Anthropology Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The Department of Anthropology is devoted to the preparation of professional anthropologists. Normally, only students who intend to pursue the PhD are accepted into the program. The MA in Anthropology is an intermediate degree granted upon application to students who fulfill second-year department requirements.

Coursework Requirements

  • See PhD Degree Requirements below.
  • Total Required Units: (variable, depending upon subdiscipline)

Other MA Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: none specified
  • Research/Projects: second-year qualifying paper
  • Master's Thesis: see Research/Projects above
  • Other: none


Course Requirements: The Department of Anthropology’s core requirements for all PhD students include: (1) the four-quarter sequence of 401, “The Logic of Inquiry in Anthropology;” (2) the 496 “Bridging Seminar” (a topically focused, advanced course designed to integrate at least two of the four sub-fields); (3) a sub-field specific methods course.

Subfield Course Requirements

Cultural Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, cultural students are required to take (489) Ethnographic Methods along with three additional courses from a “cafeteria” list approved by the cultural/linguistic faculty.  The list of approved courses is distributed by the DGS at the beginning of each year.  A complete list including past years is available from the Graduate Program Assistant. 

Linguistic Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, Linguistic Anthropology students are required to take two advanced graduate seminars in Linguistic Anthropology, one course in methods in Linguistic Anthropology (361 or 461) and at least one, and preferably two or more of the cafeteria courses.

Archaeology students: In addition to the above core requirements, archaeology students are required to take seven sub-field requirements: two graduate level courses in biological, cultural or linguistic anthropology, “Introduction to Archaeological Research Design and Methods” (322) and two graduate level Topics courses (490).  All students must also demonstrate knowledge and field and laboratory methods. 

Biological Anthropology students: In addition to the above core requirements, biological anthropology students are required to take “Methods in Human Biology Research” (386), “Human Population Biology” (490), and “Evolution and Biological Anthropology” (486).  Biological students are also required to take at least one (and preferably) two quarters of statistics, which can be fulfilled through the Anthropology Department or elsewhere (e.g., Sociology, public health, SESP)

Required Papers and Proposals

Students are required to complete a Second Year Qualifying Paper, a Dissertation Proposal, and a Dissertation.