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MA Degree Requirements

Students must complete 30 credit hours of course work. Coursework includes the required introductory courses in the four subfields (ANTH 701 Ethnology; ANTH 750 Archaeology; ANTH 770 Linguistics; ANTH 790 Biological Anthropology) and 18 credit hours of elective credit. In addition, all students must pass a foreign language examination (or with approval of the Graduate Advisor, a course in statistical analysis or quantitative methods), and write a master's thesis. Students must receive a grade of B or above to have a course count toward the MA.

Up to two courses, including any transfer credit, may be taken outside the department, subject to approval by the Graduate Advisor.

Up to two sections of Independent Research (ANTH 785/786) may count toward the degree.


Statistics and Language Examination

The Department requires an ability to read scholarly work in a major non-English research language, and/or a basic working knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics. Language examinations are offered once each semester and may be repeated until satisfactory performance is attained. They are administered by the Graduate Advisor and graded by an appropriate faculty member or other language expert.

In recent years students have taken language exams in Bulgarian, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. On rare occasions, and at the discretion of the Department, students who are educated native speakers of a language other than English (as demonstrated by the completion of high-level secondary or university training in a non-English-speaking institution abroad) may be exempted from the language examination.

Students usually fulfill the statistics requirement by enrolling in either ANTH 705.00 or ANTH 751.54. They may also take a similar graduate course in another department if they obtain prior approval from the Graduate Advisor. Those with substantial background in quantitative methods may, on rare occasions, request to be examined in lieu of taking a course. Language examinations are offered on an ongoing basis (for more information, click here). They are administered by the Graduate Advisor and evaluated by an appropriate faculty member.

MA Thesis Requirement

Before graduating from the program, every MA student must write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor and second reader.  As they work on their MA theses, successful students develop the research and writing skills expected of a professional anthropologist.  We expect the MA thesis to be of good enough quality to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.   Some students do their thesis research while serving as a member of a faculty member's research team.  In those cases, the thesis topic usually grows out of their professor's work. Others choose to do independent research.

For questions or further information, please contact the Graduate Advisor.

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