Students can receive an M.A. in anthropology as part of their work toward the Ph.D. The anthropology program does not accept students for a terminal M.A. degree. Please see below for general information about the MA program. Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements for the master's degree also apply. Completion of a master's degree takes approximately two years. Requirements include 30 credits of coursework; a foreign language; a course in quantitative methods (for students in archaeology and biological anthropology) or a course in field methods (for students in cultural anthropology); a core course (cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, or linguistics) or a written MA exam; and a research paper.
Complete MA requirements
Please see below for general information about the MA program. Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements for the master's degree also apply. MA students should read the PhD requirements for additional clarification of certain requirements. Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements for the master's degree also apply.
A minimum of 30 course credits in anthropology is required for the MA degree. Of these, at least 21 credits must be in formal courses (as opposed to readings courses, independent study, or thesis credits). At least 12 of these 21 must be courses at the 2000 level. If the student is accepted at a later date into the PhD program, courses taken toward the MA will satisfy doctoral degree credit and residency requirements. The student may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to accept toward the total of 30 credits a maximum of six credits earned in another approved graduate school. Likewise, the student may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to accept courses taken in another department toward the total of 30 credits.
By the end of the first year, the student establishes an advisory/evaluation committee consisting of at least two graduate faculty members from the Department of Anthropology, including the student's advisor, plus at least one additional graduate faculty member who may be either from Anthropology or from another department. This committee will supervise and evaluate the MA paper. The student should request the Graduate Studies Committee's approval of the composition of the advisory committee.
Core Course Requirement
Full-time MA students must pass the core course in their declared subfield by the end of their second term in residence (or, for part-time students, before they have completed 18 credits). Master's students specializing in a focused area within Anthropology can petition the Graduate Studies Committee for a specialized written examination (administered by their MA committees) in lieu of the core course. However, if such a student subsequently enrolls in the PhD program, the specialized MA exam will not substitute for the core course in the student's area of study.
Same as for the PhD.
Students in archaeology must pass with a B- or better Anthropology 2534 or 2524. Students admitted in archaeology in 05-1 or later must pass with a B or better Anthropology 2534 or 2524. They may petition the Graduate Studies Committee to accept another course in quantitative methods in lieu of these. Students in biological anthropology or linguistics must pass with a B- or better one course in quantitative methods selected from among those offered in the Department of Anthropology or elsewhere. Students admitted to biological anthropology or linguistics in 05-1 or later must pass with a B or better one course in quantitative methods selected from among those offered in the Department of Anthropology or elsewhere. They must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for approval of this course. Students in cultural anthropology must pass with a B- or better one methods course approved by the Graduate Studies Committee and Anthropology 2750 or a comparable seminar approved for this purpose by the Graduate Studies Committee. Students in cultural anthropology admitted in 05-1 or later must pass with a B or better one methods course approved by the Graduate Studies Committee and Anthropology 2750 or a comparable seminar approved for this purpose by the Graduate Studies Committee. (See the discussion of method/Theory requirements for the PhD.)
Students plan original research papers with their advisory committees. These committees will also evaluate the final papers. The student files a final copy of the paper with the department. Note that the required paper is not necessarily a "thesis" as defined in Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements (although a thesis, as formally defined, would also satisfy the MA paper requirement).
Areas of Concentration
Students who wish to do so may designate cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archeology, or anthropological linguistics as an area of concentration, depending on which subdiscipline's specific degree requirements they satisfy. Alternatively, students may designate medical anthropology as an area of concentration if they have taken Patients and Healers, Medical Anthropology 1, Medical Anthropology 2, and 12 elective credits from a list of approved courses. The area of concentration will be officially recorded on the student's transcript, but does not appear on the diploma. In any case the degree awarded is not in the area of concentration but simply in anthropology.
See Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements.
Statute of Limitations
Requirements for the master's degree should be completed within a period of four consecutive calendar years from the student's initial registration for graduate study. See Faculty of Arts and Sciences requirements for more details.