College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2012-2013

Department of Anthropology

Anthropology - Applied, Master of Arts

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Archaeology - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
  • Sociocultural - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
  • Linguistics - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2020

This graduate program is a practitioner-oriented internship plan devoted to helping students enter the expanding job market in applied anthropology. This plan includes completion of an internship that involves, for example, research, intervention, management, teaching, and advocacy in service to groups and organizations. It culminates in the writing and successful defense of a thesis. This action-oriented plan prepares students for professional employment within their specialty area or continued opportunities at the Ph.D. level.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Anthropology - Applied Emphasis?

As one of the top three applied (practitioner-oriented) master's degrees in Anthropology, we offer two options for study. Both the independent research and internship-based emphases give opportunities to conduct original anthropological master's thesis research in the fields of archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, or linguistic anthropology. NAU Anthropology provides students with archaeological and cultural research possibilities among the many Native American tribes and nations of the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest. Students can also work internationally with opportunities in North America, Mesoamerica, South America, and Europe.

The Sociocultural Anthropology Track trains students in ethnographic methods, collaborative research approaches and working with indigenous communities at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Particular opportunities exist in the areas of medical, development, educational and pedagogical anthropology.

The Archaeology Track trains students in theory, methods, advanced archaeological computing applications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), lithic, ceramic, rock art, and a number of other materials specialties, as well as cultural resource management.

The Linguistic Anthropology Track trains students to analyze forms of communication and their relation to cultural values and social relations.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Forensic anthropologist
  • Medical anthropologist
  • Museum curator or educator
  • Public land agency archaeologist


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Core Coursework (4 units)
  • Applied Emphasis Coursework (39-40 units)

Minimum Units for Completion 43 - 44
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 43 - 44 units:

    Core Coursework (4 units) Applied Emphasis Coursework (39-40 units)
    • ANT 603, ANT 607, and ANT 609 (9 units)
    • Fieldwork/Internship: ANT 608 (3 units)
    • Thesis: ANT 699 (3 units) (Students will write and successfully defend an internship thesis in their final term.)
    • Complete a focus area, as further described below (24-25 units):
      • Applied Archaeology Focus (24 units)
        • ANT 524, ANT 635, ANT 636 (9 units)
        • One ANT course offered outside the subfield of archaeology (3 units)
        • Archaeological theme (12 units):
          • With the relevant course work selected from departmental offerings and appropriate-level courses outside the department, and with your advisor's guidance.
          • Suggested themes include cultural-resource management, quantitative methods and/or computer analysis, materials analysis, environmental studies, diet and subsistence, Quaternary sciences, public archaeology, historic archaeology, and ethnography.
      • Applied Sociocultural Anthropology Focus (25 units)
        • Methods: ANT 568, ANT 569 (6 units)
        • One Topics Course, approved by your advisor (3 units)
        • ANT 639, ANT 698 (4 units)
        • Related coursework approved by your advisor, of which up to 6 units may be outside anthropology (12 units)
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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