Skip to content

The Anthropology department offers an M.A. degree and M.S. degree in four tracks: Biological Anthropology; Archaeology; Evolution of Culture, Cognition, and Behavior; and Evolutionary Ecology. Incoming students are expected to concentrate their graduate work in one of these areas and are encouraged to become involved in research early in their training. 

Both the M.A. and M.S. programs are designed to be completed in two years. The degree is awarded upon successful completion of required coursework and a passing grade on the master's qualifying examination. 

MASTERS PROGRAM CONTACTS

Adrian Bell

Assoc. Professor

Kyla Welch

Programs Manager
Graduate Coordinator

Kyla.Welch@anthro.utah.edu 

Jack Broughton

Professor
Department Chair

Jack.Broughton@anthro.utah.edu 

 

UNIVERSITY RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

A number of services are available to students at this time. Below are ones we're frequently asked about. For an updated comprehensive list of services that remain open please visit coronavirus.utah.edu.

FUNDS, FOOD, PARKING AND RECREATION

Emergency Funds Application

Students can apply for emergency grants based upon need and available funding. If you are facing financial difficulties during this time, please submit an application.

Feed U Pantry

The FeedU pantry in the Union building is closed. For information on requesting food for a curbside pick up, visit the Union’s Covid-19 page at https://union.utah.edu/covid-19/.

Parking proration

Students who will no longer use their parking permit for the remainder of the semester may request a prorated refund by emailing parkingpermits@utah.edu. Permits purchased in August or mid-September 2019, are not eligible for the prorated refund as their value has already been utilized.

Campus Recreation Services

The Eccles Student Life Center is closed until further notice, but staff still are streaming classes in yoga, cardio boxing and Pilates, among others. Check the schedule to sign up.

WELLNESS

Student Wellness Center

While STD testing and pleasure packs are on hold, the Student Wellness Center still is providing many virtual services, including victim-survivor advocacy and Zoom office hours with health educators beginning April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

University Counseling Center

Counseling services are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments provided by telephone or secure video feed.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 801-581-6431 if you are experiencing symptoms such as high fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Victim-Survivor Advocates

Victim-Survivor Advocates provide free, confidential and trauma-informed support services to students, faculty and staff who have experienced interpersonal violence (i.e. domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, stalking, etc.). Schedule an appointment here.

Crisis Intervention & Hospital Diversion

University of Utah Health provides free crisis response and hospital diversion programs that aim to keep all our family members, friends and neighbors safe. Services are available 24/7 here.

Students work closely with faculty members to pursue specialized training in one or more of the following program areas: 

 

Regardless of which emphasis area you choose, every Masters student must complete the following program requirements:

Specific course requirements vary by program, but all incoming students are expected to take the proseminar series in their first year, which introduces students to the history of ideas in the four areas.

Proseminar Series

(Anthropology 6100, 6200, 6300, 6400), are to be taken in the first year (students who have previously taken ANTH 6161 are exempt).

Statistics

All graduate students are expected to have basic proficiency in statistics. Most graduate students (particularly those in Biological Anthropology, evolutionary ecology and Archaeology) will be expected to gain additional statistical expertise, as determined by the student’s supervisory committee.

Electives

Electives are selected by the student in consultation with his/her supervisory committee and may include courses from other departments. Individual curricula may vary depending on the student’s interests and professional agenda. Students seeking an M.A. degree must also demonstrate standard proficiency in one foreign language as approved by the supervisory committee. Electives may (but are not required to) include ANTH 6950 (Individual Study) for 1-3 credit hours. ANTH 6611–Preparation of Grant Proposals in Anthropology/3 credit hours is recommended for all students, but not required.

Emphasis Specific requirements

In addition to the department-wide required courses, masters’ students are required to take one of the following sets of courses. Courses in addition to these may be required by a student’s supervisory committee.

Archaeology

The following courses are required for all Archaeology Master’s students:

ANTH 6461 – Behavioral Ecology and Anthropology/3 credit hours
ANTH 6361 – Behavioral Ecology and Archaeology/3 credit hours
ANTH 6345 – Cultural Resources Management/3 credit hours
ANTH 6342 – History of Archaeology/3 credit hours (Recommended)
Electives – 5 to 9 courses (15-27 credit hours)

 

Biological Anthropology

The following courses are required for all Biological Anthropology Master’s students:

ANTH 6291 – Evolution of Human Health/3 Credit hours
ANTH 6261 – Paleoanthropology/3 credit hours
ANTH 5221 – Human Evolutionary Genetics/4 credit hours
Electives – 6-9 courses (~15-27 credit hours)

