Anthropology (M.A.*)View PDF version of the Anthropology catalog description
You must apply for admissions through The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) at www.as.ua.edu/ant/ www.as.ua.edu/ant/. In order for a student to enroll in courses at UAB (after applying for admission through UA Tuscaloosa), this process must be followed:
- Student completes the Cooperative Admission form at http://www.uab.edu/graduate/apply/acrobat/cooperativeadmission.pdf.
- After UAB receives the approved Cooperative Admission form from UA, the student will be added to UAB’s record system and will then be allowed to register for UAB courses online after obtaining a Blazer ID and creating a strong password.
*Degree awarded by the University of Alabama, UAB's partner in the cooperative degree program
Loretta A. Cormier, Associate Professor; Cultural Anthropology, Ecological, Ethnoprimatology, Lowland South America
Sharyn Jones, Assistant Professor; Ethnoarchaeology, Zooarchaeology, Foodways, Polynesia, Fiji, Caribbean
Chris Kyle, Associate Professor; Political Anthropology, Cultural Ecology, Historical Anthropology, Latin America, Mesoamerica
Gregory Mumford, Assistant Professor; Archaeology, Complex Societies, Ancient Trade Networks, Egypt, Eastern Mediterranean
Sarah Parcak, Assistant Professor; Remote Sensing/GIS, Landscape Archaeology, Egyptology, Mediterranean, Egypt
Bruce P. Wheatley, Professor; Physical Anthropology, Primatology, Forensic Anthropology, Indonesia
Steven Becker, Associate Professor (Environmental Health Sciences); Public Health
Scott Brande, Associate Professor (Geology); Geoarchaeology
Akhlaque Haque, Associate Professor (Government and Public Services); GIS
Millard, Andre, Professor (History); Popular Culture, Documentary Film, History of Technology, US, Europe
The M.A. degree program includes the basic course requirements, a foreign language or research skill requirement, and fulfillment of either Plan I (Thesis) or Plan II (Nonthesis).
Basic Course Requirements
Course Work: Each student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses numbered 500 or above. Without special prior approval of the student's advisor, committee, and the director of graduate studies neither ANTH 691, 692, 693, or 694 (Special Problems Courses) nor ANTH 699 (Thesis Research) will count towards the minimum 30 hours. (Note that there are additional course requirements for two of the three options).
Core Curriculum: All students are required to complete satisfactorily a core curriculum composed of one graduate course in at least three of the four fields of anthropology. These three should be chosen from among: 1) linguistics - ANTH 608 (Advanced Linguistic Anthropology), 2) archaeology - ANTH 609 (Advanced Archaeological Anthropology), 3) socio-cultural anthropology - ANTH 605 (Advanced Cultural Anthropology), and 4) physical anthropology - ANTH 610 (Advanced Physical Anthropology). Additionally, a course in research methodology (e.g., ANT 600 at UA or ANTH 615 at UAB) is required.
Entering students must provide evidence of having passed introductory level courses in each of the four fields before taking the graduate courses. A student who has not had an introductory course may be required to take or audit the appropriate undergraduate course before enrolling in the graduate course. Credits earned from such preparatory course work may not be applied to the 30 credit hour requirement.
Language/Research Skill Competency: Each student is required to demonstrate competency in a foreign language or research skill. This requirement may be satisfied in several ways including:
- 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.
- Students must get the approval of their advisor before undertaking any of these options. The student 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 each graduate student will be required to have identified a faculty member willing to serve as 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. The student will take written exams in at least three of the four subdisciplines. The selection of the three areas will be made in collaboration with the 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.
Students must take at least 6 hours of graduate credit at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) as required by the Interinstitutional MA.
Three Plans of Study for the Master's Degree
In addition to choosing one of the two program options outlined above, the student must satisfy the requirements for one of the following three plans of study. Choice of the plan of study must be made by the student in consultation with the M.A. Committee and the faculty advisor.
