Academic Resources

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  • Your faculty advisor

    As a doctoral student, you need to proactively seek a faculty supervisor in your first semester to help you develop an appropriate Plan of Study (see below). Your advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty for your program, which you can verify on the Graduate College website. Master’s and certificate students are typically advised by the head of their programs.
  • Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS) 

    You are required to file an interactive Plan of Study prior to completion of half of the credits toward your certificate or degree, or sooner. We recommend filing by the end of your first semester with approvals by the school and Graduate College. Your iPOS will include specific degree requirements such as courses and a culminating experience which must be described in this document. The school’s graduate program academic success specialist should be your initial contact regarding these requirements.

    Once your iPOS has been approved at all levels, you can log into MyASU to complete committee or course changes, file a petition and track degree milestones (such as comprehensive examinations, dissertation proposals and graduation deadlines). Links to information appropriate to your stage in the program will also be available via MyASU. More information is available at from the Graduate College.
  • Staff advisor 

    Our school’s academic advisors can guide you through the application process, orientation, funding, course registration, degree progress, various ASU administrative situations and graduation. 
  • Graduate committee

    Faculty members who serve as the head of each approach and degree program serve on the school’s graduate committee. If you have questions about any aspect of the program, you are welcome to bring those concerns to the appropriate member of the graduate committee.


Our school and its Center for Archaeology and Society manage extensive archaeological, ethnographic and evolutionary anthropology collections. Primarily from Arizona but also representing Mesoamerica, Africa and Asia, they are available for your research, teaching and exhibitions. Of the more than 250,000 individual and bulk specimens, about 200,000 are digitized. Type and comparative collections are also available in a variety of materials: ceramics, fauna, pollen, seeds, non-human primates and fossil hominid and dental casts. Individual faculty members also maintain artifacts, human remains and/or related digital materials relevant to their teaching and research. See individual faculty members and further information on this site for access, since the collections are stored in multiple buildings on and off-campus.


You will have scores of opportunities to connect with faculty and fellow students at a full calendar of lectures, brown bag lunch discussions, dissertation defenses and exhibit openings. Our weekly newsletter is your best source of current event listings. The full calendar is also online.

Field schools

Leading faculty members conduct field schools around the world to provide you with hands-on experience and unique learning opportunities. Our students have excavated Bronze Age villages in the Mediterranean, explored the Ethiopian discovery site of the famed hominid fossil “Lucy,” studied the ancient cultures of the American Southwest, examined the paleoecology of the South African coast and trained at the Kampsville site of bioarchaeology and paleopathology pioneer Jane Buikstra. Specific program dates and registration deadlines are on our Field Schools pages.

Graduate computing lab

Your ASU identification card will allow you 24/7 access to Room 146 of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change Building, a state-of-the-art computing lab equipped specifically for our graduate student needs. You can bring your laptop or use the school’s computers, peripherals and wireless access. Additional software is also available from MyASU’s “my apps.” My Help/Help Desk is the convenient area on MyASU to submit a request for technical assistance.

Proposal writing

We offer ASM 579, a proposal writing course, each fall and spring semester for advanced graduate students. Proposal writing and reviewing are covered, with a focus on the National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant format, along with a number of professional development topics. In recent years, nearly all of our students who applied for the NSF dissertation improvement grant were successful, and in the past 11 years, we were awarded five of the Society for American Archaeology Dissertation Awards.

Subject librarian

Mimmo Bonanni serves as the subject librarian for the school, handling anthropology and archaeology, global health and museum studies. Bonnani is available to help students with their research needs by assisting in locating specialized resources; using RefWorks to manage citations and create custom bibliographies; and providing consultations for theses and dissertations, as well as research/teaching assistant duties.

Contact Bonanni at 480-965-8168 or via email.

Library guides:

TA/RA training and professional development

  • ASU Graduate Education administers the Teaching Assistant/Associate Development (TAD) Program to orient new TA’s to ASU, position expectations and to provide professional development throughout the first semester of your appointment. Roles of teaching assistants vary widely across campus so the program is flexible enough to meet your needs. The Arizona Board of Regents requires all new TAs to participate in TA training.
  • Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) is a nationally- recognized professional development program administered by ASU Graduate Education, if you are interested in pursuing a faculty position upon graduation. You will get the inside perspective of the demands of faculty life (research/scholarship, teaching, service) from distinguished faculty and administrative facilitators from ASU and other institutions. Admission is competitive.
  • ASU Graduate Education also offers Strategies for Success on grant proposals, publishing, teaching, research and a variety of other professional topics.
  • In addition to these university-wide resources, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change hosts a TA/RA training at the beginning of each academic year. Topics have included university governance, money management, social media and your professional identity, campus safety, creating a teaching portfolio, academic integrity, communicating with the media and negotiating with supervisors. We strive to make these trainings relevant to the issues faced by our students, and are always accepting suggestions for new topics.

Undergraduate research apprenticeship program supervision

We offer you the chance to supervise some of our top undergraduate students on research projects where you may need assistance. This not only gives our undergraduates critical research experience and helps expedite your project, but helps you hone your mentoring skills. All you need to do is apply for an apprentice, listing the faculty research investigator you are working with, and we will match a student with your needs. We can help guide you through developing clear expectations, coaching and efficiently managing your student mentees upon request. A call will go out each semester via the graduate student weekly e-digest, but feel free to speak with a graduate or undergraduate advisor or your faculty member in advance if you need help developing the detailed scope of work.