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Master of Arts

The Department of Anthropology offers a graduate program for a Master of Arts in Anthropology. Graduate students in the Master of Arts Degree program in anthropology can emphasize either in archaeology or sociocultural anthropology. Both options include coursework, research training, and thesis writing designed to benefit students interested in furthering their understanding of these subfields of anthropology. We welcome applicants with research interests from across the spectrum of anthropological subfields.

Students who are interested in further information about pursuing anthropology graduate research at BYU are encouraged to review the revised program requirements and to contact one of the full-time anthropology faculty after consulting their research interests on the Department website.

Additionally, the Department offers a separate program, Museum Studies Certificate, for students interested in professional training in museum studies.

Archaeological Research Emphasis
Focusing on the emergence and development of hunter-gatherer and early farming communities in the western United States, as well as complex societies in Mesoamerica and the Near East, the program’s strength is the diversity of research opportunities it affords students. These include research venues in the Great Basin and American Southwest regions of North America as well as Mesoamerica and the Near East. Museum internship opportunities are often available, both on and off campus. Annual archaeology field schools focus on providing training in both survey and excavation, with an emphasis on detailed documentation, resolving field problems through hands-on mentored learning, data analysis, and reporting findings. Rather than emphasizing specialized or topical interests, the program equips each graduate student with essential skills necessary for a future in professional archaeology, preparation for continuing studies in a subsequent Ph.D. degree, a career in public archaeology, or placement in a museum.

Social/Cultural Anthropology Research Emphasis
The Department recently revised its Anthropology Master of Arts program curriculum to include coursework and thesis training specific to students who wish to pursue graduate work in sociocultural anthropology. The subfield of psychological anthropology is represented particularly well among our faculty, with three full-time faculty who specialize in psychological anthropology. Linguistic anthropology, educational anthropology, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of religion are also well-represented by core faculty research areas. Ethnographic areas of expertise of our faculty include East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan), Southeast Asia (including the Hmong diaspora), South Asia (India), the United States, Europe (UK and France), and Africa (Namibia). Sociocultural students in our Master’s program will carry out their own ethnographic research projects with a faculty mentor in a field school in one of these locations. Master’s students will also have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students who are conducting their own ethnographic field research. Because of the strong research and teaching focus, this program is ideal for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. after they complete their master’s degree.