Dec 07, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology, M.A.

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Return to: 3100 Department of Anthropology  

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in anthropology provides rigorous training in anthropological theories, methods, and skills. The program is dedicated to the investigation of a broad range of social, cultural, political-economic, and biological issues, processes, and problems pertaining to the human experience in its past and present dimensions. The Department of Anthropology program utilizes resources in metropolitan Atlanta to promote student learning.

Students may seek comprehensive training in anthropological methods and theory in anticipation of pursuing an academic career in anthropology or enhancing their education in another discipline. Alternatively, they may pursue specialized training in methods, problems, and theories for a career beyond the academy, applying anthropological knowledge to assess and help meet community needs, identify and help solve social problems, or write and help to implement public policy.

To provide graduate students with training specific to their career goals, the program offers a Thesis Option and a Capstone Option. Students may choose either option in consultation with the Graduate Director and their advisor. The Thesis Option requires primary research, whether basic or applied, on an issue relative to the student’s subdiscipline of concentration, e.g. archaeological, biological, cultural, or linguistic anthropology. This option is particularly well suited for those who plan to pursue doctoral training in anthropology or another field. Students complete this work under the guidance of a primary advisor and two additional committee members. The Capstone Option focuses the student’s time more in coursework, prioritizing topical content and professionalization through means other than independent research. Students who opt for the Capstone Option are encouraged strongly to take at least one, if not two, courses in fields outside of Anthropology that pertain to their professional goals, for example in public health, education, law, business, or public policy. With guidance from their advisor, Capstone students complete a capstone paper (25-30 pp.) in the final semester that may build upon previous coursework and should be oriented towards defining their professional goals and illustrating their developing expertise.

All students have the option to complete an internship for academic credit as part of their curriculum in such agencies as CARE, the Carter Center, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and at any of the multiple human service organization that serve immigrants and refugees in metropolitan Atlanta. For example, students who seek training in applied sociocultural anthropology conduct participatory action research in urban domains of policy and practice, including medical, educational, and other social service settings. Students with career interests in public archaeology study within cultural resource management (CRM) firms and museums.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Anthropology has the following requirements:

  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential to do graduate work in anthropology
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Writing sample

The M.A. program is designed to be completed in two years. During the first year, all students are required to demonstrate competence in topics, theories, and methods of anthropology through completion of a four-course core curriculum. Additional coursework is completed in consultation with the faculty. During their second year, students are expected to develop their own areas of interest and expertise within the broader framework of the program. Students are encouraged to take advantage of resources in other departments and schools at Georgia State University, and of neighboring institutions such as Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Spelman College, Morehouse University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Regents University in Augusta. Students can also choose to participate in our department’s collaborative programs with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Atlanta History Center, the Georgia State University’s Heritage Preservation Program, the Atlanta Zoo, and a number of local museums and CRM firms.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Anthropology by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses at 3100 Department of Anthropology .

Degree Requirements

  • Thesis Option (Minimum of 36 hours)
  • Capstone Option (Minimum of 36 hours)

Required Courses

The following courses are required:

Select One from the Following

Methods Courses

Select one course from the following as relevant to the student’s MA concentration.


Cultural Anthropology

Theory Courses

Select one course from the following as relevant to the student’s MA concentration.


Biological Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology

Additional 6000/8000-Level Anthropology Courses

Additional 6000/8000-level anthropology courses in area of specialization to achieve at least 36 semester hours for the thesis option and 36 semester hours for the Capstone option. Up to six hours of graduate courses may be taken outside the anthropology program

Research Skills Requirement

Proficiency in an approved research skill. This requirement can be fulfilled by an approved research skills course or by demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English.

Thesis Option

Thesis Prospectus

Choose one of the following.

Thesis Research

  • ANTH 8999 - Thesis Research 3 Credit Hours

Thesis Writing and Oral Thesis Defense

Choose one of the following.

Capstone Option

A capstone project must be completed in the final semester, including a public presentation of the capstone project. There are no additional credit hours associated with the capstone project.

Thesis Option

Oral defense of thesis. Capstone option: public presentation of capstone project

Graduate Assistants Requirements

Graduate assistants are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each for the fall/spring semesters and 9 credit hours for the summer semester. These credit hours will consist of courses required for the prescribed program of study, as well as additional hours of ANTH 8065 - Non-thesis research .

Concentration Requirements

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