 

Culture, Cognition and Behavior

The following courses are required for all Cultural Anthropology Master’s students:

ANTH 6855 – Exploring Human Behavior, Culture and Cognition: Evolutionary Perspectives/6 credit hours
ANTH 5169 – Ethnographic Methods/3 credit hours
Anthropology Electives – 9 credit hours / 3 courses from 5471, 6134,6150, 6185, 6186, 6187, 6481, 6501, 6502
Additional electives – 3-9 courses (~9-27 credit hours)

 

Evolutionary Ecology

The following courses are required for all Evolutionary Ecology Master’s students:

ANTH 6461 – Behavioral Ecology and Anthropology/3 credit hours
ANTH 5471 – Quantitative Methods in Evolutionary Ecology /3 credit hours
ANTH 5169 – Ethnographic Methods/3 credit hours
ANTH 6498 – Problems in Evolutionary Anthropology (Journal Club)/1 credit hour
Electives – 7-9 courses (~21-27 credit hours)

The Graduate School has requirements concerning hours of coursework, GPA, continuous registration, and language proficiency. These requirements include the following: (a) minimum of 30 credit hours in graduate courses (5000 or above), (b) 3.0 or higher GPA, and (c) continuous registration (3 credit hours minimum) fall and spring until graduation. Please consult the Graduate Catalog for a complete description of these requirements.

There is a University (not departmental) language requirement for the MA (not MS) degree. The student's committee must approve the choice of language, and standard proficiency must be certified by the Department of Languages and Literature. There is no language requirement for the MS degree.

A critical aspect of timely completion of your graduate degree is selecting a Supervisory Committee Chair and forming a committee as soon as possible. All University of Utah faculty members including regular (tenured or tenure track) research, clinical, emeritus, visiting, auxiliary, and adjunct are eligible to serve as supervisory committee members.

The supervisory committee is usually formed in the first year of graduate work. It is the responsibility of the student to approach prospective committee members with respect to their willingness and availability to serve in such a capacity. Faculty members have the right, however, for justifiable academic reasons, to refuse to serve on a student's supervisory committee.

Master's supervisory committees consist of three faculty members, the majority of whom must be regular (tenured or tenure track) faculty in the student's major department.

Master’s Qualifying Exercise

All students are required to complete a qualifying exercise by the end of their fourth FTE (full-time effort) semester in this department. Students may choose: a) a written exam (6-8 essays written in two four-hour sessions), or b) a non-thesis project. Students are also required to pass an oral examination focusing on the project or written examination, which should take place within 10 days of completion of the written portion of the exercise.

Non-thesis project: Students should identify and agree on a non-thesis project with their Chair and on the advice of their supervisory committee. Students are encouraged to choose, and produce, a project that likely results in a publishable paper. A written draft of the project should be circulated to the supervisory committee no later than March 15 (or by the end of the 8th week of the graduating semester).

Written Exam: 6-8 essays written in two four-hour sessions. The supervisory committee administers the examination, and the choice of questions is determined by the student's chair, in consultation with other members of the committee. During preparation, however, students should feel free to approach any faculty member, all faculty are willing to help all students equally. As with any examination essay, a good essay on the Master’s exam will make an argument and support it with evidence. It will show familiarity with the literature as well as the ability to synthesize it and evaluate conflicting points of view.

 

Oral Examination: The oral exam is conducted by the supervisory committee. The committee will usually ask the student to elaborate on areas within the written exam or the non- thesis project they feel deserves further attention, but other topics may be raised as well. Students should be prepared to discuss other questions and issues, including questions that were not chosen for the written essays.

Students should consult the graduate handbook for additional information on what to expect and how to prepare.

Evaluation 

The student's supervisory committee will evaluate the exam or project and discuss the result with the student immediately following the oral exam. Although some students enter the master’s program with the intention of moving into the doctoral program, admission into the doctoral program for enrolled master’s students requires the successful completion of the M.S. qualifying examination and formal approval by the Graduate Committee. Students should not assume that satisfactory performance in a Master’s program ensures invitation or admission into the doctoral program.

Examinations will be assigned one of three grades: 1) high pass, 2) low pass, or 3) fail. Students earning a "high pass" grade will be awarded the MA/MS degree and be encouraged to proceed to the Ph.D program. A "low pass" grade will satisfy the requirement for the MA/MS but the student will not be permitted to continue into the Ph.D program. No degree will be awarded for a failing grade. Students receiving low pass and failing grades may retake the exam only once.

 GRADUATE HANDBOOK

Last Updated: 3/24/21