University of Mississippi

M.A. in Anthropology

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology. The faculty maintains an active research agenda while placing a strong emphasis on teaching and mentorship. Students learn both qualitative and quantitative methods and are exposed to a variety of subfields and theoretical perspectives. The faculty’s core strengths include: the ethnohistory of the Colonial Southeast with an emphasis on the economic, social, and environmental transformations of that period; the archaeology of the prehistoric Southeast with an emphasis on ceramic, lithic, and remote sensing analysis; the archaeology of Central Europe making use of mortuary and landscape features, focusing on Celtic peoples and the Bronze and Iron ages; the archaeology of Mesoamerica including Central Belize and the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, emphasizing iconography and mortuary practices; the anthropology of Muslim cultural adaptation in Europe; and the bioarchaeology of prehistoric Mayan populations.

Because of the predominant research orientation in anthropology, the central focus of the Master’s degree program is the thesis experience. Our program is designed to be a two year course of study. The first year is devoted to preparing student for a set of comprehensive examinations which will determine if their knowledge of general anthropology is sufficient for them to begin work on their thesis research. Course work includes graduate seminars in which the major subfields of anthropology are reviewed. By the time that most students have passed their comprehensive exams, they will have picked one of the faculty to work with on their thesis project. Between them they will work out the general outlines of a research project. Students who successfully pass all of their comprehensive exams usually collect their thesis data during the summer following their first year. Those students who are focusing on archaeology are strongly encouraged to present a preliminary report on their thesis research at a professional meeting during the fall of their second year. We find that the prospect of appearing before the profession is a very good motivator. Early in the first semester of the second year each student will form a thesis committee consisting of their major professor and two or more other members of the department. The next step in the process, which also takes place early in the second year is the presentation of a thesis prospectus. The is an oral presentation of the proposed thesis project which is designed to ensure that the thesis committee is in agreement with the student on what the project will entail. The remained of the second year is spent doing the research and writing which will result in a thesis which is acceptable to all members of the committee. The final product will be the thesis itself. The final event will be a thesis defense which consists of an oral presentation of the thesis research results that is open to the public.

Financial Assistance

The Department strives to fund as many qualified students as possible. Most students accepted into the program receive funding in the form of teaching and research assistantships. These assistantships provide a waiver of out-of-state tuition, a 75% reduction in in-state tuition and annual stipends of approximately $3,600 . Opportunities for paid research with the Center for Archaeological Research are regularly available. In addition to departmental assistantships, there are non-service University honors fellowships and minority fellowships available for qualifying students.

Course Sequence

Semester 1

ANTH 572 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology

ANTH 607 Seminar in Biocultural Anthropology

Selected area or methods course

Credits

3

3

3-6

Semester 2

ANTH 601 Anthropological Theory

ANTH 606 Seminar in Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 608 Seminar in Archaeology

Selected area or methods course

Credits

3

3

3

3

Semester 3

ANTH 697 Thesis

Selected area or methods courses

Credits

3-9

3-6

Semester 4

ANTH 697 Thesis

Credits

3-9

Requirements for M.A. in Anthropology

The Master of Arts in Anthropology requires 24 semester hours of graduate course work and a minimum of six hours of thesis credit. At least half of the courses must be taken at the 600 level. The 24 course hours must include Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (ANTH 572), Anthropological Theory and Methods (ANTH 601), Seminar in Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 606), Seminar in Biocultural Anthropology (ANTH 607), and Seminar in Archaeology (ANTH 608).

Graduation Requirements

Are you ready to graduate? The following is the procedure that M.A. students completing the program should follow to graduate:

  1. Fill out Application for Graduate Degree. (Form GS8, comes with instructions)
  2. Fill out Online Diploma application. The student is authorized for this after the graduate school receives the application for graduation and it can be accessed in “My Student Information” in the online services website.
  3. Complete Authorization For Final Oral/Written Exam (Form GS7, under “Forms for Faculty” on the graduate school forms webpage)
  4. Ensure that committee chair completes the “Report of Final Oral/Written Exam” form which the graduate school sends to the committee chair after receiving the Authorization form.
  5. The Endgame: The final procedures for graduation are outlined on the Graduate School’s “Endgame” page.

*For any questions regarding the graduate program, please contact Dr. Jay Johnson, Graduate Coordinator for Anthropology by visiting the advising page.