The main purpose of the Master of Arts degree program is to prepare students to begin teaching, research, or service careers with a solid background in Anthropology. Undergraduate coursework in anthropology, while helpful, is not a prerequisite for admission. However, students with no previous training in anthropology are expected to remedy deficiencies prior to taking the M.A. examination.

Requirements for the master’s degree include credit hour requirements, core course requirements, and a six-hour comprehensive, written Master of Arts examination.


M.A. Degree Requirements

A candidate for the masters degree is required to maintain a minimum cumulative average of 3.0 (“B”) and complete 30 hours of graduate credit, comprised of:

  • Four core classes
    • ANTH 480: Medical Anthropology and Global Health I
    • ANTH 481: Medical Anthropology and Global Health II
    • ANTH 439: Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Methods
    • ANTH 462: Contemporary Anthropology Theory
  • One approved statistics class (ANTH 319 or equivalent)
    • in which the student earns a grade of C or better.
  • and five electives, totaling 15 credit hours

Students may petition the Department to waive this requirement if they are able to demonstrate a comparable level of computer and statistical training.

No more than 6 semester hours may be taken in 300-level courses (advanced undergraduate courses).

Graduate Advisors

New students will be assigned to a Graduate Student Advisor to help organize a program of study consistent with his or her previous background and interests.

Qualifying Exam

All M.A. candidates, including students coming to the Department with a M.A. degree from another university or department, are required to take a six hour comprehensive written qualifying examination, which is given every spring semester. This examination must be taken before the completion of 30 credit hours of graduate work. Written M.A. examinations can receive one of three grades: “High Pass,” “Pass,” or “Fail.”

  • “High Pass” signifies performance sufficient for both the M.A. degree and advancement to the Ph.D. program, provided other M.A. requirements have been satisfied.
  • “Pass” signifies adequate performance for the M.A. degree, but insufficient to enter the Ph.D. program.
  • “Fail” means a performance inadequate for the M.A. degree.

In the cases of grades of “Pass” and “Fail,” the written examination can be retaken once in the subsequent semester.