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M.A. Degree

The Department of Anthropology offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Anthropology. The M.A. is not offered as a terminal degree and is considered to be a step on the path to the Ph.D. Initial admission to the graduate program is thus offered only to applicants intending to pursue the Ph.D.

The M.A. Degree Program

Students entering the graduate program with a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree in any field are expected to fulfill all requirements for the M.A. degree in 2 years (6 quarters). Students entering the graduate program with an M.A. degree must complete a student review by the department faculty for advancement into the Ph.D. program (see Ph.D Degree Requirements).

The Master of Arts degree requires students to demonstrate a broad knowledge of anthropology and be capable of original work in one special field.  In the sixth quarter of academic residence, the student’s three-member committee will make a recommendation to the faculty regarding the award of the master’s degree and continuation for the Ph.D degree. 

Full details for the M.A degree is available here (PDF).

Course Requirements

The M.A degree requires 10 courses (40 units) which includes:

  1. 1. The graduate proseminar, Anthropology 200.
  2. 2. The graduate core seminars in the student's field of specialization
  3. 3. A graduate core seminar in a subfield other than the student’s field of specialization.
  4. 4. An approved “Methods” course
  5. 5. Subfield-specific course requirements, if applicable

Capstone – For students in the Archaeology subfield

Students in the Archaeology subfield are required to complete a capstone that consists of three examinations and a research paper.

Thesis – For students in the Biological, Linguistic, and Sociocultural subfields

Students in the Biological, Linguistic, and Sociocultural subfields are required to complete a thesis that demonstrate their ability to generate and assemble a body of data, to analyze it, and to indicate its relevance to established anthropological thought as well as to write lucid prose.

Time to Degree

Normative time to the M.A degree is two years (six quarters).

  • Completion of core course requirements: End of third quarter
  • Formation of M.A thesis committee: Beginning of fourth quarter
  • Completion of M.A thesis: End of fifth quarter
  • Completion of 40 units of course work: End of sixth quarter

The total time to Ph.D completion including M.A completion in the department is 24 quarters (8 years).

Advancement to the Ph.D Program

In the sixth quarter of academic residence, the student’s three-member committee will make a recommendation to the faculty regarding the award of the master’s degree and continuation for the Ph.D degree.  Please see Ph.D Degree Requirements.

Full details for the M.A degree is available here (PDF).