Jun 24, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

Anthropology, M.A.

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Anthropology is an integrative and comparative field of scholarship devoted to discovering and analyzing the range of human biological and cultural variation, as well as to understanding the historical, ecological, and sociopolitical contexts in which human diversities and commonalities develop. The field encompasses and integrates cultural anthropology (the study of living communities), linguistic anthropology (the study of the human use of language), biological anthropology (the study of humans’ primate relatives, human evolution, and modern biological variation), and archaeology (the study of the culture of past communities). The Master of Arts in Anthropology degree program will provide students with the theoretical and methodological skills to gather, record, analyze, and communicate about human activity patterns in the past and present, and at local and global levels.

The M.A. in Anthropology is designed to meet the needs of two kinds of students: those seeking to prepare for doctoral education in anthropology or other fields and those seeking post-baccalaureate skills for employment in a wide range of occupations in our increasingly intercultural  and international world: education, government, program planning and evaluation, healthcare, media, the nonprofit sector, and business. Coursework in the program will build skills in data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and the application of anthropological perspectives to both theoretical and applied problems.

The M.A. in Anthropology has the following educational objectives:

  • to provide opportunities for post-baccalaureate study about the human species from evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives;
  • to provide training for the application of anthropological techniques and perspectives to contemporary social problems;
  • to expand cross-cultural understanding within regional and national communities and institutions;
  • to expand understanding of the complex interconnections between local communities and global environments, both natural and social;
  • to emphasize the importance of cross-disciplinary, biocultural approaches to research on the human species.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the University’s graduate admission requirements, all prospective students must submit:

  • A minimum of three letters of reference, of which at least two are from academic sources
  • B.A. in Anthropology or a related field, such as Area Studies, History, Biology, Sociology, etc.
  • GPA of at least 3.0 in the student’s undergraduate degree

Note:  GRE scores are not required.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Anthropology requires the completion of a minimum of 33 credit hours of approved graduate work.  The successful completion of a Capstone, in the form of a Thesis or a Practicum, is also required. 

Core Courses (12 credit hours)

Concentration Courses (21 credit hours)

Select from the Applied Anthropology and Medical Anthropology concentrations or complete the General Anthropology requirements.  All students must complete either a thesis or a practicum to meet the capstone requirement for their selected concentration.  Students in the General Anthropology concentration complete a research-based thesis.  Students in the Applied Anthropology and Medical Anthropology concentrations complete a research-based report as part of a practicum with an organization, institution, or agency.  As part of their elective course requirements, students in any concentration may also earn up to 6 credit hours in programs outside of the Department of Anthropology, with approval of the Graduate Program Director.

Applied Anthropology Concentration

Elective Courses

Select five courses from the following:

  • ANTH - 5XXX (3)
  • ANTH - 6XXX (3)

Medical Anthropology Concentration

Elective Courses

Select four courses from the following:

  • ANTH - 5XXX (3)
  • ANTH - 6XXX (3)

General Anthropology Concentration

Elective Courses

Select five courses from the following:

  • ANTH - 5XXX (3)
  • ANTH - 6XXX (3)

Total = 33 Credit Hours

Grade Requirements

Students must complete all required coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or above.


The Graduate Program Director appoints an advisor for each graduate student from among the Anthropology Graduate Faculty.


Each student forms a committee of three faculty with the advice of the Graduate Program Director. One of these committee members may come from another department.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no specific language requirement, but students in the General Anthropology concentration are encouraged to pursue appropriate language study.

Application to Graduation

Students must complete an Application for Graduation by the deadline date specified in the official University academic calendar in the semester in which they plan to graduate.  Details are available on the Graduate School website at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/graduation-clearance.


The Department offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. Awards are made on a competitive basis after acceptance to the program. Interested students should complete the Graduate Assistantship Application online at graduateschool.uncc.edu.

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