Anthropology (MA)

32 Anthro Masters

Master of Arts in Anthropology
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Anthropology
Program Website
Academic Plan Code(s): ANTHMA, ANTHMA_ACC

Program Information

The Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology at the University of Louisville is designed to enhance student knowledge of and skills in dealing with contemporary social issues facing globalizing communities world-over and to enable students to locate these in the long progression of human history and within the body of social science theory. We expect our graduates to enter professions as skilled administrators, researchers, practitioners, advocates, and leaders. Although students may focus on biological anthropology, archaeology, or cultural anthropology, this is a general, comprehensive masters program.

Anthropology is the queen of multidisciplinary work, and we see our students taking courses from and pursuing collaborations with colleagues in Humanities, Sociology, History, Women and Gender Studies, Pan-African Studies, Political Science, Art History, Biology, and the Kent School of Social Work. Students with little or no academic background in anthropology will be required to take some preparatory courses determined in consultation with the Anthropology Director of Graduate Studies.

Degree Summary

Seminars9
Electives 15
Thesis/Internship6
Minimum Total Hours30

Accelerated BA/MA in Anthropology  

Undergraduate Anthropology majors who are already thinking about pursuing a master's degree in Anthropology can speed up the process by applying some of their undergraduate credit hours toward a Master of Arts degree. Students take three graduate-level courses/nine (9) credit hours (either 500-level with the additional graduate-level assignments or 600-level) while still an undergraduate and then have those credits apply both toward the undergraduate degree and an eventual master's degree from UofL. Students may pursue either the thesis or experiential (non-thesis) option within the MA Program.

Interested students should:

  1. Have a minimum overall Anthropology GPA of 3.3 and meet all other requirements for admission to the Anthropology Master of Arts program (including at least 18 credit hours of Anthropology with at least nine (9) hours at the 300 level or higher).
  2. Complete the Anthropology Department's internal application for permission to participate in the accelerated BA/MA program and the Graduate School's application for admission to the Master of Arts program. Students must apply by no later than the end of their junior year.

Students must retain a 3.0 GPA in Anthropology during their senior year to remain in the program. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must complete/submit:

  • Online graduate application for admission.
  • A statement of interests covering relevant experience and aspirations. This letter is absolutely critical to your successful application, as it helps us assess where you might find common interests among Department faculty.
  • GRE scores. Recommended: successful applicants report GRE scores averaging greater than the 50th percentile.
  • Official transcripts. As stipulated by the Graduate School, the minimum GPA for acceptance into the program is 3.0.
  • Three letters of reference addressing the candidate's readiness for graduate studies, academic abilities, and potential for success.  One letter may be from an employer.
  • Applicants may choose to submit a writing sample.

The Graduate Committee uses a holistic approach when evaluating graduate applications.

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology requires 30 credit hours at the graduate level. It comprises 24 credit hours of course work, plus six (6) credit hours of thesis or internship. All students enrolled in the MA program are required to complete one of the following options:

In addition to the nine (9) credit hours of the 600-level core seminars, students take another 15 credit hours of course work (electives) at the 500 or 600 level, and six (6) credit hours of thesis or internship/practicum hours. 

Students may enroll in up to nine (9) credit hours in another department. Students may enroll in 500 level courses in another department with the permission of the Anthropology Director of Graduate Studies.

MA students who are not in the accelerate BA/MA program may apply up to six (6) credit hours taken at the 500 or 600 level as an undergraduate may be applied toward the MA in Anthropology on the condition that the student earned a grade of B or higher in the course and the course was taught at the graduate level. Approval from the Director of Graduate Studies is required. MA students outside of the accelerated master's degree program may not use coursework earned as undergraduate and used to meet the requirements for the undergraduate degree for graduate credit.

Thesis Option

Core Seminars9
Electives15
Thesis6
Minimum Total Hours30

Thesis Option Coursework

Core Seminars6
Social and Cultural Theory
Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
Students must select one of the following courses:3
Research Design: Archaeology
Research Design: Biological Anthropology
Research Design: Socio-Cultural Anthropology
Electives15
Space, Place and Culture
Anthropology of China
Ecology, Politics and Culture
Archaeology as Practice
Animals and Humans
Zooarchaeology
Human Impacts on Past Environments
Anthropology of Water
Food and Farm Movements in the Americas
Nutritional Anthropology
Health and Civilization
Modes of Consiousness
Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology
Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
Special Topics in Archaeology
Lithic Technology
Ceramic Analysis
Special Topics in Anthropology
Emergence of Human Culture
Anthropology of Violence
Black Cultural Traditions
Globalization, Transnationalism, and Anthropology
Food Justice
Political Economy and Culture
Linguistic Anthropology
Health and Disease: A Bio-Cultural Approach
Seminar in Biological Anthropology
Human Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology
Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
Independent Study (Reading)
Independent Study (Research)
Or approved 500- and 600-level elective in another social science discipline
ANTH 672Thesis6
Minimum Total Hours30

Experiential Option

Core Seminars9
Electives15
Internship6
Minimum Total Hours30

Experiential Option Coursework

Core Seminars
Social and Cultural Theory
Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
Students must select one of the following courses:3
Research Design: Archaeology
Research Design: Biological Anthropology
Research Design: Socio-Cultural Anthropology
Electives15
Space, Place and Culture
Anthropology of China
Ecology, Politics and Culture
Archaeology as Practice
Animals and Humans
Zooarchaeology
Human Impacts on Past Environments
Anthropology of Water
Food and Farm Movements in the Americas
Nutritional Anthropology
Health and Civilization
Modes of Consiousness
Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology
Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
Special Topics in Archaeology
Lithic Technology
Ceramic Analysis
Special Topics in Anthropology
Emergence of Human Culture
Anthropology of Violence
Black Cultural Traditions
Globalization, Transnationalism, and Anthropology
Food Justice
Political Economy and Culture
Linguistic Anthropology
Health and Disease: A Bio-Cultural Approach
Seminar in Biological Anthropology
Human Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology
Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
Independent Study (Reading)
Independent Study (Research)
Internship
Or approved 500- and 600-level elective in another social science discipline
Minimum Total Hours30