The Plan


Before I talk about any specific plans, here are my personal constraints:

  • I currently work full time as a software engineer, and my financial commitments are such that I need to keep working.
  • I have agreed to stay in Maricopa County (the Phoenix area) until both of my children are grown (until the Summer of 2009).
  • I have agreed to stay in Maricopa County (the Phoenix area) until my wife's sone leaves for college (until the Summer of 2011).


Since 2004, this website has served to chronicle Phase 1 of my plan to become an Anthropologist: getting my B.A. Well, it's time to stop updating this list of classes and start focusing on Phase 2. If you are in the least buit interested in how I accomplished PHase 1 (for the most part), you can look at Phase 1.

Recent History

Since returning to school in 2004, I've managed to take courses every semester, and even attended a couple of summer sessions. I have accumulated 45 credit hours in Anthropology, completed all of my requirements (except for 2 remaining Spanish classes), and have taken and excelled in two graduate seminars at two different universities. My lowest grade was an A- in Human Osteology, and I scored high enough on the GRE that I will never need to take it again.
In spite of all this, NAU declined my application to their Masters program, citing a lack of focus.  So... time for a plan for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Graduate Studies

Here's the current plan:

  1. Get a focus.
  2. Take grad courses in the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters as a non-degree-seeking student
  3. Apply to NAU in February 2010 for the Fall 2010 semester
  4. Begin the Masters program at NAU with 9 applicable credit hours (six at NAU and three transferred from UofA)
  5. Earn Masters by May, 2012???


I've suffered from the very beginning... see, I have trouble deciding on only ONE area to study. That's incompatible with the modern graduate school thinking, and it obviously got me in trouble.

After studying Archaeological Architecture with Mike Smith and following it up with a seminar on Preclasic Maya and the transition to complexity, I think I've found a focus. I've discovered a strong interest in the way humans organized themselves within pre-state communities, and would like to use comparative techniques cross-culturally to find common themes.

Even though I originally thought I would like to pursue this angle in a Mesoamerican context, the various constraints in my life make that difficult. The truth is, there is a wealth of evidence of pre-state settlements right in my back yard, and I can do a lot of good research right here in the American Southwest.

Preparing for the Masters

I have two semesters to take graduate courses at NAU before I can get into the program for real.

Fall 2009

  • ANT 555 Lithic Analysis

Spring 2010 - one of the following (hopefully)

  • ANT 552 Ceramic Analysis
  • ANT 568 Quantitative Research Methods
  • ANT 599 GIS in Archaeology
  • ANT 524 Cultural Resource Management
  • ANT 548 Anthro of Development
  • ANT 615 Southwest Ethnology

The NAU Masters Program

The Thesis track includes 36 credit hours plus a successful oral thesis defense. I plan to choose "Communities & Globalization" as my program focus. With any luck, NAU will accept ANTH 553 as a transfer course from UofA, and with two other courses under my belt, I'll only have 27 remaining hours (7 courses plus thesis). I might be able to get that done in two years.

  • Core Courses (18 hours)

    ANT 600: Anthropological Theory (3)
    ANT 635: Archaeological Theory (3)
    ANT 636: Archaeological Methods and Inference (3)
    ANT 605: Pre-Thesis Seminar (3)
    ANT 699: Thesis (6)

  • Program Focus/Electives (18 hours)

    ANT 555: Lithic Analysis (3) - Fall 2009
    ANTH 553: Mesoamerican Archaeology (3) - Xfer from UofA
    ANT 548: Anthro of Development (3)
    ANT 615: Southwest Ethnology (3)
    ANT 546: Culture Change Simulation (3)
    ANT 552: Ceramic Analysis (3)
    ANT 608: Fieldwork (3)