The Department of Anthropology offers a Master of Arts degree in the Professional Practice of Anthropology. The program offers students the opportunity to specialize in three concentrations, 1- Applied Archaeology; 2- Applied Forensic and Biological anthropology; and 3- Applied Cultural Anthropology.

Track 1):  Applied archaeology – cultural heritage management (cultural resource management), including museum management for archaeological collections, graduates will be in compliance with regulations and requirements from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior;

Track 2): Applied forensic and biological anthropology – recovery, analysis and identification of human remains, legal interpretation thereof, and museum management of human skeletal/dental remains; applied primatology;

Track 3): Applied cultural anthropology – medical anthropology, anthropology in public health and allied fields, and applied ethnography for industrial/private/government sectors.

Graduate students have two degree options– Option 1 with no written thesis, and Option 2 with a written master’s thesis. The aim of the curriculum is to give graduates the skill sets needed to design, conduct, and analyze anthropological fieldwork for their employers or as a component of independent research-driven careers.

Option 1.  The nonthesis option is designed for applicants whose ultimate career will be in employment for which practical application of bench skills and a master’s degree are the gold standard.  Nonthesis students require a minimum of 36 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 18 months in residency.

This option is designed to prepare students to compete successfully for employment in mid-level careers immediately upon graduation.

We have designed this degree program so that it can be completed in two years.

Option 2.  The thesis option requires a minimum of 36 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree and a written thesis with an open defense guided by a thesis advisor and thesis committee of the student’s choice.  The committee for the thesis must include at least three faculty members, including one from outside anthropology.  Additional credits for thesis research and writing may be added to the minimum of 36 if the student wishes. A minimum of 18 months in residency is also required for this option.

This option is designed for individuals who wish to pursue career employment with increased potential for professional advancement based an emphasis on advanced analytical and writing skills used in management.  With the thesis track, graduates would have the option of eventually pursuing admission to a doctoral program.

The thesis option may require an additional year in the program to accommodate thesis research and writing. The thesis research and writing credits may serve as part of the residency requirement if the student is in residence during the course. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the program will be selected for admission based on submission of the following materials and standards:

            1.  Official copy of undergraduate transcripts showing the date the bachelor’s degree was awarded.  Transcripts must show a 3.0 GPA in anthropology and no less than 3.0 for the overall GPA.  Students with lower averages may be admitted provisionally with higher than minimum GRE scores and supporting materials from referees on a case-by-case basis.

            2.  A personal statement of intent in which the applicant details reasons for pursuing the degree and for pursuing the degree in our program specifically.  A cogent written statement will be used in evaluating the applicants’ ability for written expression, as well as their fit with our strengths and offerings.

            3.  A GRE score of 1100 (or combined 297 on the revised General Test).  Applicants with lower scores may be considered for admission with supporting documentation from referees of active and successful involvement in research and/or transcripts showing an established record of scholarly achievement as an undergraduate.

We will also consider the admission of part time students, especially in the case of returning students or practicing professional anthropologists who are seeking continuing education to better their skill set while enhancing their opportunities for advancement in the field.  Nondegree-seeking students and/or part time students will be considered by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis.  

Basic Coursework Requirements

1. Seminars in two of the four core graduate seminars in professional practice and theoretical foundations (see below) (3 credits; total of 6 credits);

2.  One course or seminar in analytical skills for qualitative and/or quantitative data (3 credits); and

3.  One course or seminar in professional writing (e.g., scientific writing for publication, federal compliance reporting, grants writing) (3 credits).

Additional Requirements for the Degree

1. One semester of hands-on field work or internship (usually over the summer), with the option of a second as thesis research; and

2. One paper for presentation at professional organization or one paper  for publication in a journal/proceedings/book chapter or other professional venue.  The presentation may be poster, podium or multimedia.

The Professional Practice Core Courses 

The MA in Anthropology consists of the following courses.

APY 601Advanced Seminar in Archaeology, Theory and Practice3
APY 602Advanced Seminar in Cultural Anthropology3
APY 603Advanced Seminar in Biological Anthropology3
APY 604Advanced Seminar in Linguistic Anthropology3
APY 612Advanced Medical Anthropology3
APY 690Teaching Practicum In Anthropology3
APY 805Graduate Internship: Professional Practice of Anthropology1-9
APY 810Master's Degree Thesis Preparation and Writing1-9
Total Credit Hours20-36

APY 611 – Methods of Anthropological Research (3-6 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study.

APY 702 – Field Studies in Anthropology (3-6 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study.

APY 615 – Museum Internship (3 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study. 

APY 616 – Workshop in Anthropology (3-6 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study.

APY 612 – Advanced Medical Anthropology (3 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study.

APY 628 – Advanced Seminar in Anthropology (3 credits), may be offered as a seminar or independent study. 

Other Competencies Required for the M.A.

Foreign language (mandatory) – demonstrated competency in the language of the country in which the applicant will work is expected.  The language requirement may be met by analysis and translation of historical documents in a language other than English, or translation into English of three scientific articles from peer-reviewed journals pertaining to the professional practice of anthropology published originally in a foreign language.

Nine graduate-level credits outside of Anthropology (mandatory) – These may be from a suggested list of electives and/or may be designed as a graduate cognate by the student with guidance from the advisor.

Professional Certification of Competency

Certificates of Proficiency (optional) – These may be gained in professional competency courses offered in conjunction with institutions in the student’s area of professional specialization. Credit hours may be earned if the student completes the certification as an independent study, part of an internship program, or fieldwork course.

Thesis Option

Written Master’s Thesis (optional) - The thesis option will require the production of a written document as part of the minimum requirements in this track.  The thesis research and writing credits may serve as part of the residency requirement if the student is in residence during the course.  Thesis requirements will conform to the University of Miami’s standards and format.

Academic Standing

Graduate students are expected to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in all coursework.  Should the average fall below that mark in a semester, the student will be notified and work with his/her advisor to rectify the performance problems.  If the student has a second consecutive semester with an average GPA below the 3.0 standard, he/she will be placed on academic probation.  Three semesters of below average performance may result in suspension from the program at the discretion of the Chair and in discussion with the student and his/her departmental advisor in accordance with guidelines for the University’s Graduate College.

For additional program information, please visit our website.