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 fourcourse 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.