applied anthropology in action
MA Core Courses ← Department of Anthropology

MA Core Courses

Surveyors in the forest

All core required courses other than ANTH 670/671 (Summer Institute) are offered solely via online distance learning, the primary goal of which is to enable students to simultaneously obtain applied experience and/or complete thesis fieldwork/research without being limited by location.

Students are encouraged and expected to take advantage of this freedom by setting and achieving clear, strong goals. This model also trains students to be successful in modern applied/academic workplace environments that expect competence in self-discipline and navigating/communicating across a variety of media. The core online coursework is rigorous, yet primarily asynchronous, meaning that students will have flexibility in planning days and times to view course materials/lectures and complete assignments each week.

Students who would like to be on campus after the Summer Institute are welcomed and will have access to departmental facilities – many of our students choose to remain on campus to take courses, be involved in labs, and form study groups.

MA students take the core courses following plus three electives:

  • ANTH 670 Introduction to Applied Anthropology (2 units) – Summer Institute
    Introduction to anthropological perspectives, methods, theories, and practices applied to human and environmental problems in academic, professional and global contexts; evaluation and debate of current issues; development of research interests.
  • ANTH 671 Methods in Applied Anthropology (3 units) – Summer Institute
    Intensive overview of methods and materials used within applied archaeological, biological, and cultural anthropology. Topics include enthnographic data collection, structured observation, interviewing, excavation, lab techniques, materials / artifact / skeletal analysis, and data management. Most top­ics will be cov­ered as a group to pro­vide a broad skill-base in the discipline. Some requirements will be specific to field of interest.
  • ANTH 672 Theory in Applied Anthropology (3 units) – Fall online
    Connects anthropological theory and practice to address human problems in concrete settings. Develop critical evaluation of and effectively communicate about problems and interactions between humans and their environments.
  • ANTH 673 Anthropology Careers & Management Strategy (3 units) – Fall online
    In-depth survey of domains in which anthropological principles, theories, and methods are applied; intensive development of professional-level skills, written communication, and portfolios; strategic management of applied projects and their outcomes.
  • ANTH 674 Research Project Design (3 units) – Spring online
    Guided preparation of research proposals and/or grant applications, with a focus on student initiative and responsibility. Theoretical and methodological topics include defining questions, designing fieldwork, proposal evaluation criteria, and peer-review. At the end of the course, students will present their completed project proposal to the course instructor(s) and their thesis committee for approval.
  • ANTH 678 Applied Anthropology Pro Seminar (1 unit, taken three times)
    Ongoing seminar/colloquium for the MA cohort. Focuses on research in progress, developing arguments and written and oral presentations within a structured and supervised format. Students present and discuss their ongoing research and writing and engage in peer review. Faculty also intermittently schedule readings and discussions based on relevant topics.
  • ANTH 675/682 Anthropology Internship / Field Placement (3 units) – Spring online
    Students enroll in this course while completing an internship in applied anthropology that they arranged during the previous semester. Engages students with the work of research libraries, museums, community organizations, governmental agencies, and other institutions to enhance students’ knowledge of sources, research methodologies, institutional cultures, and work environments. During the internship, students will learn and critically evaluate not only aspects of the position and particular organization, but also their roles and responsibilities as anthropologists.
  • ANTH 690 Thesis (6 units)
    Students are guided through the process of thesis development and writing throughout the MA program. Students must enroll in 6 units of Anth 690 before receiving the MA degree. Students first enroll in Anth 690 during their final semester in the program (fulltime semester 3, part-time semester 6). During that semester, students are expected to present thesis sections for committee evaluation. Students will generally have already begun/completed their thesis research by this time. Students who have not completed their thesis research when first enrolled in Anth 690 will be expected to make committee-approved progress toward that end and submit initial chapters (i.e. introduction, background, methods) during the semester. Students who do not expect to complete their thesis during the final program semester should sign up for fewer than 6 units of Anth 690 so that they can enroll in thesis units during following semesters (to maintain university continuous enrollment requirements); in general, no more than two additional semesters will be allowed for thesis completion.  An in-person/Skype oral defense of the thesis is required before final written thesis submission to HSU. Additional information on thesis requirements is provided on the Information for Current Students page.

Below are some of the regularly-offered MA program electives:

  • Anth 618/680: Qualitative Methods & Analysis
  • Anth 679: Applied Anthropology Region – Rotating Region and Sub-Discipline Focus
  • Anth 680: Graduate Seminar – Rotating Topics, e.g., Applied Archaeology & Bioarchaeology

Additional anthropology courses and potential electives are described in the MA program Course Schedule and Course Rotation, the HSU Catalog, and the HSU Class Schedule. HSU also offers Certificate Programs that students can complete while enrolled in the MA program.

MA Summer Institute
MA Program Requirements

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