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Anthropology | Master's International Program


What is the Department of Anthropology's MA International program?               
The Department of Anthropology's MA International program (hereafter MA/I) is an initiative with the Peace Corps which allows students to earn an MA degree in Public Anthropology while gaining practical experience through a Peace Corps placement. The MA/I is a 30 hour graduate program, and including Peace Corps placement, can be completed in three years.

How many departments of anthropology have MA/I agreements with the Peace Corps?
Including the program at American University, two.   

Is the MA/I a separate degree program?
No. The MA/I is a track within the Anthropology Department's MA in Public Anthropology. Except where specifically noted below, the degree requirements for the MAPA program apply to students in the MA/I track.

What is the "Peace Corps Academic project?
A critical write up of the work you do, as a Peace Corp volunteer and anthropologist, while in placement. You develop this project with your advisor prior to beginning your assignment and modify the scope of work as the events in placement unfold. A successful write-up integrates experiences with method and theory and includes a careful assessment of impact, responsibility, and ethics.

How do I apply for Peace Corps admission, and does being admitted to the MA/I give me any admissions advantage?               
Once admitted to the Anthropology Department's MA/I track, you apply for admission to the Peace Corps through their usual channels, and as explained on the Peace Corps website. Make note of your admission to the MA/I program at American University's Department of Anthropology in your application and connect your intended placement with your course of study here. AU faculty will write letter(s) of endorsement based on your performance in the program; this endorsement will weigh heavily on the Peace Corp admission decision.

Who assists with the Peace Corps Application process? 

  • John Charles (, the Career Center specialist who assists AU students with Peace Corps applications 
  • The MA/I Advisory Board
  • The department's MA/I advisors and other faculty

What is the MA/I Advisory Board?
The ANTH MA/I Advisory Board is composed of graduates of the AU Anthropology Department's MA and PhD programs who have had Peace Corps overseas experience, including:

  • Robert Michon, RPCV, Lesotho (1995-97), Program Manager, NIH Training Center, NIH (MA graduate)
  • Bill Roberts, RPCV, Gambia (1979-1981), PCV leader Zaire (1981-82), Professor, Department of Anthropology, St. Mary's College, Maryland (PhD graduate)