Master of Arts in Anthropology
Advanced Study of Human Culture
The University of Idaho’s Master of Arts in Anthropology degree is geared toward students who seek to broaden their understanding of human culture, from prehistoric times to the present, while advancing their skills for a career or doctoral program and gaining a more nuanced appreciation for human diversity.
Considering this scope, the MA in Anthropology offers a choice of formats. Those selecting to do a thesis conduct independent research under the guidance of the department’s esteemed faculty members, striving to be published in a scholarly journal, and establish their originality of thought to pursue a Ph.D. and eventually begin a career in academia. The non-thesis, project-based format benefits those who have already started or desire a career in anthropology and aim to expand and elevate their practical skill set. Both courses of study reflect the Department of Culture, Society and Justice’s mission—to approach this area from a multidisciplinary angle while providing students with vital hands-on learning experiences to develop the core competencies needed to succeed out in the field.
For master’s students, this structure starts with an exploration of higher-level general anthropology, archeology, physical anthropology and ethnology. You’ll then go on digs, conduct research and analyze and conserve artifacts alongside faculty members, including through the department’s Laboratory of Anthropology. In the process, you’ll study modern and ancient cultures from sociological and archeological perspectives, including biodiversity, evolution and linguistic diversity, with an emphasis on indigenous groups, historical archeology, contemporary U.S. society and archeological conservation.
During the program, you’ll build off your undergraduate degree with courses in the field’s theories and history, human evolution, contemporary issues in anthropology, archeological methods, qualitative research and data analysis, lithic technology, historical artifact analysis and social and political organization. Regardless of which track you select or how you specialize your research, the department requires all students to display thorough and detailed knowledge across all subfields of anthropology.
If you’ve found yourself fascinated by how human societies have transformed over the centuries, the Master’s in Anthropology degree lets you explore your interests further and transform them into a stimulating career. Review all requirements, and apply to the program today.
- Students select from a 30-credit program structure, during which they’ll become proficient in a foreign language, or a 36-credit program structure with no foreign language requirement. Students may also transfer up to 12 credit hours of previously earned coursework toward their degree.
The MA in Anthropology is offered in thesis and non-thesis tracks. All students will conduct independent research in their area of study and complete and defend their project.
As a Master’s in Anthropology student, you’ll attend coursework seminars and directed studies and propose a specialization for your research. Due to the school’s location and the department’s focus, projects provide unique insight into historical archeology, prehistoric Plateau archeology, archeological conservation and stabilization, Plateau Indian ethnography, contemporary American culture, human evolution, indigenous societies of North and South America, bioarchaeology and the anthropology of gender and sexuality.
Gain professional experience working on faculty research projects, in the Laboratory of Anthropology and field schools. The Laboratory of Anthropology allows all department students to practice anthropology and archeology techniques in a controlled environment, helping them acquire key skills for real-world fieldwork and investigation and participate in faculty research and other projects.
Many students present at professional conferences, and several have co-authored articles with faculty.
To see and explore archeological sites beyond the state, MA in Anthropology students have a chance to participate in the department’s study abroad programs.
Many students obtain employment as anthropologists with government agencies and private contracting firms or pursue doctoral programs. For students looking to translate their knowledge into a career, this master’s degree prepares you for a role as a cultural, museum or forensic anthropologist, archeologist, archivist, researcher, curator, cultural and historical analyst, ecologist, project evaluator or educator.
Teaching assistantships are available.