This is a digital version of the Department of Anthropology’s Graduate Handbook. View/ download a PDF version of the handbook.
Use the Graduate Student's Handbook menu bar, to navigate to important information about various aspects of our program.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in anthropology provides rigorous training in anthropological theories, methods, and skills. The program is dedicated to the investigation of a broad range of social, cultural, political-economic, and biological issues, processes, and problems pertaining to the human experience in its past and present dimensions. The Department of Anthropology program utilizes resources in metropolitan Atlanta to promote student learning.
Students may seek comprehensive training in anthropological methods and theory in pursuit of an academic career in anthropology or their education in another discipline. Alternatively, they may pursue specialized training in methods, problems, and theories for a career beyond the academy, applying anthropological knowledge to assess and meet community needs, identify and help solve social problems, or write and help to implement public policy.
To provide graduate students with training specific to their career goals, the program offers a Thesis Option and a Capstone Option. Students may choose either option in consultation with the Graduate Director and their advisor. The Thesis Option requires primary research, whether basic or applied, on an issue relative to the student’s subdiscipline of concentration, e.g. archaeological, biological, cultural, or linguistic anthropology. This option is particularly well suited for those who plan to pursue doctoral training in anthropology or another field. Students complete this work under the guidance of a primary advisor and two additional committee members. The Capstone Option focuses the student’s time more in coursework, prioritizing topical content and professionalization through service-learning placements in public or private domains of practice related to their career goals. Students who opt for the Capstone Option are encouraged strongly to take at least one, if not two, courses in fields outside of Anthropology that pertain to their professional goals, for example in public health, education, law, or business. With guidance from their advisor, students in the Capstone track complete a capstone paper (25-30 pp.) in the final semester that may build upon previous coursework and should be oriented towards defining their professional goals and illustrating their developing expertise.
All students have the option to complete an internship for academic credit as part of their curriculum in such agencies as CARE, the Carter Center, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and at any of the multiple human service organization that serve immigrants and refugees, and other vulnerable populations, in metropolitan Atlanta. For example, students who seek training in applied sociocultural anthropology conduct participatory action research in urban domains of policy and practice, including medical, educational, and other social service settings. Students with career interests in public archaeology study within cultural resource management (CRM) firms and museums.
The M.A. program is designed to be completed in two years. During the first year, all students must demonstrate competence in topics, theories, and methods of anthropology through completion of a four-course core curriculum. Additional coursework is completed in consultation with the faculty. During their second year, students must develop their own areas of interest and expertise within the broader framework of the program. Students are encouraged to take advantage of resources in other departments and schools at Georgia State University, and of neighboring institutions such as Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Spelman College, Morehouse University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Regents University in Augusta. Students can also choose to participate in our department’s collaborative programs with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Atlanta History Center, the Georgia State University’s Heritage Preservation Program, the Atlanta Zoo, and a number of local museums and CRM firms.
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Dr. Jennifer Patico
Dr. Faidra Papavasiliou
Dr. Steven Black