A Note to Prospective Graduate Students


I will probably not accept new graduate students in the near future. The funding situation is poor at present, and as you are probably well aware, the job market for tenure-track anthropologists is fairly grim. I may occasionally accept students if adequate funding can be secured and if they meet (or are willing to meet) the following criteria:.

  1. Students should be interested in either paleoecology (hominin or otherwise) and/or biogeochemical (e.g., light or heavy isotope) applications in neoecology, biological anthropology or bioarchaeology. On rare occasion I might accept a student whose primary interests lie in the philosophical or historical fringes of biological anthropology.

  2. Students should expect to gain competence in all of the following areas within their first two years of graduate school: human anatomy/osteology, human biology/physiology, comparative vertebrate osteology, genetics, primate ecology and evolution, and the human fossil record. Students should be able to demonstrate mastery, more or less, of two of the above areas during the fourth year. Of course, for those contemplating projects involving biogeochemical techniques, mastery of the relevant material must also be demonstrated by the end of the fourth year.

Also bear in mind that my colleagues and I can only accept about 10% of all applicants to our graduate program.

Please get in touch with me at matt.sponheimer@colorado.edu if you have any questions.