UNM vs UMD???

So, I was recently accepted into the a Master’s program in Applied Anthropology at UMD, and also a Master’s program in Geography and Environmental Sciences at UNM in Albuquerque. Both would be fully funded with a paid GA. I am having a very tough time deciding because while UMD has the #4 Anthropology program in the country (while the Geography department at UNM is ranked #144), my partner was just accepted to the Anthropology dept. at UNM for her undergraduate, so this would provide further incentive to attend UNM. Both are fairly different programs, one is practicum based and the other thesis based, but they both offer classes that sound great. I have reached out to current and former students in both programs and they have all enjoyed their respective programs.

That being said, if I decide to attend UMD my partner has decided to stay here (in Nashville) to finish her undergraduate with in-state tuition.

Are these ratings arbitrary? I’m sure UMD is more reputable than UNM, but is that reason enough to choose that program?


Sorry for the late reply, but I don’t check this thread every week.

UNM’s program is a very hands-on and field oriented, vs theoretical and classroom oriented. So it all depends on what you value in a graduate program.

NM has numerous pre-columbian sites and the dry landscape makes finding and locating new sites and digs pretty straight-forward. BTW, Erik Trinkaus got his start here at UNM. (He was professor in the anthropology dept before he moved on to WashU.) UNM’s biology is dept is very much focused around ecological and evolutionary bio so there is the potential for crossover funding and projects.

As for which is the best decision for you and your partner–only you and your partner can make that decision.

Did your partner apply for the Amigo scholarship? They would get in-state costs. (Undergrad tuition is under $8K/year for a full time student.)

Scholarship info–