Thesis Option: Thirty (30) hours of non-thesis course work, successful completion of the comprehensive examinations, plus a master's thesis. A student electing this plan of study will be required to conceive and execute a research project under the direction of his or her M.A. committee. The student's advisor will convene the committee as necessary to discuss, refine, and approve this plan. After twenty hours of course work are completed, the student may enroll in ANTH 699 (Thesis Research). The purpose of this coursework is to provide a structure for supervised contact hours with the student's faculty advisor. Such coursework, including the decision as to the number of contact hours required, must be pre-arranged in consultation with the faculty advisor. Hours completed in ANTH 699 must be over and above the 30-hour minimum.
In preparing a thesis, the student should consult the booklet, A Manual for Students Preparing Theses and Dissertations available from the Graduate School.
Students who take the thesis option will present a departmental colloquium based on the results of their research in the final semester in residence. Students should consult their faculty advisor and the director of graduate studies in scheduling and posting advance notice of their colloquia.
Non-thesis Research Project Option: Thirty-six (36) hours of non-thesis course work plus successful completion of one of the following:
- Presentation of a research paper at a national meeting which has been approved in advance by the student's M.A. Committee;
- Acceptance for publication of a research paper submitted to a refereed journal which has been approved in advance by the student's M.A. Committee.
In either case, it will be the responsibility of the student's committee to approve a written draft of the research paper. Approval of the paper will be conveyed in writing to the director of graduate studies and to the department chairman by the student's advisor. Final approval of the research project requirement is at the discretion of the M.A. committee.
Students who elect the thesis option will be required to defend their thesis before a departmental committee in the final semester of residence.
Non-thesis Option by Examination: Thirty-six (36) hours of non-thesis course work and successful completion of written examinations.
Deadline for Entry Term(s):
Consult Program Director for information
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:
Number of Evaluation Forms Required:
GRE (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)
See UA catalog and www.as.ua.edu/ant
For detailed information, contact Dr. Loretta Cormier, Graduate Program Director, UAB Department of Anthropology, HHB 360H, 1401 University Blvd, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1152.
For courses at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), see the graduate catalog of that university.
Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit. Course numbers preceded with an asterisk indicate courses that can be repeated for credit, with stated stipulations.
601. Forensic Anthropology. Applied human osteology, emphasizing ability to identify age, sex, and population type of skeletal material. Effects of disease and behavior on bones. (Wheatley)
602. The Conquest of Mexico. Examines the Spanish conquest of Mexico from both Spanish and indigenous perspectives. Surveys the institutionalization of Spanish control over the fallen Aztec Empire and the broader intellectual and material consequences of the conquest. (Kyle)
603. As Others See Us. Jointly offered with American Studies and International Studies, this seminar surveys international perceptions of U.S. culture. (Millard)
604. Introduction to Mapmaking. Introduction to theory and methods of cartographic representation, image analysis and GIS.
605. Advanced Cultural Anthropology. Critical review of theoretical approaches in cultural anthropology. (Taylor, Kyle, Cormier)
608. Advanced Linguistic Anthropology. Historical development of theory and field practice of linguistics. (Smith)
609. Advanced Archaeological Anthropology. Principal theoretical approaches in 19th- and 20th-century archaeology; historical, processual, and postprocesual. (Jones, Parcak)
610. Advanced Physical Anthropology. Human evolution, primatology, race, human genetics. Tasks performed by physical anthropologists. (Wheatley)
611. Field Archaeology. Archaeological field and laboratory techniques, including excavation, surveying, and artifact analysis and description; general problems of archaeological interpretation. 1-6 hours.
613. Human Osteology. The identification of human skeletal remains. This laboratory/lecture course provides the groundwork for much of the work in physical anthropology. The first course of the sequence into Anth 601. 4 hours (Wheatley)
614. Geoarchaeology. Survey of geological methods as applied to archaeological questions. Practicum in geoarchaeological laboratory and analytic methods. (Brande)
615. Ethnographic Field Methods. Classroom instruction and practical experience in techniques of ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation, household surveys, structured and unstructured interviewing, and genealogies. 3-6 hours.
616. Ethnographic Filmmaking. The use of film and video to document and analyze aspects of human social and cultural life. Students view, analyze, and create ethnographic films. 3-6 hours.
