Published: March 14, 2011

Field Museum–University of Illinois at Chicago Joint Doctoral Program In Anthropology

Ryan Williams, Curator, Negaunee Integrative Research Center


Thanks to a unique academic partnership, the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago cooperates with anthropologists at the Field Museum, to offer advanced degrees in anthropology.

Resources and Facilities

The UIC and Field Museum departments have research laboratories supporting studies in archaeology, human genetics, sociocultural anthropology, and GIS. The archaeology faculty offers opportunities for student fieldwork and data analysis; facilities for and training in microwear analysis, geomorphology and sedimentary analysis and ancient DNA studies. The program in biological anthropology emphasizes paleoanthropology, human evolution and human genetics. Additional training opportunities are available with affiliated faculty at the UIC Medical Center.

The Field Museum collections contain over 600,000 objects from around the world. The Field Museum's Center for Cultural Understanding and Change (CCUC) uses the Museum's collections and expertise to promote connections to the diverse communities of the Chicago area through extensive outreach efforts and other programs. Interdisciplinary research opportunities are available through the Center for Evolutionary and Environmental Biology.

The UIC geography program provides extensive laboratory and research facilities for cartography, spatial analysis, remote sensing, and geographic information systems. There are two student PC labs designed to support GIS development and use. All GIS lab computers are linked to the UIC campus network that provides access to current versions of computer software and to a centralized UNIX server and supercomputer.

The Area

The University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest institution of higher learning in the Chicago area, with 24,000 students (66% undergraduate, 34% graduate) and 11,000 full-time faculty and staff. It is located in the heart of the city, just west of the loop. The Field Museum is located in Chicago's Lake Shore Campus, less than five miles away from the UIC campus. Both campuses are easily accessed through public transportation and are near housing, restaurants and nightlife. UIC is also a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which allows students to take advantage of course offerings at nearby University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

Application and Financial Aid information

All applications for graduate program must include the following: transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a completed application form, application fee and a statement of purpose. Application forms in both pdf and web formats are available from the UIC graduate college web page. If a student is applying from outside the USA, the application must also include Toeffl scores and English translations of the transcripts validated by their respective universities.

There are a limited number of university-wide fellowships available. The application deadline for students who wish to be considered for university scholarships is January 1. The deadline for admission for the following academic year is also January 1.

Teaching assistantships are reserved for students who have completed the core courses. There are also a limited number of departmental tuition-and-fee waivers for which incoming students may apply. Research assistantships are sometimes available through individual faculty members.

For further information

Visit the UIC Department of Anthropology home page and the Field Museum Department of Anthropology home page.

Written inquiries should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Ryan Williams
Curator, Negaunee Integrative Research Center

As department chair, I have primary responsibility for the administration of the department of Anthropology, including curatorial, collections, and conservation activities.

I am an anthropological archaeologist who works on the earliest expansionist states of South America. My scholarly interests are focused on the development of ideological systems associated with early “global” polities.  I am very interested in understanding the material basis for the interaction between different component groups in first generation heterogeneous expansive states, and the nature of the relationships between peer polities at this political scale.  

My research has focused on one of the few cases where we can archaeologically document extensive long term direct contact between two such polities: Wari and Tiwanaku.  I am currently undertaking research at the only known site of such direct interaction.  I also work with colleagues in other regions under the domination of the same cultures in order to obtain a comparative perspective on this relationship.