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MA Degree Program

The Anthropology faculty in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies offers a Master of Arts.

The program is a thesis-driven combination of advanced coursework and original research which is designed for a variety of different students, including those who will use this graduate program to deepen their knowledge and develop their skills in order to to pursue a Ph.D. degree, or those who plan to teach Anthropology at the junior or community college level, or those who intend to pursue careers as applied anthropologists.

The MA requires the completion of 30 semester hours of graduate level course work with a cumulative standing of 3.0/(B) or better, plus 6 hours of thesis (making a total of 36 semester hours earned), and satisfactory completion of the MA Comprehensive Examination. 

The MA Comprehensive Exam consists of a written prospectus for thesis research, elaborating the proposed research project, accompanied by an oral defense of that document to the student’s examining committee members.  During the oral exam, the committee evaluates the written and oral formulation of the project and the degree to which the prospectus demonstrates sufficient knowledge of the thesis topic.  The examining committee also assess the extent to which the prospectus comprehensively integrates an understanding of pertinent aspects of the program’s three required courses (addressing theory, research methodology, and data analysis) as well as all other relevant coursework.

The required sequence of 3 courses for the first year of graduate study are:

  • ANTH 6300:  Foundations of Anthropological Theory
  • ANTH 6310:  Research Methods in Anthropology
  • ANTH 6325:  Computer-Assisted Data Analysis in Anthropology

Other courses that a student takes prior to the thesis prospectus defense will depend on the subject of the thesis, to be determined in consultation with the thesis chair.

The 30 hours of course work may include 6 graduate-level hours outside the department, if deemed pertinent by the student’s thesis committee chair. 

Major areas of study in the program include:  cultural anthropology/ comparative cultural studies; medical anthropology; linguistic anthropology; and archaeology/ bioarchaeology, with program research area strengths including: Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, and medical anthropology in all subdisciplines.

 For a fuller sense of the range of specialized expertise in the program, explore the individual biographical information of the Anthropology faculty.