Anthropology - M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology
226 Lowry Hall
Kent Campus


The Master of Arts degree in Anthropology provides opportunities for students to study 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. More than 80 percent of M.A. graduates continue for the Ph.D. degree or find employment in an area directly related to their training.


  • Kent Campus

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • GRE scores
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 525 TOEFL score (71 on the Internet-based version), minimum 74 MELAB score, minimum 6.0 IELTS score or minimum 50 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a holistic view of human cultures. They are to appreciate that the global species is a social and cultural as well as a biological organism, with a past that is both historic and prehistoric. A student who wishes to emphasize socio-cultural anthropology will demonstrate a fundamental appreciation of diverse human and institutional behavior.
  2. Appreciate and demonstrate how anthropologists investigate the past using the methods of the social sciences and the natural sciences, particularly geography and geology. They 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, they 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.
  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 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. They appreciate the urgency of primate and rainforest conservation.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements


Major Requirements
Additional Requirements 121
Thesis Requirement 2
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Students are encouraged to select at least one course in either linguistics or statistics in consultation with their advisors. Students may be permitted to present a maximum 6 credit hours of credit from outside of anthropology. The 6 credit hours, however, are expected to relate to the course of study being pursued (all cases will be considered on an individual basis, and outside courses must be selected in consultation with the advisor and the coordinator of graduate studies). Students wishing to take statistics or linguistics courses from outside of anthropology may be permitted to do so without those credit hours counting against their allotted 6 credit hours, in the event that the courses are not available within the department when they are needed.

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 credit 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 non-thesis option, special written comprehensive examinations will be required.

Graduation Requirements

Formal final examinations are administered in ANTH 68230, ANTH 68430 and ANTH 68630. Students who do not pass these examinations (earning "Unsatisfactory") may be dismissed from the program. Students who do not earn a minimum B grade in these courses will be required to pass an appropriate additional examination. Students who earn less than a C grade in any of the courses cannot subsequently qualify for an M.A. degree in Anthropology.