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Degree Requirements

Anthropology / MA program/ Degree Requirements

THESIS PLAN (36 Semester Hours)


  1. ANTH 6300: Seminar in Anthropological Theory; ANTH 6310: Anthropological Research Design; ANTH 6325: Computer-Based Data Analysis (9 Credits). These courses should be taken in that order, beginning with the first Fall Semester, if possible.
  2. Depending on the student’s area of research interest and thesis topic, it is recommended that students take at least 2 courses that specifically provide general background for the relevant sub-discipline of Anthropology. If the area of concentration is Cultural Anthropology, then ANTH 6315: Ethnographic Analysis is required.
  3. Additional approved course work (15 semester hours) at the 6000 level; 6 semester hours of these may be taken outside the department.
  4. ANTH 6399/ 7399 -Thesis (6 semester hours). Note: A student may register for these hours only when s/he is actually working on a thesis. Thesis hours are to be taken only when the student is actually working on a thesis. They can be taken the semester the student takes the comprehensive examination (prospectus defense), but cannot be taken before then.
  5. Satisfactory completion of Comprehensive Examination.
  6. Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0; in addition, the student must earn at least a "B" in all required courses and any courses to be used in support of the Comprehensive Examination (prospectus defense).
  7. Adherence to the Four-C Rule - if a student earns a total of four C's during her/his graduate career, s/he is automatically dropped from the graduate program.

Major Considerations for Master’s Degree Students

  1. Students should be sure to complete the required course work and must be sure to have 30 course hours and 6 thesis hours.
  2. You must take the required courses in the order recommended and as soon as possible. ANTH 6300 and ANTH 6310 will be taught concurrently in the Fall semester and ANTH 6325 in the Spring semester. You may not take ANTH 6325 unless both 6300 and 6310 have been satisfactorily completed.
  3. Chair – Choose a chair for your thesis committee from the departmental faculty whose expertise can support your development of a thesis topic of interest. This choice is made in consultation with the faculty member whom the student seeks as a thesis advisor. Ideally, this decision should be made by the end of the first year of academic study.
  4. Formation of Committee – The thesis committee must be formed, at the latest, during the same semester as taking the comprehensive examination. This is done by a form for the college, available from the Department office.
    1. This committee must be approved by the Graduate Advisor.
    2. All changes in the make-up of the committee must be approved by the Graduate Advisor.
  5. Comprehensive examination – This consists of two parts: a written prospectus for thesis research, and an oral defense. The examining committee will assess the extent to which the written 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. Further details on the Comprehensive Exam are available under Advice for Completing the Degree.
  6. Final Thesis Defense – The scheduling of the defense takes place when the chair of the thesis committee decides the thesis is ready. Each semester the date at which a thesis must be defended for graduation will be posted during the semester on the university’s Academic Calendar.
    1. The student should also be prepared to make a presentation on the thesis to the Department.
    2. Final Draft – The final draft of the thesis report should be in the committee’s hands preferably two weeks prior to the University deadline for submission of the thesis.
    3. Submission of Thesis – Due at the Graduate Office by the posted deadline (see Academic Calendar).

Graduate Advising

All queries and requests concerning the graduate program should be directed to the Graduate Advisor of the Anthropology program. The Graduate Advisor serves as the counselor for all graduate students before and upon entry into the program. In addition, students entering the graduate program will be assigned a faculty member who will act as a provisional advisor at the beginning of the first semester. The provisional advisor may become the student’s committee chair, but in some cases the student’s interests may lead to another faculty member becoming the chair of the thesis committee. The main functions of the provisional advisor are to provide guidance and advice to help students to quickly identify an anticipated thesis topic.