Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Graduate Study

The Department of Anthropology offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Graduate education in Anthropology at MSU is directed toward development of high achievement in scholarship among a new generation of anthropologists, including a commitment to research, public engagement, and the ethical practice of anthropology. The Department of Anthropology at MSU takes pride in the diversity of our own community of scholars, including our graduate students and faculty, and is committed to maintaining and supporting this diversity both in our department and in the profession. The department also emphasizes the importance of collaborative work with the people and communities whom we study, and the need to share our research with a variety of audiences.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Anthropology may elect College of Social Sciences specializations in Environmental Science and Policy; Gender, Justice and Environmental Change; Global Urban Studies, International Development; and other graduate specializations. Dual degree programs are also possible. 

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Anthropology may elect specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood.


Anthropology - Master of Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Students applying for admission to the master's program in anthropology will be considered regardless of the field of their previous academic training. It is, however, recommended that students have earned at least 12 undergraduate credits in anthropology before entering the program. Admission on other than a provisional status is normally contingent upon the possession of a bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university, and a junior–senior undergraduate grade–point average of 3.0 or better in academic studies.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Anthropology

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). The student must complete a total of 30 credits distributed as follows:

Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B

               
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
  ANP 830 Cultural and Linguistic Anthropological Theory: Key Issues and Debates 3
  ANP 840 Biocultural Evolution 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  ANP 420 Language and Culture 3
  ANP 820 Language and Cultural Meaning 3
  This requirement may be waived by the department on the basis of prior course work.  
3. Completion of a methods course appropriate for the student’s subdiscipline. The course must be approved by the student’s guidance committee.  
4. Completion of additional elective credits approved by the student’s guidance committee. At least 21 of the 30 credits required for the degree must be earned in Anthropology.  
               
Additional Requirements for Plan A
 
1. Complete 4 credits of Anthropology 899 Master’s Thesis Research.  
2. Prepare an approved thesis proposal.  
3. Pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis.  
               
Additional Requirements for Plan B
 
1. Pass a final evaluation with a guidance committee of at least three faculty, at least two of whom should be from the Department of Anthropology.  

Anthropology - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Incoming graduate students apply to and are accepted into the master’s degree program. At the time of the student’s second-year program review, students are evaluated by the faculty for advancement into the doctoral program. In exceptional circumstances, a student may petition for earlier review.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Anthropology

Students must complete the following:

                   
1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):      
  ANP 830 Cultural and Linguistic Anthropological Theory: Key Issues and Debates 3    
  ANP 840 Biocultural Evolution 3    
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):      
  ANP 420 Language and Culture 3    
  ANP 820 Language and Cultural Meaning 3    
  This requirement may be waived by the department on the basis of prior course work.      
3. Completion of a methods course appropriate for the student’s subdiscipline. The course must be approved by the student’s guidance committee.      
4. Completion of additional elective credits approved by the student’s guidance committee.
5. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination, including preparation of a dissertation research proposal.
6. Successful completion of 24 credits of ANP 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research and defense of the doctoral dissertation.

 


Professional Applications in Anthropology - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Professional Applications in Anthropology will allow students to select a flexible but highly focused plan of study to prepare for positions as practicing anthropologists in government or the private sector. In addition to specialized training within the field of anthropology, students will be expected to elect courses in a field related to the practice of anthropology such as geographical information systems (GIS), cartography, resource development, management of nonprofit organizations, museum studies, or another practice-oriented specialty that is approved by the student’s guidance committee. Students will also obtain experience as practicing professionals.

This program includes three areas of professional development: (1) in-depth knowledge of the discipline of anthropology; (2) demonstrated command of communication and presentation skills, as shown in the writing and public presentation of a master’s paper; (3) demonstrated practical experience, obtained either as part of past employment, or as an internship within the public or private sector.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Students applying for admission to the master’s program in professional applications in anthropology will be considered regardless of the field of their previous academic training. It is, however, recommended that students have earned at least 12 undergraduate credits in anthropology before entering the program. Admission on other than a provisional status is normally contingent upon the possession of a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university, and a junior-senior undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or better in academic studies.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Professional Applications in Anthropology

Students who are enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program with a major in Professional Applications in Anthropology must complete a minimum of 30 credits, 15 which must be earned in anthropology, under Plan B (without thesis). The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s guidance committee. Normally students complete the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in two years.

The student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of Anthropology 840, 855, and 901.
  2. A methods course in anthropology.
  3. Completion of additional courses in anthropology and other disciplines.
  4. Satisfactory completion and presentation of a master’s paper, which is submitted to the Department.
  5. Completion of an approved internship, Anthropology 900, unless this requirement is specifically waived by the student’s guidance committee.