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MA Program Requirements ← Department of Anthropology

MA Program Requirements

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After acceptance into the MA in Applied Anthropology program, the following requirements must be met for eligibility to graduate with the MA degree:

MA Core Course Requirements (26 units, required – 5 units at the Summer Institute, then remaining core courses online while enrolled in the program):

  • ANTH 670 (2 units) Intro to Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 671 (3 units) Methods in Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 672 (3 units) Theory in Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 673 (3 units) Anthropology Careers & Management Strategy
  • ANTH 674 (3 units) Research Project Design
  • ANTH 678 (3 units) Applied Anth Pro Seminar (1 unit, repeated 3 times)
  • ANTH 682 (3 units) Anthropology Internship / Field Placement (formerly Anth 675)
  • ANTH 690 (6 units) Master’s Degree Thesis

MA Anthropology Electives (2 courses, 6 units required). During the MA program, take two electives offered online through the MA Applied Anth program. Some of our regularly offered electives that are online include:

  • ANTH 618/680 (3 units) Qualitative Methods & Analysis
  • ANTH 679 (3 units) Applied Anth Region (rotating region and concentration)
  • ANTH 680 (3 units) Graduate Seminar (rotating topics, e.g., Applied Arch & Bioanth)

Focus Elective (1 course, normally 3-4 units, required):

  • An advisor-approved graduate or upper division undergraduate level elective directly focused in the thesis/career area. If a student changes thesis focus during the program, a new focus elective may be required, at the discretion of the advisor.
  • A course taken prior to the program may be used to meet this requirement if it was graduate level, not counted toward any other degree, and taken within 7 years of completion of the MA Applied Anth degree. This requirement may be completed at an institution outside of HSU and transferred.
  • Cohort beginning Summer 2016 or earlier: This course must be from a discipline outside of Anthropology.
  • Cohort beginning Summer 2017 or after, or students from previous cohorts that are still enrolled during Fall 2016 and switch to the Fall 2016-Summer 2017 Catalog: This course may be either within or outside of Anthropology. It will likely be necessary to select this elective from outside of the online MA program course offerings, such as from the many general offerings in Anthropology or other disciplines at HSU or other institutions. If the most appropriate focus elective is a rigorous lower division or non-transferable course (neither of which can be officially counted towards the MA degree), the student may complete the official focus elective requirement with one unit of ANTH 699 (Independent Study), normally taken concurrently, for which additional assignments will be required. In some cases, the advisor may request/permit completion of the focus elective by enrolling in ANTH 699 (Independent Study), and serving as a course assistant in a relevant course (during which competence in the material must be demonstrated). The advisor/thesis chair may directly assign the focus elective during the first semester in the MA program.

Emphasis / Specialization (archaeology, biological anthropology, bioarchaeology/forensics, or cultural anthropology):

  • Select an emphasis, in consultation with the advisor, and complete all requirements listed below. The emphasis is internal to the program and will not be noted on transcripts, but will be documented by the program and should be included on the graduate’s resume/CV.
  • MA elective: At least one of the two required MA Anthropology Electives noted above must be geared towards the emphasis area – see details above.
  • Focus elective: An advisor-approved elective directly focused in the thesis/career area – see details above.
  • Field Placement Requirement (ANTH 675/682): Students are required to complete 180 hours of advisor-approved field placement (internship) that is focused on gaining hands-on applied experience in the emphasis area. The field placement may, but is not required to be, directly related to MA thesis research. Field school(s) may fulfill some internship hours, at the discretion of the advisor, but only if such hours are in excess of any hours for which academic credit (units) are earned and applied to meet the focus elective requirement.
  • MA Thesis (ANTH 690): Related to emphasis. Students may enroll in additional courses to develop interests and expertise and enable competent completion of specialized thesis topics.
  • Skills Demonstration: Emphases in archaeology and bioarchaeology/forensics require demonstration of skills. Some highly prepared students may be able to demonstrate these skills during the Summer Institute – most students will need to arrange to return to campus to demonstrate skills before the degree is awarded; in exceptional cases it may be possible to arrange for virtual demonstration. Students needing substantial training in these skills are advised to arrange to spend at least one semester on campus after the Summer Institute, or make other plans to gain the necessary skills in consultation with the advisor. The advisor may modify the skills requirements within the first semester of the MA, or thereafter if the emphasis changes and/or advisor and student agree):
    • Archaeology Emphasis Skills: Excavation unit set up, compass and clinometer use, tape and compass mapping, plan and profile mapping of a unit, ability to read topographical maps and point out areas of interest or features, and basic GPS mapping/use.
    • Bioarchaeology/Forensics Emphasis Skills: Lay out a disarticulated human skeleton in correct anatomical position within fifteen minutes (phalanges may be grouped); collect data for a case report / profile (inventory, postcranial & cranial metrics, analysis of pathology/traumata) within four hours, with a case report write-up within 1-week; use of FORDISC, 3D-ID, or other comparable and relevant software

Additional Requirements/Information:

  • A maximum of 3 of the required 35 units may be taken from outside HSU and counted toward the degree (only “breadth/focus” elective).
  • Preliminary Exams: Taken at the end of the Summer Institute – must be passed to continue in the program.
  • Oral Defense of Thesis: In-person or via Skype or other live video media.
  • All degree require­ments must be com­pleted within the spec­i­fied time­frame unless extended by suc­cess­ful petition:
    • Full-time Program: 5 unit Summer Institute + 10 units per semester for 3 semesters (plus a maximum two additional semesters to complete thesis with committee approval).
    • Part-time Program: 5 unit Summer Institute + 4-6 units per semester for 6 semesters (plus a maximum two additional semesters to complete thesis with committee approval).
  • Each semester students are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in the program. All classes must be passed with a B- or better to count towards the degree.
  • Students are required to maintain professional conduct and abide by ethical standards, in all aspects of and activities related to the program, in anthropological research and activities, and in all situations where they represent the program and discipline.
  • Students are also expected to have or gain sufficient knowledge in their emphasis area to complete a quality thesis and become prepared to pursue a career or further graduate research in that area. In some cases, this may require additional advisor-approved/requested elective courses, training, time spent on-campus, access to materials/resources off campus, demonstration of skills mastery to advisor/thesis committee, or other requirements.
  • Prior to grad­u­a­tion, appli­ca­tion for advance­ment to can­di­dacy must be com­pleted and on file with Graduate Studies.
  • The above require­ments are in addi­tion to any other requirements established by the program during courses, communicated by faculty, on this website, and gen­eral require­ments estab­lished by HSU Graduate Studies, or as spec­i­fied in the University Catalog under Master’s Degree Requirements. or Applied Anthropology MA.
  • Once the above require­ments are met, the student’s Thesis com­mit­tee and the MA Program Coordinator will rec­om­mend the stu­dent for grad­u­a­tion to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Once the Dean is sat­is­fied that the work meets the stan­dards set forth by the University, the stu­dent will grad­u­ate with an MA in Applied Anthropology.

Code of Ethics

Students are required to maintain professional conduct and abide by ethical standards, in all aspects of and activities related to the program, in anthropological research and activities, and in all situations where they represent the program and discipline. Please contact the HSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for policies and procedures for all projects/research involving human subjects, and the HSU IACUC for projects/research involving nonhuman animal subjects. Data collected before obtaining IRB/IACUC approval may not be used for the thesis, and may violate ethical guidelines.

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