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Graduate Program in Anthropology



The Hunter College Master's Program in Anthropology offers a first-class graduate-level grounding in the basics of anthropology and extensive exposure to advanced research. We are committed to providing a level of Master's training second to none. Our program prepares students for a wide array of professions (more information about this below), and provides a disciplinary grounding for students interested in pursuing advanced study in any of the four fields of Anthropology.

We offer MA-level coursework in all four fields of anthropology (Cultural, Linguistic, Biological, and Archeological), and accepted students focus on one of the following subfield specializations in order to complete their degree:

  • Evolutionary Primatology
  • Archaeology of Global Change
  • Cultural Anthropology

We do not currently offer a full course of study leading to an MA specialization in Linguistic Anthropology or Forensic Anthropology.

All MA students are advised by a faculty member whose research and interests are complementary to those of the student. Full details about current faculty and their research can be found above, under PEOPLE (

Contact the Department's Graduate Advisor at with any questions about applying, about the department's research specialties, or whether the MA program in Anthropology can provide training toward particular research interests or professional goals.

How to Apply

The Program in Anthropology accepts applications each Spring, and admits new students to begin their studies in the Fall of each academic year. Information about applying for graduate studies at Hunter College and annual deadlines can be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Admission to the MA in Anthropology is based on a personal statement, student transcripts, letters of recommendation, and Graduate Record Examination scores. All applicants should explain their specific interests and identify a potential advisor for independent research in their personal statement, after reviewing our current faculty and our range of research interests. Many applicants have little or no previous experience in anthropology, or may hold undergraduate degrees in related fields. Evidence of previous academic success generally carries considerable weight. For applicants who have been out of school for some time, the nature of job experience is clearly important (for example, some students have current or previous employment with the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, the American Museum of Natural History, and similar institutions).

Financial Aid 

Full-time graduate students may be eligible for some financial aid and/or work-study jobs from the College, New York State or other sources. Part-time students usually have fewer financial aid options. The Department does not offer any financial aid that can be applied to college tuition. All students in need of financial aid should visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

Full-Time and Part-Time Study

The Hunter MA in Anthropology consists of 30 credits of coursework, with most classes bearing 3 credits. Students may pursue their degree on a full-time basis (defined as nine or more credits, or 3+ classes, per semester) or a part-time basis (one or two classes per semester). 

Many, but not all, of our graduate courses are offered in the evening. However, some courses required toward the MA degree may be offered on other schedules, twice or three times per week, may require extensive lab-work, or may otherwise require time on campus during normal business hours. A flexible work schedule is necessary to complete our MA on a part-time basis.

The MA degree can be completed in two years (four semesters) of full-time study; we expect part-time students to finish within four years. After four years of part-time enrollment, a time-extension can be granted for part-time students making satisfactory progress toward their degree.

Non-Degree Study

Interested students may apply to take a limited number of classes as non-degree (or non-matriculated) graduate students. Application to take courses on a non-degree basis is made in the first instance via the Graduate Admissions office. This is a good pathway for students hoping to apply to the MA program or those seeking to deepen their knowledge of the field in preparation for graduate applications elsewhere or for professional enrichment. Non-degree students may take up to 12 credits. Those who have received grades of B or better may apply for full matriculation, and their credits can be applied toward their MA.

Advising and Research

Prospective students can expect to conduct individual research during their MA coursework, with some students completing an MA Thesis based on extensive independent research. In biological anthropology, faculty advisors are assigned to students at the time of acceptance. For other fields, students will choose a thesis advisor as they develop their project. The faculty advisor must be a full-time member of the Anthropology faculty.

After the MA Degree

Graduates of the M.A. Program in Anthropology are represented in the most varied careers. Somewhat less than half pursue doctoral degrees, gaining admission to and graduating from some of the best PhD programs in the United States and abroad. A significant number have careers with contract archaeology, cultural resource management and environmental consulting firms. Many work in K-12 education, generally as high school social studies teachers. Other alumni include curators and full-time staff members and researchers at  the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, the Ellis Island Museum and the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum; the director of the Center for Anthropology and Science Communications; a researcher with the New York City Medical Examiner's Office; a zookeeper at the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo); the founder and president of a language school in Costa Rica; an operation's analyst for the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank; a historic preservation manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency; a senior account executive at Mal Warwick, a marketing company; the development director at the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council; the president of CampGroup, a consortium of summer sports camps; a researcher at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center; the membership assessment coordinator for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; an environmental policy advisor at the Bronx River Alliance; several successful self-employed graphic artists and web designers; the social media editor at CFA Institute, the professional organization of certified financial planners; a program operations manager at City Green, an environmental non-profit; and a senior operations manager at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).

Contact the Department's Graduate Advisor at for more information.

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