Anthropology, M.A.

Degree:Master of Arts (M.A.)
Historical Archaeology
Department:Division of Anthropology & Archaeology
Building 13, Room 131
College:Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
CIP Code:45.0201
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 36

The Anthropology Master of Arts program prepares graduates for a variety of professional positions and entrance into doctoral programs. The department’s approach combines a strong anthropological perspective, an active faculty, a vigorous research and contract program, flexibility, and many opportunities to obtain hands-on experience. The department has one of the largest and most active terrestrial and maritime archaeology programs and facilities in the Southeast. There is continuous on-going student-focused research and contracts in prehistoric, historic, coastal, and interior archaeological sites that include graduate students at all levels of responsibility.

Financial assistance includes many research assistantships in terrestrial and maritime archaeology through the Archaeology Institute, grants and contracts, internships, and the Marcus Fellowship for thesis completion.

This program requires a thesis. Students must complete all common core courses, but the remainder of their course work can be structured according to their interests with the approval of their advisor or committee. Up to 6 sh can be taken outside Anthropology.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
  • Undergraduate institutional GPA
  • Undergraduate degree major
  • Submission of a formal letter of intent describing background, study interests, and professional goals
  • Submission of a writing sample (term paper, conference paper, published paper, etc.)
  • Submission of three letters of academic reference

The Anthropology graduate program emphasizes multidisciplinary and collaborative study and research. Admission exceptions can be made for promising students with prior degrees in different fields. Incoming students without a degree in Anthropology can become eligible for admission with the completion of upper division undergraduate level core courses in anthropology with a grade of “B” or higher. The core courses must include cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and theory.

Degree Requirements

All work toward the Master's degree, including the thesis, must be completed within four years from the semester of the first graduate course taken. Request for an extension may be considered.

All students are assigned a graduate advisor upon admission to the program.  All course work must be approved in writing each semester by the advisor and filed with the department chair prior to registration for courses. At the end of the third semester of courses, graduate students must form a Thesis Committee consisting of three faculty members. The chair must have a doctoral degree in Anthropology. One committee member may be from outside the department, and a fourth member may be added from another University or college with permission of the committee and department chair. 

Continuation of graduate students in the program is dependent upon the following:

  • Maintenance of a 3.0 or higher GPA
  • A grade lower than a "B-" will not satisfy program requirements

All students must complete all five required core courses, an additional course in each subfield, a research tool if necessary, and three electives that are approved by their advisor or Thesis Committee.

Program Capstone


Graduate students must prepare a formal Thesis Proposal for their committee’s approval. When successfully completed, the graduate student will be allowed to begin his or her thesis. Theses must be approved by the Thesis Committee and successfully defended by the candidate in an open defense.