Master of Arts in Anthropology

The Master of Arts in Anthropology, with emphases in general or applied anthropology, is designed to provide a rigorous background in contemporary theory and practice in anthropology, particularly through the use of proseminars, internships and independent research. The MA requires a research-based thesis. The applied anthropology emphasis offers specialized tracks designed to train students in applied aspects of anthropology that may be employment related. The applied cultural anthropology track identifies and assists in resolving current social issues in their cultural dimensions. The applied biological anthropology track encompasses forensic anthropology, medical anthropology and other practical applications of physical anthropology. The cultural resource management track involves the inventory, assessment and conservation of archaeological and historical sites and remains, and places of traditional cultural importance, as a part of a larger management framework.

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Admissions Requirements for Graduate Degrees.

The deadline for application is February 15 for fall semester admission. Students seeking admission into the Anthropology MA program must meet the following requirements (1-3) and must submit the following documents (4-9):

  1. It is strongly recommended that the student has completed a minimum of 18 credits of undergraduate coursework in anthropology with a GPA of 3.00. An undergraduate major in anthropology is preferred.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results (General Test Scores), taken within five years prior to the application date.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals particularly qualified to attest to the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study.
  4. A letter of intent, including a brief statement of the applicant’s research and career goals and reasons for pursuing graduate study in anthropology at UAA.
  5. Optional: An example of a substantial paper or research proposal indicative of the applicant’s potential for graduate study.

Applicants may also be requested to complete a personal interview.

Acceptance is determined by the Anthropology Graduate Admissions Committee and is based on the prospective student’s overall credentials and the availability of appropriate faculty for student research interests.

Failure to meet any of the above criteria may result in conditional admission to the MA program. Conditional admission may be conferred on students if important deficiencies are identified in their undergraduate training. Conditionally admitted students are notified of those deficiencies and required to rectify them at UAA, normally within a period of one year, before admission to regular status in the program is conferred. In some cases, deficiencies can be made up at another academic institution. Conditional students cannot receive graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships or departmental travel/research grants.

Prospective graduate students are strongly advised to contact all potential faculty for research/advisor arrangements at an early stage of their admission process. An attempt is made to assign an initial advisor to students based on interests and other academic criteria.

Academic Requirements

To maintain continuous progress in the MA program, a student in the graduate program is expected to complete each semester a minimum of 9 credits of coursework applicable to the program, with grades of A or B, for full-time students, or 3 credits per semester for part-time students. Failure to comply may result in the student being removed from the program. The same is true of students who fail to rectify conditions of their admission. In addition, students must advance to candidacy within five years, unless on an approved leave of absence. Such leaves of absence may not total more than four semesters.

Candidacy Requirements

See Advancement to Candidacy requirements. A student advances to candidacy by doing the following:

  1. Select a graduate studies committee by the end of the first semester of graduate study.
  2. Submit an official graduate studies plan (GSP) after no more than three semesters of full-time graduate study.
  3. Complete at least 24 semester credits of non-thesis coursework applicable to the MA program.
  4. Demonstrate research or statistical competence needed to complete the degree program, as approved by a student’s graduate studies committee. Usually, UAA courses such as STAT A252 or STAT A253 or the equivalent, or computer skills such as photogrammetry, SEM image analysis or GIS analysis will meet this requirement.
  5. In addition, a student may be required to demonstrate mastery of a foreign language, if deemed necessary by the graduate studies committee.
  6. Pass ANTH A602, ANTH A605 and ANTH A611 proseminars with a grade of no less than a B. If necessary, a proseminar may be repeated once, but failure to earn a B or higher the second time will result in removal from the program.
  7. Prepare a thesis prospectus for approval by the graduate studies committee.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

  1. The following courses must be completed with a grade of A or B.
  2. No more than 6 credits of internship/practicum or independent study may be applied to the degree, unless a student is taking more than one track in the applied anthropology emphasis, in which case 3 additional credits are available.
  3. Courses outside the field of anthropology may be taken as electives if approved by the student’s advisor.
  4. The student must advance to candidacy within three years based upon fulfillment of the candidacy requirements listed above.
  5. The student must submit a written MA thesis to the graduate studies committee, conforming to UAA specifications.
  6. The student must pass an oral defense of the thesis, open to the university community and the general public.
  7. The student must submit an application for graduation.
  8. One of the following study emphases must be chosen:

General Anthropology Emphasis

ANTH A602Proseminar in Cultural Anthropology *3
ANTH A605Proseminar in Biological Anthropology *3
ANTH A611Proseminar in Archaeology *3
ANTH A620Research Design *3
ANTH A699Thesis Research1-6
600-level elective courses11-17
400-level elective courses0-6
*

All proseminar courses and ANTH A620 must be taken in residence at UAA. These courses may not be taken by directed study or by correspondence. Students may not take ANTH A620 or any proseminar until formally admitted to the MA program.

A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.

Applied Anthropology Emphasis

ANTH A602Proseminar in Cultural Anthropology *3
ANTH A605Proseminar in Biological Anthropology *3
ANTH A611Proseminar in Archaeology *3
ANTH A620Research Design *3
ANTH A699Thesis Research1-6
600-level elective courses2-8
400-level elective courses0-6
*

All proseminar courses and ANTH A620 must be taken in residence at UAA. These courses may not be taken by directed study or by correspondence. Students may not take ANTH A620 or any proseminar until formally admitted to the MA program.

In addition, complete one of the following tracks:

Applied Cultural Anthropology Track
ANTH A615Advanced Applied Anthropology3
ANTH A630Advanced Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology **3
ANTH A695Anthropology Practicum3
Total Credits9
**

If this course was taken as an undergraduate upper-division course (ANTH A430 or the equivalent), another course may be substituted with the approval of the student’s graduate studies committee.

Applied Biological Anthropology Track
Complete 9 credits from the following:9
Advanced Evolution of Humans and Disease
Advanced Medical Anthropology
Nutritional Anthropology
Anthropology Practicum
Total Credits9
Cultural Resource Management Track
ANTH A675Cultural Resource Management3
Complete 6 credits from the following:6
Field Methods in Archaeology ***
Ethical Issues in Archaeology
Advanced Analytical Techniques in Archaeology
Advanced Museum Studies in Anthropology
Anthropology Practicum
Total Credits9
***

No more than 3 credits may be applied to this emphasis.

A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Master of Arts in Anthropology will be able to:

  • Demonstrate comprehension at a graduate level in their knowledge of core concepts, research methods and findings in archeology, cultural anthropology and biological anthropology.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of specialized knowledge in the track or subfield they select from program choices.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to design anthropological research, conduct that research, analyze research results and present a thesis concerning that research acceptable by the faculty of the anthropology department.
  • Effectively apply the perspective, skills, and knowledge obtained in the anthropology Master’s program in an employment capacity that requires their utilization.