Master of Arts in Anthropology

Welcome to the graduate program in the Department of Anthropology at Wichita State University!

Our graduate students research a diversity of topics in archaeology, biological anthropology and forensics, and cultural anthropology. We are proud to offer approximately 80% of our graduate students with financial support from the Department of Anthropology and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences over the course of their residence. In addition to scholarships, graduate students are employed and work closely with faculty as teaching assistants, laboratory managers, museum facilitators, and research assistants. Many of our graduate students are active members of Lambda Alpha, and international honors society in anthropology. Our graduates advance with careers in applied anthropology, such as forensic identification, cultural resource management, museums, teaching, and non-profit management, or prepare for PhD programs in anthropology and beyond.

Program Requirements

The Master of the Arts in Anthropology is a 36-credit hour degree designed to be completed in two academic years. After prerequisites are met, all students receive training in the three major subdisciplines of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Students must then take advanced seminars in two of the three subdisciplines. The MA can be completed in three tracks: thesis, project, or internship, so that students can tailor the program to their specific interests and career projections. The Department of Anthropology offers professional development through the Colloquium series, a one-hour course which students take twice over the course of their degree. For more details, check out the course catalog!

The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies is a 15-credit hour certificate that can be completed independently or in tandem with the MA. There are four core courses in methods, museum exhibition, administration and financial management. Three credit hours are flexible for electives, independent study, or internship study. The coursework is designed to be hands-on, with students producing their own exhibits for the Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology and other divisions on campus. For more details, check out the course catalog and the program flyer!

Tracks of Study

There are three tracks for the master's degree in anthropology:

Track 1:

Requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above and the completion of written comprehensive exams, 4 hours of thesis including 2 hours each of ANTH 875 and 876, and successful presentation of a thesis. 

Track 2:

Requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above, the completion of a project approved by the student's project committee, and the presentation of a project report. Track 2 students must take 2 hours each of ANTH 873 and 874.

Track 3:

Requires satisfying all the general requirements listed above, the completion of an internship approved by the student's internship committee, and the presentation of an internship report.  Track 3 students must take 2 hours each of ANTH 871 and 872.

All Tracks:

Students in all tracks are required to form a thesis/project/internship committee of at least two full time graduate teaching faculty from within the anthropology department and at least one graduate faculty from another department. This committee must be formed prior to or upon the completion of 18 hours of graduate study. Students must present to their committee a proposal for their thesis, project, or internship. The committee approves these proposals and also the oral defense of all theses, project reports and internship reports. Theses, project reports, and internship reports must be submitted to the committee at least 10 working days prior to the date of the actual defense.

All students who present a thesis, project, or internship must pass an oral defense of their effort. A foreign language examination is contingent upon the nature of the thesis topic.

Comprehensive Examination

Students in Track 1 are required to take the written comprehensive examination. Students must have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours of graduate work in Anthropology including ANTH 736, ANTH 746, and ANTH 756, before taking the examination, which will be a set of tailored essay questions in the three sub-disciplines related broadly to the student's proposed thesis topic. These essays are completed over an academic break.