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Master of Arts in Anthropology

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Our Masters program in Anthropology offers a rich academic experience, providing rigorous coursework and extensive research opportunities. With a focus on your thesis, our program combines advanced studies with original research to prepare you for success in your chosen field.

Renowned for producing professionals who excel in diverse career paths, our university emphasizes both specialization and a comprehensive understanding of anthropology's core sub-fields. Our flexible program caters to students with varied interests and aspirations, fostering a supportive community dedicated to academic excellence.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Anthropology requires a minimum of 30 graduate course credits, with at least 15 credits at the 500-level. Candidates must complete three core courses with a minimum average grade of B, explore two subdisciplines beyond the core courses, and fulfill a thesis requirement. Additionally, students undertake 6 hours of additional coursework, including seminars at the 500-level, and demonstrate proficiency in a relevant foreign language. Join us in delving into the diverse realms of anthropology and shaping your scholarly path with our comprehensive curriculum.

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SIU Anthropology Students at Field Camp


As part of your degree program, you form a three-person committee, led by a chairperson, with at least two members from Anthropology. They complete a thesis or research paper under the committee's guidance, with a minimum of three credits in Anthropology 599. Alternatively, a published or accepted paper can substitute for the thesis. Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required, serving as the oral defense of the thesis. Exceptional students may have the option for accelerated entry into the doctoral program after the first year.


Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are available through Anthropology, faculty grants, and the Center for Archaeological Investigations (CAI), with collaboration between CAI and Anthropology to identify eligible students. These assistantships cover teaching, administrative, and research roles. GAs typically span academic semesters with a workload of 20 hours per week. Selection prioritizes students based on academic performance, progress, and relevant skills. Federal Work-Study GAs are awarded based on financial need, and international students must meet additional eligibility criteria. To apply, students must complete the financial aid form included in the application materials.


Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships are awarded competitively each spring by the Graduate School of the University. Not all fellowship competitions are open to all students. Students can apply directly to the Graduate School for Prompt and Graduate Dean's fellowships and scholarships. For all others, the Anthropology Graduate Studies Committee reviews all students' records and identifies those students eligible for further consideration. The potential nominees and Anthropology assemble complete application files, and the Graduate Studies Committee ranks the students for final nomination in each competition.

Contact Information

Ulrich Reichard,
Program Director
Faner Hall 4443
1000 Faner Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

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