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The Cultural Heritage Option for the M.A. Degree in Anthropology

The Cultural Heritage Option is a way to earn the MA degree in anthropology while focusing on methods and theories related to preserving the culture, heritage, and diversity of all peoples. It is designed to produce professionals in the many areas of culture heritage preservation who are firmly grounded in the fundamentals of anthropology. This is a broad option, which can accommodate students with interests in a variety of areas, including:

  • Cultural Resource Management, Historic Preservation, Prehistoric Archaeology, and similar archaeologically focused studies
  • Ethnohistory, Tribal Recognition, Culture Preservation, Language Retention, and similar ethnographically focused studies
  • Museology, Educational Anthropology, Public Archaeology, and similar areas that focus on interpreting cultures for the general public

The curriculum for students choosing this option is chosen in consultation with an appropriate faculty advisor, who will help guide the student toward appropriate classes for fulfilling their goals. Since this option is designed to train professionals, the focus is on practical professional experiences, which may include an internship with an appropriate company or agency. Out of which will emerge a professional paper, exhibit, portfolio, or other original creative work that is used to satisfy the MA degree requirements. Students who satisfactorily complete one of the following sets of requirements (plans) will earn the Master of Arts degree in Anthropology with the Cultural Heritage option.  

Thesis/Professional Paper Plan (30 credits total)

  • Anthropology 500, 601, and 602.
  • At least 3 credits of Cooperative Education Experience (ANTH 598), or a course providing an intensive field or practical experience (and, in order to satisfy Graduate School requirements, one additional anthropology graduate seminar if the intensive field or practical experience course is not 500 or 600 level). Normally, the thesis or professional project is an outgrowth of this experience.
  • A total of 1 to 10 credits in ANTH 599 (Thesis) or 593 (Professional Project), consistent with Graduate School requirements (6 credits recommended).
  • At least one methods class numbered 400 or higher.
  • A defended Thesis or Professional Paper/Project. A thesis is a document that presents the results of research in which data was gathered or analyzed in order to test a hypothesis. A professional paper consists of a project, report, exhibit, or similar scholarly contribution of the sort produced by professionals in the field of cultural heritage studies; or a scholarly work published in a refereed journal or other reviewed forum.

Non-Thesis Plan (36 credits total)

  • Anthropology 500, 601, 602 and one additional anthropology graduate seminar chosen in consultation with the student's advisor.
  • At least 3 credits of Cooperative Education Experience (ANTH598) or a course providing an intensive field or practical experience (and, in order to satisfy Graduate School requirements, one additional anthropology graduate seminar if the intensive field or practical experience course is not500 or 600 level). Normally, the scholarly work or portfolio is an outgrowth of this experience.
  • A total 1 to 10 credits in ANTH 597 (Research), consistent with Graduate School requirements (6 credits recommended).
  • At least one methods class numbered 400 or higher.
  • A comprehensive evaluation (a defense if the scholarly workor portfolio will satisfy this requirement, otherwise it may be administered as an examination)
  • A reviewed scholarly work or portfolio (collection of shorter scholarly works).