Master of Arts in Anthropology

The master's program provides students with a comprehensive grounding in the four fields of the discipline: biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Students may choose concentrations in the following:

Summary of Requirements

  • The standard program consists of 36 hours of course credits, including 3-6 hours of thesis credits, although a thesis is not required for some program concentrations.
  • Students must take at least three of four proseminars (Anth 6101-6104), but those with significant background in a field, as determined by evaluation of a student petition to the proseminar instructor, may waive one proseminar. Students who do waive a proseminar must, however, take one proseminar from Group A (6101 and 6103) and one from Group B (6102 and 6104), and must receive grades of B or better in order to continue in the program.
  • All students must also take a methods course.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
  • All students must demonstrate competency in an approved foreign language.
  • Students must write a culminating project that can be a thesis or a journal paper.
  • For details, consult the graduate student manual on mapping out a program.

Financial Aid from the Department

The Columbian College preferentially provides teaching assistant packages to Ph.D. students rather than M.A. students. Full GTAships (stipend and salary) are rarely available for master’s candidates. However, M.A. students are regularly hired for salary-only graduate assistantships.

The Anthropology Department provides other support for M.A. students:

  • The Shirley H. and Robert L. Richards Endowment Scholarships are sometimes available for anthropology students who would otherwise qualify for teaching assistantships.
  • Two work-study positions are available for students who are eligible for this form of federal financial aid. The positions usually involve laboratory work.
  • There are administrative jobs in the offices of Anthropological Quarterly and the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology.
  • Jobs may also be available from faculty who have research grants, although these jobs generally have highly specific requirements.
  • The Ann Gordon Webster Endowment supports the education of those who are returning to college after years spent raising family and/or pursuing a career outside anthropology.
  • Also – check GW's Office of Fellowship and Graduate Student Support for more information on funding.

Other Useful Websites

Finding an Advisor

Click here for a list of current advisors.

More Information about Admissions

For detailed information, visit our Graduate Anthropology Admission Information page.

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Graduate Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs. Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance in the ground floor of the Marvin Center to learn more.