413Analytical Methods in Human Evolutionary Studies
At least one paleobiology core course selected from the following:
HOMP 6201Hominid Paleobiology
ANTH 6801Paleolithic Archaeology
or HOMP 6201 Hominid Paleobiology
At least one modern biology core course selected from the following:
ANTH 6403Primate Behavior
ANTH 6404The Evolution of Primate Life Histories
ANTH 6407Anthropological Genetics
ANTH 6423Evolution of the Human Brain
17 to 19 credits in elective courses. Courses should be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor, and may include a combination of the following: independent laboratory or field-based research; a field course; relevant courses in Anatomy, Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Geography, Geology, Human Paleobiology, Psychology, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Science available at GW; and/or relevant courses from the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
HOMP 6999Thesis Research (taken for 6 credits)

*In order to maintain a 9-credit per semester courseload, students register for 1 to 3 credits in HOMP 6202, depending on the number of credits taken in the other courses for which they are concurrently enrolled.