Masters Degree Program

The Department of Anthropology offers the terminal M.A. degree to the following applicants:

  1. Current Stanford graduate students, taking advanced degrees in other departments or schools at Stanford, who are admitted to the terminal M.A. program in Anthropology.
  2. Anthropology Ph.D. students at Stanford University who fulfill the M.A. degree requirements on the way to the Ph.D. degree.

    Please note: The M.A. program in Anthropology is not open to non-Stanford graduate applicants.  

    Current graduate applicants who are taking an advanced degree in other departments or schools at Stanford can apply for admission to the M.A. in Anthropology (on the way to another graduate degree program) by submitting the Intention to Apply - Anthropology M.A. (for current Stanford Graduate Students) form and the submission of the University Registrar's Graduate Authorization Petition (submitted via Axess e-forms) by December 6, 2022. If approved, an admitted M.A. applicant usually matriculates in the M.A. program beginning in the following Spring Quarter, or in the following Autumn Quarter (next academic year).

    Anthropology Ph.D. students choosing to take the M.A. in Anthropology on the way to the Ph.D. are governed by separate requirements described in the Anthropology Ph.D. Guide.

    Further information about Stanford’s graduate degree programs, along with application instructions, can be found in the Stanford University’s Graduate Admissions webpage.

    Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the Coterminal M.A. degree program include the following:

    A faculty advisor appointed in the Department of Anthropology.
    A program of 45 units, taken at the 100 level or higher with a minimum grade of 'B'.
    At least 23 of the 45 units must be taken at the 200/300 level.
    • Of the 45 units, 
      • no more than 15 units may be approved from related areas of study or overseas studies.
      • no more than 10 units of directed reading-style course work may be counted towards the degree.
      • no more than 5 units may be taken for a satisfactory/no credit grade.
    A minimum grade of 'B' in one graduate-level ANTHRO Theory course from the chosen track.

    Please note that ANTHRO theory courses are usually considered as department review courses.

    A minimum grade of 'B' in one graduate-level ANTHRO Methods course from the chosen track.

    Please note that ANTHRO methods courses are not considered as department review courses. [Student's seeking to fulfill the Department's requirement for methods training may petition the graduate committee for an alternate way (i.e. other course or training) to fulfill the Department methods requirement].

    A minimum grade of 'B' in four ANTHRO Review courses from the chosen track, listed at the 200-level or higher, taught by Anthropology faculty, and taken as a five unit course with a letter grade option.
    A self-designed plan of study chosen from one of the following Anthropology tracks; the tracks are not declarable in Axess:
    • Archaeology
    • Culture and Society
    Submission of an approved M.A. plan of study form and an approved M.A. graduate report of degree progress form, inclusive of a field research, laboratory research or library-based paper proposal, by the last day of the first quarter of the Master's degree
    Submission of an approved Program proposal for a Masters degree form by the last day of the first quarter of the Master's degree program.
    Enrollment in ANTHRO441, Master's Project, in the final quarter of the M.A. degree program and earn a grade of 'B', or better.
    Presentation of the Master's research project at the Department's Masters and Honors Paper Presentation event in Spring Quarter, optional.

    Submission of the Master's paper is reviewed by two faculty members (advisor and reader). For the Culture and Society track, the paper can be a field research or library-based research paper. For the Archaeology track, the paper can also be a laboratory research paper.

    The 2022-2023 Academic year Graduate Application Deadline is: Tuesday, December 6, 2022