M.A. Program

For more information on graduate programs, contact anthgrad@uark.edu, Graduate Coordinator. Deadline for application is December 1.

The Master of Arts program is designed to proved advanced training in archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology.  Students are expected to complete their MA in four semesters (two years).

MA Thesis Committee

In consultation with their advisor, students enrolled in the MA program must form a MA Thesis Committee by the end of their first year of coursework.  This committee may or may not be the same as the Graduate Advisory Committee.

Responsibilities of this committee may include:

  • Reading outlines and drafts of internship reports, thesis manuscripts, and offering constructive feedback.
  • Conducting oral and written examinations as appropriate.
  • Advising about career options and opportunities.

General Requirements of the MA

All students enrolled in the Anthropology MA program must complete the following as part of their coursework:

  1. The 5000-level Method & Theory course in their area of specialization (ANTH 5103 for cultural, ANTH 5203 for archaeology, and ANTH 5303 for biological).  These courses are designed to review the history of anthropological subfields; recent theories and practical implications and applications of various methods of acquiring, analyzing and interpreting anthropological data.  Your advisory committee may identify additional method and theory courses for you to take.
  2. At least one "core course" in each of the other two subfields of anthropology.  A list of courses that will fulfill these requirements will be provided each semester.  Although course offerings will vary, a core course will typically include material that is considered foundational for that subfield.

Additional information regarding courses listed above, as well as other courses provided in the department, can be found in the Graduate Catalog of Studies.

MA Degree Options

In consultation with their advisor, students should choose one of the three options listed below to satisfy the requirements for a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology beyond the core coursework requirements listed above.

MA Option 1: Thesis

  • A total of 30 semester hours (24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis), including the required courses listed above.
  • A thesis plan that will be submitted to your thesis committee by the time you have completed 18 hours of graduate courses.
  • An MA thesis or equivalent scholarly work.  After completing the necessary research, you will write the thesis in the format as described in the Manual for Graduate Theses and Dissertations, and submit it to your major advisor for approval.  You must distribute your thesis to the rest of your thesis committee at least four weeks before the final oral examination.
  • An oral thesis defense conducted by your thesis committee.  Students should consult the Graduate School deadlines for thesis defense and graduation.  After passing this examination and negotiating any necessary final requirements or revisions with your committee, you should prepare the final manuscript and obtain approval signatures from your advisor and thesis committee.  Consult the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School for proper guidelines for submitting final degree paperwork.

MA Option 2: Internship

  • A total of 36 semester hours (30 coursework and 6 hours of internship), including the required courses listed above.
  • A successfully completed internship (i.e., CAST, Arkansas Archeological Survey or other organization approved by the department).
  • An oral examination conducted by your advisory committee.

MA Option 3: Non-Thesis

  • A total of 36 semester hours of coursework, including the required courses listed above.
  • An oral examination conducted by your committee.

If you choose options 2 or 3, we urge you to develop a portfolio to structure your oral examination.  Your portfolio should include these items:

  • Summary of graduate education, including courses taken.
  • Career objectives.
  • Bibliography (articles and books read during graduate program).
  • Samples of original research papers and reports

No more than six hours of courses taken outside the Department of Anthropology may be used toward course requirements.