Master of Arts in Anthropology - Native American Studies Track

The M.A. program in anthropology provides students with the necessary theoretical and technical background for pursuing professional careers or continuing graduate studies at the doctoral level. Concentrated course work is offered in archaeology. 

The program emphasizes development of analytical and writing skills in all areas of course work. 

Admission. Candidates for admission to the M.A. program must hold either (1) a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology or archaeology; or (2) a Bachelor’s degree in another subject with significant course work in anthropology or another social science. Candidates without this background may apply to receive conditional admission to the M.A. program. Applicants for admission should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Applicants with GPAs lower than 3.0 may be admitted on probation at the discretion of the faculty. Applicants must submit scores from the General tests of the Graduate Record Examination. Students may be admitted to study for the M.A. degree alone. Candidates are encouraged to apply for Graduate Assistantships that provide full tuition and a stipend. 

General Requirements. For M.A. students who write theses, the program entails 30 credit hours, including six hours of thesis work. The non-thesis option entails 36 hours of course work. Candidates who select this option must complete the specified 24 hours of course work plus an additional 12 credit hours of classes selected in consultation with the graduate advisor. 

All M.A. students are expected to develop field research skills through participation in the department’s ongoing research programs. There is no formal language requirement for the M.A. degree. Students, however, will consult with their advisors regarding the development of pertinent linguistic or computer skills that may be necessary for their thesis research and analysis.

Students focus on one of three tracks: archaeology, cultural anthropology, and Native American studies.

Program Objectives

Students will specialize in one of two Master’s degree tracks with or without a thesis: Archaeology or Cultural Anthropology. After completing the Master’s degree in Anthropology, students will:

1.  Have a broad knowledge of theory and research across the sub-disciplines of anthropology within a chosen track of specialization (Archaeology or Cultural Anthropology).

2.  Communicate research findings effectively in written and in spoken presentations.

3.  Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyze anthropological data.

Learning Outcomes 

1.   Have a broad knowledge of theory and research across the sub-disciplines of anthropology.

  • Students will ask anthropological research questions that provide a focus for making a significant scholarly contribution.

  • Students will read and review the anthropological literature in such a way that reveals a comprehensive understanding and a critical perspective.

2.   Communicate research findings effectively in written and in spoken presentations 

  • Students will participate in teaching assistantships, field school experiences, or other opportunities that utilize or improve on professional skills.

  • Students will participate in conferences, workshops, or short courses and formal presentations, such as invited talks, posters, technical reports and publications.

  • Students will present critical analyses of research in public forums.

3.   Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyze anthropological data 

  • Students will successfully master appropriate anthropological research methods, including statistical analysis.

  • Students will collect, analyze, and interpret anthropological data in a way that adds to the understanding of their concentration.

  • Students will demonstrate a mastery of the design and administration of anthropological research.

Cultural Anthropology Track

Thirty credit hours required (including 6 credit hours thesis) for thesis option; no more than 12 of these hours may be taken at the 6000 level. (Students pursuing this option are required to present a thesis proposal, approved by a faculty member, to the graduate advisor). Thirty-six credit hours for non-thesis option; no more than 15 of these hours may be taken at the 6000 level.

Required Courses Credit Hours
Topical and Regional*  12 
Tutorials/Independent Research*   
Thesis** 6
Total Required Hours 30

  *With consent of advisor, tutorials may be taken in lieu of topical and regional courses.
**Thesis is expected to involve field and/or laboratory research.