Graduate Degree

Anthropology - Master of Arts

Anthropology - Master of Arts
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Master of Arts
College of Social Science

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Social Science

Department of Anthropology

Graduate Study
Anthropology - Master of Arts

Anthropologists study humans in relation to themselves, their past, their environment, and their biological heritage. As a discipline, Anthropology spans the social and natural sciences and the humanities, and is equipped with various tools and approaches to study human problems. Our knowledge and skills contribute critical perspectives on contemporary transformations within academia and in society at large.

Anthropology at MSU provides training in cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology.  While a traditional four-field department, the graduate program provides opportunities for students to engage in research across the subdisciplines. The program also has a number of well-regarded subdisciplinary specialties including medical anthropology and forensic anthropology.

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


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. Completion of a methods course appropriate for the student’s subdiscipline. The course must be approved by the student’s guidance committee.
3. 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.