Anthropology graduate program requirements

Master of Arts in Anthropology

To complete the M.A. degree program you must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of courses numbered 500 or above, including the core curriculum requirements, a foreign language or research skill requirement, and fulfillment of either plan I (Thesis), plan II (Nonthesis Research Option), or plan III (Non-thesis option by Examination).


Program Requirements

Entering students must provide evidence of having passed introductory level courses in each of the four fields of anthropology before taking graduate courses. If you have not completed all introductory requirements, you may be required to take or audit the appropriate undergraduate course before enrolling in the corresponding graduate course. Credits earned for completing preparatory work will not be applied to the 30 credit hour requirement.


Core Curriculum

Students must complete at least three of the following courses:

ANTH 605 Advanced Cultural Anthropology OR ANTH 607 Social Structures

ANTH 608 Advanced Linguistics

ANTH 609 Advanced Archaeological Anthropology

ANTH 610 Advanced Physical Anthropology


Students must also complete:

ANTH 615 Ethnographic Field Methods (offered at UAB)


ANT 600 Research Methodology (offered at UAT)

The remaining course requirements will be met by completing electives. The number of elective hours will be determined by the plan chosen.

Additional Requirements

In addition, you must demonstrate competency in a foreign language or research skill. This requirement can be satisfied in any one of the following ways:

  • successful completion (meaning a grade of B or better) of at least the second course in a language course sequence such as FR 101/102, GN 101/102, or SPA 101/102;
  • certification of competency by examination from the appropriate language department;
  • successful completion of a graduate level statistics course such as Sociology 701 or another statistics course subject to the approval of the chair and the program director.

You must get the approval of your advisor before undertaking any of these options. You will be responsible for furnishing evidence of completion of this requirement to the director of graduate studies and the department chairman.

M.A. Committee: By the start of the second year of academic work you will be required to have identified a faculty member willing to serve as your permanent advisor and at least three additional faculty members to comprise an M.A. jury. This committee is subject to final approval by the chair and program director and functions as the principal advisory and research project approval board. The committee may include an external member of the Graduate Faculty.

Comprehensive Examinations: All students must take and pass comprehensive examinations on their knowledge of the field of anthropology. You will take written exams in at least three of the four sub-disciplines. The selection of the three areas will be made in collaboration with your faculty advisor. The entire anthropology faculty will participate in composing the exam questions and evaluating each student's responses.
The faculty's evaluations will be communicated to the director of graduate studies and to the chairman of the department.

Interinstitutional Requirement
You must take at least 6 hours of graduate credit at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) as required by the inter-institutional M.A. program.