Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Anthropology M.A.

College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Anthropology, 395 Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-3400; fax: 612-625-3095).
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program requires summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Note: The Department of Anthropology admits students for the PhD degree only, although in some cases students admitted to the PhD program complete a master's degree as they work toward the PhD.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 100
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 600
    • Total Score: 7.0
    • Final score: 84
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan B: Plan B requires 14 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:The Plan B project is a demonstration of familiarity with the tools of research or scholarship in the graduate student's area of study, the ability to work independently, and the ability to present the results of their investigation effectively, by completing at least one Plan B project, though advisors may require as many as three such projects. The norm in anthropology is two to three projects. Master's-level projects are often the result of work carried out in a seminar or course (e.g., a paper), and are generally polished in a directed reading or research course. Plan B project(s) should involve a combined total of approximately 120 hours of work. With the approval of their advisors, graduate students have considerable flexibility in defining the nature of their Plan B project(s).
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Sociocultural Anthropology
Required Core Courses
ANTH 8001 - Ethnography, Theory, History (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8002 - Ethnography: Contemporary Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8203 - Research Methods in Social and Cultural Anthropology (3.0 cr)
Major Electives
Take 5 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ANTH 5xxx
· ANTH 8xxx
· or other 5xxx or 8xxx level that is approved by advisor and director of Graduate Studies.
Biological Anthropology
Required Core Courses
ANTH 8111 - Evolutionary Morphology (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8112 - Reconstructing Hominin Behavior (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8114 - Biological Anthropology Graduate Program Seminar: Behavioral Ecology of Primates (3.0 cr)
Major Electives
Take 5 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ANTH 5xxx
· ANTH 8xxx
· or other 5xxx or 8xxx level that is approved by advisor and director of Graduate Studies.
Required Core Courses
ANTH 8004 - Foundations of Anthropological Archaeology (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8009 - Prehistoric Pathways to World Civilizations (3.0 cr)
ANTH 8230 - Anthropological Research Design (3.0 cr)
Methods Course
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ANTH 5269 - Analysis of Stone Tool Technology (4.0 cr)
· ANTH 5444 {Inactive} (4.0 cr)
· ANTH 5403 - Quantitative Methods in Biological Anthropology (4.0 cr)
· ANTH 4101 - Decolonizing Archives (3.0 cr)
· ANTH 5402 - Zooarchaeology Laboratory (3.0 cr)
Major Electives
Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ANTH 5xxx
· ANTH 8xxx
· or other 5xxx or 8xxx level that is approved by advisor and director of Graduate Studies.
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ANTH 8001 - Ethnography, Theory, History
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to foundational concepts, methods, and ethnographic work. Emphasizes theories that have shaped 20th-century thinking in cultural anthropology. Connection of these theories to fieldwork and contemporary issues.
ANTH 8002 - Ethnography: Contemporary Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Concepts/perspectives in anthropology. Emphasizes American cultural anthropology. Rrecent work in semiotic, psychological, and feminist anthropology.
ANTH 8203 - Research Methods in Social and Cultural Anthropology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Classic and current issues in research methodology, including positivist, interpretivist, feminist, and postmodernist frameworks. Methodology, in the broadest sense of the concept, is evaluated. Students conduct three research exercises and set up an ethnographic research project. prereq: Grad anth major or instr consent
ANTH 8111 - Evolutionary Morphology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Basic foundation of diverse anatomical adaptations of living/fossil primates. Principles of evolutionary theory. Stages of embryogenesis/fetal development. Morphological diversity. Evolutionary morphology. Body size, allometry, heterochrony. Primate evolution.
ANTH 8112 - Reconstructing Hominin Behavior
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02149
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Consider major hypotheses regarding evolution of human behavior. Evidence/arguments used to support or reject hypotheses. Consider link between bone biology/behavior. Archaeological record for more holistic understanding of evidence.
ANTH 8114 - Biological Anthropology Graduate Program Seminar: Behavioral Ecology of Primates
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: Anthropology graduate student or #.
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Course focuses on the behavioral ecology of primates, including humans, with a focus on how the evolution of social behaviors relates to ecology. The course serves as one of three Biological Anthropology Graduate Program Seminars, which provide training in the foundations of biological anthropology. For Biological Anthropology graduate students, the take-home exam for this course will stand as one of the three required Preliminary Papers. Students outside of Biological Anthropology are welcome to enroll pending permission of the instructor. prereq: Anthropology graduate student or instr consent.
ANTH 8004 - Foundations of Anthropological Archaeology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Theoretical foundations of anthropological archaeology in historical and contemporary perspective. prereq: 8001, 8002
ANTH 8009 - Prehistoric Pathways to World Civilizations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02045
Typically offered: Every Spring
How did complex urban societies first develop? This course addresses this question in ten regions of the world including Maya Mesoamerica, Inca South America, Sumerian Near East, Shang Civilization in East Asia, and early Greece and Rome.
ANTH 8230 - Anthropological Research Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Training seminar on research development, coordination, grant management, field/laboratory research management, fundraising. prereq: Anth grad student or instr consent
ANTH 5269 - Analysis of Stone Tool Technology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
The course offers practical lab experience in analyzing archaeological collections of stone tools to learn about human behavior in the past. Students gain experience needed to get a job in the cultural resource management industry.
ANTH 5403 - Quantitative Methods in Biological Anthropology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Quantitative methods used by biological anthropologists. Applying these methods to real anthropometric data. Lectures, complementary sessions in computer lab. prereq: Basic univariate statistics course or instr consent
ANTH 4101 - Decolonizing Archives
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Archives are not neutral. In order to decolonize them, scholars in anthropology and other disciplines must first understand the ways in which Western settler values have structured them. Who decides acquisition policy? How are items indexed, described, and related to one another? Who has access, and under what conditions? And who is structurally excluded? In this course we decolonize by recontextualizing both the archives as institutions and their contents. In other words, we use methods appropriate for contemporary anthropological archival research. We will consider preservation, curation, organizational bias in archives, analytic scale, voice, and how historical texts are material culture. Students engage in original archival research.
ANTH 5402 - Zooarchaeology Laboratory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
How archaeologists reconstruct the past through the study of animal bones associated with artifacts at archaeological sites. Skeletal element (e.g., humerus, femur, tibia), and taxon (e.g., horse, antelope, sheep, bison, hyena) when confronted with bone. Comparative collection of bones from known taxa.
ANTH 8555 - Master's Project Credits
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Student may contact the department for more information.