The Anthropology Department at Case Western Reserve University, a pioneer in the field of Medical Anthropology, offers an intensive 2 semester (1-year) Accelerated M.A. program in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. The CWRU program in Medical Anthropology and Global Health prepares students to meet the challenges of a globalized world. The program provides conceptual, topical and research understanding of the biocultural basis of health and illness and the interface between disease/illness-culture-biology-society designed to serve the needs of students seeking to attend medical school, work professionally in the medical arena or allied health sciences or to go on to Ph.D. programs.


This unique program provides students with advanced training on issues such as:

  • the complex relationships between culture, society and health/illness
  • cultural sensitivity and cultural competence in health research and patient care
  • global health, lifespan perspectives, health disparities
  • ethnomedicine, ethnopsychiatry, and evolutionary medicine
  • research designs, qualitative/quantitative methods, practical training in qualitative interviews, basic and applied health research


Study with an internationally recognized faculty in the field of Medical Anthropology and Global Health including world renown experts in AIDS, child and adolescent health, addiction medicine, global aging and reproductive politics. [Read more about faculty research here].

Students seeking a one-year M.A. work alongside Ph.D. students in a dynamic and stimulating environment that provides training in bio-cultural anthropology, global health, reproductive health, psychological anthropology, addiction medicine and applied anthropology together with epidemiology, statistics and research methods.

Requirements for the M.A. degree include credit hour requirements, core course requirements, and a six-hour written Qualifying Exam.

Course Requirements for One-Year M.A. Program

A candidate for the M.A. degree is required to complete 30 hours of graduate credit, including four core courses (ANTH 319, ANTH 439, ANTH 462, ANTH 480, ANTH 481) and an approved statistics course (3 hours). Students wishing to receive a Certificate in Global Health are also required to take: ANTH 459, ANTH 511, and INTH 401.

The statistics requirement will be waived for those with prior statistical training if the student is able to demonstrate a level of statistical training comparable to that of the required statistics course. If the waiver is approved, the statistics requirement will be replaced with an appropriate elective.  Students interested in this option should petition to the Department.

All M.A. candidates are required to maintain a minimum cumulative average of 3.0 (“B”) and earn a grade of C or better in an approved statistics course (unless this requirement is waived) in order to qualify for the M.A. degree.

The course schedule for students in the one-year M.A. program is given below:

 ANTH 319  Introduction to Statistical Analysis in the Social Sciences (or equivalent) if needed
 ANTH 439  Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Methods
 ANTH 480  Medical Anthropology and Global Health I
 ANTH 459  Introduction to Global Health (required for Certificate in Global Health)
 Elective  Any course approved by the graduate advisor


 ANTH 462  Contemporary Theory in Anthropology
 ANTH 481  Medical Anthropology and Global Health II
 ANTH 511  Seminar in Anthropology and Global Health (required for Certificate in Global Health)
 INTH 401  Fundamental Concepts in Global Health (required for Certificate in Global Health)
 Elective  Any course approved by the graduate advisor

Comprehensive Exam for One-Year M.A. Program

Students in the one-year M.A. program are required to take a six hour written Qualifying Examination based on the material in ANTH 480 and ANTH 481 in the Spring Semester.  Written M.A. examinations can receive one of three grades: “High Pass,” “Pass,” or “Fail.”  Students in the one-year M.A. program who receive a grade of “Pass” or “High Pass” on the Comprehensive Examination and also meet the course requirements described above will be awarded a M.A. degree.

Application process for One-Year M.A. Program

Submit your application online!

More detailed instructions can be found here.


*This program is designed for students wishing only an M.A.  If you are interested in obtaining a PhD at CWRU, you should apply for the PhD program. Students interested in this program must begin in the Fall semester.

Unfortunately, at this time the 1-year M.A. program does not provide grants or fellowships for tuition or living expenses. You can find more information about tuition here.

For more information

Contact Dr. Janet McGrath, Chair, Department of Anthropology

Interested in Visiting CWRU?

If you plan on visiting CWRU, please contact the Anthropology office (216-368-3703) in as far advance as possible when you will be visiting and when you will be available to meet with Anthropology faculty and students. We’ll arrange for you to meet with several faculty (and if you would like to meet with one or more specific faculty) and current graduate students. Please do not contact individual faculty and try to arrange your own meetings. You will have a more satisfying visit if your interviews are coordinated by our main office.

Arial photo of the CWRU campus