MA in Anthropology

Program Description

With the exception of the subfield of Archaeology, the Dept. of Anthropology does not generally offer a terminal M.A. degree. A formal master's degree is not required for advancement in the program. Graduate students may request the award of an M.A. in the course of their doctoral program participation. For these details, please see the Anthropology Graduate Program Handbook (2023) for additional information about graduate program requirements.

The Master's program requires 32 hours of graduate course work, at least half of which must be taken at UIUC. Twelve of the 32 hours must be in courses numbered in the 500 series, and at least 8 of these 12 hours must be in the Anthropology Department.

No more than 4 hours of thesis credit (Anth 599) may be included in the 32 hours of M.A. graduate credit. An M.A. thesis must conform to Graduate College regulations and guidelines and receive signed approval by the advisor, one other faculty member, and the department head. The two final copies of the M.A. paper together with the signed approval form must be made available to the Head of the Department before they will certify the candidate for the M.A. degree list.The student must be registered to deposit an M.A. thesis.


Program Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Archaeology

All requirements for an M.A. are the same as those for a Ph.D. student except for these 2 changes:

  • The ANTH 410 or ANTH 511 proposal writing requirement is waived.
  • The ANTH 515IA Illinois Anthropology requirement is waived.
Core Course Requirements:
  • ANTH 461 The History of Archaeological Theory
  • ANTH 561 Archaeological Theory
Cluster Requirements

See the Anthropology Graduate Handbook for classes within each cluster

  • Methods cluster - 2 classes
  • Regional cluster - 1 class
  • Topical cluster - 1 class

A written statement by the student and countersigned by the student's advisory committee will be turned in at the time the thesis is submitted in order to demonstrate competency in the following:

  • Statistical literacy: This can be achieved through demonstrated prior training or UIUC coursework that introduces the student to the fundamentals of statistical inference, probability, significance testing, the linear model, and the basics of multiple regression.
  • Fieldwork proficiency: All archaeology graduate students must have completed a Field School program or have received field training comparable to Anthropology 454/455.
  • Analytical methods ability: All archaeology graduate students will have to demonstrate training in the methods appropriate for their proposed thesis research. With the approval of their advisory committee, students may use “proficiency” in Geographic Information Systems, advanced statistical methods, archaeozoology, archaeological botany, lithic or ceramic analysis, ancient DNA analysis, stable isotope or other geochemistry, geochronology, geoarchaeology, or other analytical methods that are essential skills for accomplishing archaeological research objectives, to fulfill this requirement.


Graduate Studies Program Contact Information

Dr. Jessica R. Greenberg, Director of Graduate Studies Program 
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109 Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217)-300-0410


Ms. Joyce Dowell, Graduate Studies Program Coordinator
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109F Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217)-300-9167