Are you interested in working with community groups to identify and address health disparities? Would you like to pursue a career in cultural resources management or archaeological conservation?

The master of arts program in anthropology provides students with a holistic approach to the discipline as well as applied training in a subfield area of choice. Particular strengths of the department include North American prehistoric and historic archaeology, Middle Eastern archaeology, archaeological conservation practices, bioarchaeology, human osteology, forensic anthropology, primate studies, applied medical anthropology with a focus on biocultural and sociocultural approaches to health and health disparities, global and regional studies with an emphasis on global education and intercultural communication, and studies of migration and the immigrant experience.

ECU Advantage

Students have the option of writing a thesis or completing an internship. There is a special non-thesis track for students preparing to teach at the community college level. Our MA program is small and students are able to work closely with faculty on collaborative research while receiving rigorous training in research design and methodology. We have a strong track record of placing our graduates in jobs in the field and into PhD programs. Housed in the newly renovated Flanagan building, the department offers classroom and laboratory space, graduate office space, a computer room, and a library.

Some graduate assistantships and tuition remissions for out-of-state students are also available. Field schools in prehistoric and historic archaeology are offered each summer, as are opportunities to conduct bioarchaeological research in Israel and Jordan. Students specializing in biological anthropology may engage in forensic body recoveries and analyses in the region. Cultural anthropology students participate in outreach programs, including projects that aim to improve the process of migrant integration, projects that intend to raise environmental awareness in local communities, or projects that identify culturally appropriate interventions to promote health.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Megan Perry (221 Flanagan Building; 252-328-9434; perrym@ecu.edu)

The graduate faculty reviews each candidate's undergraduate grades, GRE scores, a sample of writing, statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. Admission to the MA program in anthropology requires the equivalent of an undergraduate major in anthropology. Any student whose undergraduate preparation is deficient in the requirements for the degree program must complete the prescribed courses. Students must pass the degree core courses ANTH 6101, ANTH 6102, and ANTH 6103 with a grade of 'B' or higher to satisfy the comprehensive assessment requirement for the MA degree.

Minimum degree requirement is 36-39 s.h. as follows:

1. Core requirements - 15 s.h.
  • ANTH 6101 - Core Course: Archaeology
  • ANTH 6102 - Core Course: Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 6103 - Core Course: Physical Anthropology
  • ANTH 6104 - Anthropological Research Design
  • Choose one from the following:
    • ANTH 5010 - Advanced Archaeological Methods and Theory

    • ANTH 5015 - Advanced Ethnographic Methods and Theory or
    • ANTH 6050 - Advanced Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

    • ANTH 6020 - Advanced Physical Anthropology Methods and Theory
2. Electives - 12 s.h.

Electives as specified by the student’s advisor may include courses other than ANTH, with a maximum of 6 s.h. (3 s.h. for students pursuing non-thesis option) of

  • ANTH 6501 - Independent Reading and Research
  • ANTH 6502 - Independent Reading and Research
  • ANTH 6503 - Independent Reading and Research
3. Research skills - 6 s.h.

Students must take a minimum of 6 s.h. in research skills courses as approved by the graduate director or chair of the department. 

    4. Options - 3-6 s.h.

    (Choose one of the following.)

      Thesis option - 3 s.h.
      • ANTH 7000 - Thesis
      • Note:

        The student writes a thesis and presents a seminar based on the thesis research. The thesis proposal and the subsequent thesis must be approved by a committee composed of a minimum of three graduate faculty members, two of whom should be in the Department of Anthropology, in addition to the department director of graduate studies, and the department chair.

        Internship option - 3 s.h.
        • ANTH 6993 - Internship
        • ANTH 6994 - Internship optional
        • Note:

          The student writes an internship report and presents a seminar based on the internship report. The internship and the subsequent report must be approved by a committee composed of a minimum of three graduate faculty members, two of whom should be in the Department of Anthropology, in addition to the department director of graduate studies and the department chair.

          Non-thesis option - 6 s.h.

            The student's advisor, the department director of graduate studies, and the department chair must approve the student's course of study.

            Teaching option - 6 s.h.
            • ADED 6240 - Effective College Teaching
            • ANTH 6301 - Practicum in Teaching Introductory Anthropology
            • Note:

              The student's advisor, the department director of graduate studies, and the department chair must approve the student's course of study.

            For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

            Careers With This Degree

            Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

            • Anthropology
            • Archeologists
            • Archeology Teacher, Postsecondary
            • Anthropology Teacher, Postsecondary
            • Public Administration and Legal Services
            • Education and Training
            • Anthropology

            Career Opportunities

            ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

            NC Tower

            This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

            • Self-employed;
            • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
            • Work outside of North Carolina.

            US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

            This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

            Degree-specific internships

            For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.