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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Anthropology

226 Lowry Hall
Tel: 330-672-4363


Students in the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology receive training in three fields: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. The research-oriented program encourages students to develop their own projects or participate in existing projects by their second semester. The program provides students with the training either to continue study in a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree program or to obtain employment after graduation. More than 80 percent of M.A. graduates continue for the Ph.D. or find employment in an area directly related to their training.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s), 3.0 GPA, GRE, goal statement and three letters of recommendation. For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum total 36 credit hours, comprising minimums of 30 hours of graduate credit and 6 hours of thesis work.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a holistic view of human cultures. They are to appreciate that our global species is a social and cultural as well as a biological organism, with a past that is historic, prehistoric, and geological. A student who wishes to emphasize socio-cultural anthropology will demonstrate a fundamental appreciation of diverse human and institutional behavior. Cultural anthropology M.A. students demonstrate their learning and experience with an original thesis.
  2. Appreciate and demonstrate how anthropologists investigate the past using the methods of the social sciences and the natural sciences, particularly geography and geology. Students who earn the general MA degree in anthropology will demonstrate comprehension of anthropology’s special role in making archaeology, particularly the study of prehistoric Ohio, woodland North America, and Mesoamerica, come to life and become relevant for them.  In addition, these students will gain a special appreciation of archaeology’s other mandate—the need to conserve the precious heritage of the archaeological record, not only Ohio’s but that of the Americas and the Old World as well. Students present an original thesis.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of biological anthropology as the most relevant evolution science, the one which gives them an appreciation of their own place in nature. They will see the two dimensions of human evolution and adaptation: a global one (modern human variation); and a deep temporal one (human origins). Both dimensions require an appreciation of the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, which includes both the process of natural selection and also the roles which genetics and developmental biology play in adaptation and evolution. Students will appreciate the urgency of primate and rainforest conservation. Students defend an original thesis or publish an original manuscript in a good journal in ecology, primatology, biology, or biological anthropology.
Thesis/ Dissertation

By the end of the first semester of graduate work, students should select two members of the graduate anthropology faculty in addition to their principal advisor to constitute a thesis committee. This committee must approve the thesis before it is submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences. Students should arrange for the appointment of this committee with the graduate coordinator for anthropology. A completed written thesis must be unanimously approved as a work of professional caliber as to content and form by a thesis committee of three graduate faculty. This thesis will be defended orally by the student. The defense is not to be considered a mere formality. The committee may range beyond the actual content of the thesis to questions about concepts, methods, theories upon which the thesis is based and about the content of relevant studies included in the bibliography of the thesis.

In cases in which the faculty believe that a student’s career would be better served by additional coursework rather than a thesis, 6 semester hours of additional coursework may be substituted for the thesis. The additional courses should compose an intensive investigation within the student’s specialty. Permission for using the non-thesis option must be arranged through the graduate coordinator. In the very rare cases where a student is granted permission to use the nonthesis option, special written comprehensive examinations will be required.