Anthropology, M.A.

Degree:Master of Arts (M.A.)
Specialization:Historical 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. Continuous on-going student-focused research and contracts on prehistoric and historic submerged, coastal, and interior archaeological sites 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 coursework 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:

  • 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 their thesis. Theses must be approved by the Thesis Committee and successfully defended by the candidate in an open defense.

Anthropology Course Requirements

Foundational Proficiencies

A baccalaureate degree in Anthropology is preferred, but completion of upper-division undergraduate-level core courses in Anthropology with a grade of “B” or higher is acceptable. The core courses must include Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Theory.

Anthropology Core

ANG 6110Advanced Method and Theory in Archaeology Seminar3
ANG 6286Contemporary Cultural Anthropological Theory3
ANG 6583Evolutionary Theory in Biological Anthropology3
ANG 6002Proseminar in Anthropology3
ANG 6093Research Design in Anthropology3
Total Hours15

Required Subfield Courses

Three additional 5000 to 6000 level courses, one from each of the three subfields: Archaeology, Biological, and Cultural Anthropology of the student's choice with the approval of their Graduate Advisor9
Total Hours9


Three additional elective courses, at the 5000 level or higher, will be structured according to student interests with the approval of their Graduate Advisor9
Total Hours9


ANG 6971Anthropology Thesis *3
Total Hours3

 Course offered 1-6 semester hours (sh) per semester; minimum of 3 sh required.

Historical Archaeology Course Requirements

The Historical Archaeology Specialization in the Anthropology Master’s Program is designed for students with a strong interest in the archaeology of the post-Columbus period and the combined use of documents and archaeology. The program consists of 36 semester hours (sh), and it is designed for students with a baccalaureate degree in Anthropology or History who want to pursue a professional career in either terrestrial or maritime Historical Archaeology or continue to a doctoral program. The degree will qualify the graduate for entry-level professional positions in cultural resource management in private business or government agencies at the national, state, and local levels. The degree also qualifies graduates for professional positions in some aspects of public archaeology, historic preservation, and University research institutions and centers.

Foundational Proficiencies

ANT 2511+LBiological Anthropology (+Lab)4
ANT 3101Principles of Archaeology3
ANT 3212Peoples and Cultures of the World3
Choose one of the following Archaeological Field Methods: *1-9
Combined Archaeological Field Methods
Terrestrial Archaeological Field Methods
Maritime Archaeological Field Methods
Total Hours11-19

Course offered 1-9 sh per semester

Historical Archaeology

ANG 5172Historical Archaeology Seminar3
ANG 5173Historical Research Methods in Archaeology3
ANG 6110Advanced Method and Theory in Archaeology Seminar3
ANG 6196Policies, Practices and Archaeology in Historic Preservation3
ANG 6824Advanced Archaeological Field Methods3
Total Hours15


5000/6000 level advisor or committee approved History courses.9
Total Hours9


5000/6000 level advisor or committee approved Anthropology, History, or area of research-related courses.9
Total Hours9


ANG 6971Anthropology Thesis *3
Total Hours3

Course offered 1-6 sh per semester; minimum of 3 sh required.