Anthropologists and archaeologists study the various aspects of human origin, development and behavior. In doing so, they must examine the languages, cultures, archaeological remains and physical characteristics of people around the world. Anthropology programs explore advanced topics and the latest research to prepare professionals for work at colleges and universities, research organizations, museums, consulting firms and private corporations.
So what type of graduate Anthropology program degrees might you choose? Your options could include a master's degree in anthropology, PhD programs and certificates. Each are designed for students with different backgrounds, and educational and career goals.
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Anthropology masters programs teach students the methods and theories behind both academic and applied anthropology. Masters degrees in Anthropology are typically found as Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology degrees. However some MS degrees, such as the Master of Science in Biomedical Anthropology, may be available. In either case, these programs could be great for both students interested pursuing a PhD and those hoping to enter directly into the field.
Masters in Anthropology students are likely to participate in both classroom instruction and research. They might study a wide range of Anthropology subfields, such as archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology and social/cultural anthropology. A masters degree in Anthropology could focus on a specific subfield. However, students may also take a more interdisciplinary approach, with classes in multiple areas.
Most anthropology masters programs require a bachelor's degree and about 2 years of full time study. Applicants may also need to send test scores, official transcripts and letters of recommendation. Past experience in anthropology coursework might be recommended. Every masters in Anthropology program is different, so it's best to follow up directly.
Anthropology PhD programs are terminal degrees which may allow students to dive deeper into anthropological research. Like masters programs, students often are able to focus their studies on a certain anthropology discipline. This focus may be further refined around a dissertation topic. Most programs include courses on research methodology to prepare students for their dissertation research. Students typically also partner with faculty member for additional guidance.
An anthropology certificate may provide a shorter, more focused course of study for students looking to explore a specific topic or add on to graduate program. Certificates may focus on a specific area of anthropology, or a culture or group. Most programs are available at the masters level and require 1-1.5 years of study. However, post-masters and longer programs may be available. Read descriptions carefully and contact schools to find one that might match your goals.