619. Food and Culture. The role of food in human culture through time and in a variety of geographic settings. Examines the biological basis of diet, how foodways develop and change, how and why anthropologists study diet, and variations in foodways around the world. (Jones)
620. Computers and Statistics in Anthropology. Computers and statistical applications in anthropology. 1 to 3 hours.
622. Landscape Archaeology. Archaeological techniques of reconstructing past landscapes, including remote sensing, GIS, survey, excavation, and environmental analysis. (Parcak)
626. Archaeology of the Pacific Islands. Survey of Pacific Islands societies in the past drawing on archaeological, ethnographic, historic, linguistic, and biological data. (Jones)
628. Comparative Religion. Human behavior in relation to the supernatural; religion as a system of social behavior and values; theories of religion. (Taylor)
630. Animal Bone Archaeology. Introduction to methods and theories of zooarchaeological research. Practical experience in processing, identification, and interpretation of animal bone remains from archaeological sites. 4-6 hours. (Jones)
634. Observing the Earth from Space. This course will provide students with an introductory knowledge of remote sensing analysis. Students will learn how to analyze diverse types of satellite imagery in a wide range of fields, and how to apply this knowledge in original research projects. (Parcak)
635. Ethnomedicine and Ethnopsychiatry. Approaches and contributions of anthropology to study of health, sickness, and healing. Physical environment and human adaptations as key determinants of health systems; culturally defined concepts of sickness, health, and healing; healing as social, as well as physiological, activity. Topics may include life stages, medical knowledge among different human groups, impact of culture contact on medical systems, ecological balance and population control, cultural definitions and treatment of abnormal behavior, healers, health and supernatural, social roles of sick, and illness and social control. (Taylor)
637. Real World Remote Sensing. Real world applications of remote sensing technology. Students work closely with UAB professors and scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center doing original remote sensing research on diverse topics, possibly including terrorism, global warming, health, anthropology/archaeology, atmospheric studies, urban expansion, and coastal management. (Parcak)
650. Nationalism, Ethnicity and Violence. Social and cultural analysis of ethnicity and nationalist ideologies particularly where these have led to violent confrontations within modern nation-states. Considers primordialist versus constructionist theories of difference; the varying weight to be attributed to political, historical and cultural factors in the study of nationalism; and the politics of culture vs. the culture of politics. (Taylor)
653. Primatology. Biology, behavior, and distribution of living nonhuman primates with emphasis on field studies of old-world monkeys and apes. (Wheatley)
655. Archaeology of Alabama.
657. Anthropology of Gender. Cultural construction of gender differences in human societies; shifting definitions of proper male and female roles across cultures and through time. (Cormier, Jones)
660. Ecological Anthropology. Examines interactions among behavioral, technological, institutional, and ideological features of human cultures that serve to adapt societies to their environment. (Cormier)
664. Political Anthropology. The comparative analysis of political structures and process throughout the world, focusing especially on non-Western forms; a survey of anthropological attempts to understand the complex interplay of culture and power in human societies. (Kyle)
669. Ethnographic Perspectives on Mexico. Comparative and historical analysis of rural Mexican communities, emphasizing the impact of recent neoliberal economic policies and democratic political reforms. (Kyle)
681. Anthropology and the Health Profession. Anthropological theory and practice relevant to health care professions in medicine, nursing, public health, psychology, etc. Anthropological perspectives on practice of health care and practical applications of anthropology in providing health care to culturally diverse people. (Cormier)
685. Foundations of Symbolism. Study of symbolic forms in myth and ritual and overview of theoretical approaches. (Smith)
691. Special Problems in Cultural Anthropology. Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in cultural anthropology. 2-6 hours.
692. Special Problems in Archaeology. Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in archaeology. 2-6 hours.
693. Special Problems in Linguistics. Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in linguistics. 2-6 hours.
694. Special Problems in Physical Anthropology. Supervised study of specified topic area; defined problem explored in depth. Topics determined by student and instructor interest in special topics in physical anthropology. 2-6 hours.
699. Thesis Research. Independent development of research project. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. 1-3 hours.