Why Get A Master's Degree in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University?

  • Our faculty is composed of experienced, published researchers who are committed to providing students with the best possible academic training in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology.

  • We have a small department where each graduate student receives mentoring and guidance in a close working relationship with a faculty member.

  • After receiving a masters degree from Florida Atlantic University, students are accepted into prestigious doctoral programs, or begin working in the field.

The Masters Program in Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University offers the student an in-depth exposure to biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology, providing a solid training in theory, methods, and analysis.  The masters program offers the student the opportunity to put anthropology into practice, to pursue an intellectual quest, and to creatively and critically construct a research program that reflects the student's particular interests. 

Students embark on a 30-credit hour course of study that encompasses anthropological theory, seminars in the subfields of anthropology, advanced training in their chosen subfield, topical courses, and quantitative reasoning.  The coursework provides the foundation for the student's independent and original research for a masters thesis, developed under the supervision of department faculty.  Many of our graduate students, based on the skills and knowledge they acquired at Florida Atlantic University, move on to complete their doctoral work at varied institutions.

Graduate students in the Department of Anthropology develop original research projects for their theses.  The masters thesis is a demonstration of the student's facility with synthesizing anthropological theory and methods into a sustained and persuasive examination of a topic important in anthropology.

Biological Anthropology students most often focus their thesis research on issues associated with human evolution and adaptation.  Whether the thesis involves the analysis of actual osteological material from Florida, South America, Africa, or Europe, or involves the analysis of CAT or MRI scans, students acquire excellent, state-of-the-art training in biological anthropology.

Cultural Anthropology thesis research is extraordinarily varied in topical and theoretical direction.  Students have carried out research with local immigrant groups (e.g. Maya, Dominican, Haitian), in South American villages, and on a variety of social issues in the U.S. (e.g. diet, healthcare, the environment).

Archaeological thesis students conduct research in a variety of venues, with diverse materials.  For example, students have focused on issues in the prehistory of south Florida, Ecuador, Cuba, and Mexico, utilizing such materials as ceramics, shell, animal and fish bone, lithics, and settlement patterns.

Master of Arts Program in Anthropology

The M.A. degree in Anthropology focuses on the interplay of methods, data and theory in anthropology and allows for specialization in the subfields of cultural anthropology, biological anthropology or archaeology.  The graduate program's emphasis is on the linkage of "materials" analysis (e.g. bone, shell, ceramic, lithic, interview/observational and behavioral data) to major schools of anthropological thought.  The department's program aims to contextualize and advance the understanding of being human in the past and the present.  The degree prepares students for doctoral work in anthropology.

Admissions Requirements

The applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 credits taken for the degree. The application requires (1) a Statement of Purpose and (2) two letters of recommendation sent directly to the department.  The application must have the approval of the department.  Where there is deficiency in a requirement for admission or some other problem, the applicant may be admitted conditionally as decided by the department.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. curriculum requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits earned and the maintaining of a 3.0 GPA in all coursework.  The minimum passing grade in each course is "B."

Core Requirements:

ANG 6034 Seminar:  Anthropological Theory  (3 cr.)
ANG 6095 Proposal Development and Writing (3 cr.)
ANG 6115 Seminar in Archaeology (3 cr.)
ANG 6587 Seminar in Biological Anthropology (3 cr.)
ANG 6490 Seminar in Cultural Anthropology (3 cr.)
ANG 6486 Quantitative Reasoning in Anthropological Research (3 cr.)
ANG 6971 Master's Thesis (1-6 cr.)  (May take multiple times)

Methods Requirement:  At least one course from this list:

ANG 5940 Internship in Anthropology (2-4 cr.)  (May take multiple times)
ANG 6090 Advanced Anthropological Research 1 (3 cr.)
ANG 6092 Advanced Anthropological Research 2 (3 cr.)
ANG 6199 Research Methods in Archaeology (3 cr.) 
ANG 6492 Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology (3 cr.)
ANG 6536 Research Methods in Bioarchaeology (3 cr.)
ANG 6905 Directed Independent Study (1-4 cr.)
ANG 6930 Special Topics (1-3 cr.) 

Prior to registering for courses in the first semester of graduate study, the student must consult with the department's graduate advisor to determine the likely sequencing of course work in the student's program.

The Admissions Committee may determine that the applicant must enroll in undergraduate anthropology courses as a condition for graduate work.  These remedial courses are not applicable to graduate credit.

Students must demonstrate proficiency of a language appropriate to their field of specialization.  Students can fulfill this requirement by completing a two-semester sequence in a language or a Reading for Research course (e.g. FRE/GER/SPN 5060).  Alternatively, students may demonstrate proficiency in a language by examination as determined by the department.

A public thesis proposal defense is required.  Work on the thesis is expected to begin upon successful defense of the proposed research.  Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 1 or up to a maximum of 6 credits in ANG 6971 during the semesters they are working on the thesis and the semester in which they expect to graduate.

Admission to Candidacy

After completion of the thesis proposal defense, a student is eligible for admission to candidacy.  The student must file an approved Plan of Study form no later than the third semester of the student's program.  In preparing the plan, the student should take professional objectives into consideration as well as all department and University requirements.  A completed Research Compliance Verification form must be attached to the Plan of Study form.  After the plan has been filed, subsequent major changes must be approved by the chair of the department, the student's advisor and the dean of the Graduate College.


Master of Arts in Teaching

The Department of Anthropology also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree designed for any student wishing to prepare for teaching at the elementary, secondary, or community college level.  This program is particularly appropriate for current teachers who are looking to build anthropological knowledge into their curricula and advance their teaching credentials.

Admission requirements are the same as for the M.A. program.  The M.A.T. total course requirements are 36 credits earned in core courses, pedagogy DIS courses (6 credits), teaching internship (6 credits), and completion of a modified thesis (3 credits).