The Master of Arts in Anthropology at CSU prepares our students for entrance into a Ph.D program and for non-academic careers. The program builds on the diverse research interests of our faculty who specialize in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology as well as human and physical geography. The program options include writing a thesis or developing a portfolio as the principle demonstration of their preparedness for further study or professional work.

Students who are conferred an M.A. from the CSU Anthropology Department will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of anthropological theory and method and how to apply them appropriately.
2. Be able to engage in independent research that addresses academic questions or societal challenges.
3. Demonstrate awareness of and respect for human diversity across space and time.
4. Possess the academic background and skills to enter a Ph.D program in anthropology or a job related to the discipline.

Effective Fall 2020

Plan A

The thesis option must consist of a minimum of 30 semester credits of course work concentrated in anthropological areas relevant to the participant’s professional goals. The thesis is the culmination of a research project carried out by the student under the guidance of his or her advisor. A final examination consists of a defense of the thesis, as well as other parts of the program of study.

Plan B

The non-thesis option is intended for students seeking development of an understanding of Anthropology which will allow them to move on to a PhD program in Anthropology, or be incorporated in their work. Plan B students are expected to take a more broadly distributed series of courses and to show less specialization than that which characterizes Plan A programs of study.

Requirements for Plan B are a minimum of 35 credits of study. Students must complete a portfolio of work demonstrating both the breadth of their understanding of Anthropology and their own area of specialization, selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. A final examination consists of a defense of the portfolio, as well as other parts of the program of study.

Core Course
ANTH 500Development of Anthropological Theory3
Methods Course
Select one methods course integrated with the student's program of study in consultation with advisor.3-4
Electives
Select at least three credits in a 500 - 700 level anthropology course outside the student's subfield of specialization (archaeology, socio-cultural or biological anthropology) in consultation with advisor.3
Select at least six credits from departments outside of Anthropology in consultation with advisor. The courses should be integrated with the student's program of study.6
Elective Courses - Select from 9 to 17 credits in courses integrated with the student's program of study in consultation with advisor.9-17
Additional Credits for Independent Study or Thesis Work1-6
Program Total Credits:30-35
  • A minimum of 18 hours of regular course work in Anthropology is required. This excludes independent study.
  • A maximum of six credits of ANTH 695 allowed towards graduation under the Plan A option. A minimum of 3 credits of ANTH 695 is required toward graduation under the Plan B option.
  • A maximum of six credits of ANTH 699 will be allowed towards graduation under Plan A. No credits of ANTH 699 allowed toward graduation under the Plan B option.