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Anthropology | Master's Program

MA in Public Anthropology


Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours of approved graduate work 
  • Students focus their studies in either cultural/social anthropology or archaeology
  • No more than 12 credit hours earned in a graduate certificate program may be transferred to the MA in anthropology program
  • Capstone experience: completion of substantial research project or thesis. A substantial research project must be approved by a committee of two members, one of whom must be a member of the American University faculty. A thesis must be approved by a committee including at least two members from the American University faculty. Students choosing the thesis option complete 3-6 credit hours of ANTH-797 Master's Thesis Seminar.

Course Requirements

  • ANTH-652 Anthropological Research Methods (3) 
  • ANTH-632 Contemporary Theory: Culture, Power, History (3)
  • 6 credits hours of approved graduate coursework from another discipline, such as history, sociology, communication, international service, sociology, economics, mathematics and statistics, computer science, information systems, business, or public affairs.

Cultural/Social Anthropology Track

  • 18 credit hours of Anthropology (ANTH) courses at the 500-level or above, as approved by the student’s advisor. Students choosing the thesis option complete 3-6 credit hours of ANTH-797 Master's Thesis Seminar. Students may receive credit for no more than 6 credit hours of ANTH-691 and ANTH-797; and no more than 9 credit hours of ANTH-590 and ANTH-690.

Archeology Track

  • ANTH-533 Cultural Resources Management (3) or  ANTH-536 Archaeology and Politics (3) 
  • ANTH-634 Foundations of Archaeology (3) 
  • 12 credit hours of Anthropology (ANTH) courses at the 500-level or above, as approved by the student’s advisor. Students choosing the thesis option complete 3-6 credit hours of ANTH-797 Master's Thesis Seminar. Students may receive credit for no more than 6 credit hours of ANTH-691 and ANTH-797; and no more than 9 credit hours of ANTH-590 and ANTH-690. Students without field archaeology experience are strongly encouraged to take ANTH-560 Summer Field School: Archaeology.