MA in Anthropology

Admission to the MA program in anthropology requires the completion of a minimum of 15 credit hours in anthropology to include courses in the history and theory of anthropology and in the three main subdivisions of the discipline, and a grade point average of 3.250 (on a 4.000 scale).

The deadline for application is February 1 for fall and October 1 for spring. Prospective students are required to submit a written statement of purpose that addresses their intended area(s) of specialization. Applications will be reviewed by the entire faculty and those meeting the admission requirements may be accepted if there is a faculty member specializing in the applicant’s area of interest and available to serve as graduate advisor.

Applicants will be notified of the faculty’s decision by March 15 for fall admission or November 15 for spring admission. Students deficient in any of the course prerequisites may be admitted conditionally pending removal of the deficiencies.

Application deadlines for financial award consideration are February 1 for fall and October 1 for Spring. Awards will continue until funds are depleted.

Program Requirements

Only graduate students may enroll in 700- and 800-level courses for graduate credit. All graduate students who have been required to take ANTH 647 must successfully complete this requirement prior to enrolling in ANTH 746. Graduate enrollment in ANTH 770 requires successful completion of the corresponding core course of the particular area of focus, that is, ANTH 736 or ANTH 746 or ANTH 756. To enroll in a graduate seminar (ANTH 801, ANTH 802, ANTH 820, ANTH 837 or ANTH 848, a student must have full graduate standing and 6 credit hours of graduate coursework in anthropology, including the core course (ANTH 736, ANTH 746 or ANTH 756) in the same subfield as the seminar. To enroll in ANTH 871ANTH 872, ANTH 873ANTH 874, or ANTH 875ANTH 876, graduate students must have successfully completed ANTH 736, ANTH 746 and ANTH 756 and have their final project (thesis, project or internship) approved by their committee.

A master’s degree in anthropology requires 36 credit hours of graduate study, of which 60 percent (22 credit hours) must be numbered 700 or above.

Core Courses
ANTH 736Advanced Studies in Archaeology and Ethnohistory3
ANTH 746Advanced Studies in Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 756Advanced Studies in Biological Anthropology3
Select two of the following seminars:6
Seminar in Archaeology
Methods In Anthropology
Seminar in Biological Anthropology
Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Recent Developments in Anthropology
Take two semesters of the following:2
Colloquium in Anthropology
Select a track (see details below)4
Total Credit Hours21

Students in all tracks are required to complete the core course in a particular subfield (cultural, biological or archaeological anthropology) prior to registering for any seminar in the same subfield, and students must complete seminars in two subfields. Students interested in multidisciplinary topics may, with the consent of their committee, count up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level credit from other disciplines toward their degree.

Track 1

Track 1 requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above and the following:

Completion of written comprehensive exams
ANTH 875Thesis2
ANTH 876Thesis2
Presentation of a thesis
Statistics requirement
Total Credit Hours4

Comprehensive exams are graded by all full-time teaching faculty in the department.

Track 2

Track 2 requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above and the following:

Completion of a project approved by the student’s project committee
Presentation of a project report
ANTH 873Advanced Projects in Anthropology2
ANTH 874Advanced Projects in Anthropology2
Total Credit Hours4

Track 3

Track 3 requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above and the following:

Completion of an internship approved by the student’s internship committee
Presentation of an internship report
ANTH 871Internship in Anthropology2
ANTH 872Internship in Anthropology2
Total Credit Hours4

All Tracks

Students in all tracks are required to form a thesis/project/internship committee of at least two full-time graduate teaching faculty from within the anthropology department and at least one graduate faculty from another department. This committee must be formed prior to, or upon the completion of, 18 credit hours of graduate study. Students must present to their committee a proposal for their thesis, project or internship. The committee approves these proposals and also the oral defense of all theses, project reports and internship reports. Theses, project reports and internship reports must be submitted to the committee at least 10 working days prior to the date of the actual defense.

All students who present a thesis, project or internship must pass an oral defense of their effort. A foreign language examination is contingent upon the nature of the thesis topic.


Students in Track 1 are required to take the written comprehensive examination. Students must have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours of graduate work in anthropology, including ANTH 736, ANTH 746 and ANTH 756, before taking the examination which is usually given during the fourth week of each semester. All graduate students taking the comprehensive examination must obtain the Packet for the Comprehensive Examination (PACE) from the department office for detailed information on this requirement. Students are required to sign up for the comprehensive exam during the semester prior to taking it. Also, students must attend a comprehensive exam workshop during the semester prior to taking the exam.