MA Applied Anthropology Courses

All core required courses are offered solely via online distance learning (except for the orientation at the onset of the program), the primary goal of which is to enable students to simultaneously obtain applied experience and/or complete thesis research without being limited by location.

Students are encouraged and expected to take advantage of this freedom by setting and achieving clear, strong goals. This model also trains students to be successful in modern applied/academic workplace environments that expect competence in self-discipline and navigating/communicating across a variety of media. The core coursework is online and mostly asynchronous, meaning that students will have flexibility in planning days and times to view course materials/lectures and complete assignments each week.

Students who would like to be on campus are welcomed and will have access to departmental facilities – many of our students choose to remain on campus to take courses, be involved in labs, and form study groups.

The curriculum listed below includes program changes pending approval and may change. Requirements for previous years can be accessed in the Catalog archives.

MA CORE COURSES (Required for all - online) 

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  • ANTH 670 Core Concepts in Applied Anthropology (3 units)
    Introduction to anthropological perspectives, theories, and practices, and in-depth examination of the academic, professional, and global contexts in which they are applied; evaluation and debate of current issues.
  • ANTH 671 Methods in Applied Anthropology (3 units)
    Overview of methods pertinent to applied aspects of anthropology as a whole and within the subdisciplines of archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.
  • ANTH 672 Theory in Applied Anthropology (3 units)
    Connects anthropological theory and practice to address human problems in concrete settings. Students develop skills to critically evaluate and effectively communicate about problems and interactions between humans and their environments.
  • ANTH 674 Project Design & Management (3 units)
    In-depth exploration of methods and strategies for designing and managing research and applied projects. Topics include: developing testable questions, developing measurable outcomes, designing lab/fieldwork, literature review/research, data management, grant proposal preparation, peer review, proposal evaluation, and project management strategies.
  • ANTH 676 Anthropological Engagements (3 units)
    Exploration of methods for engaging the public, stakeholders and/or clients in domains in which anthropological principles, theories, and methods are applied; study of methods for informing, designing, and facilitating courses, workshops, meetings, events, media, and informational resources.
  • ANTH 682 Internship / Field Placement (3 units)
    Engages students with the work of research libraries, museums, community organizations, government agencies, field programs, and/or other agencies to enhance students’ knowledge of sources, research methodologies, institutional cultures, and work environments.
  • ANTH 690 Thesis/Project (6 units)
    Thesis/project research and writing, and presentation of thesis or project for committee evaluation. Students on the thesis/project track enroll in 6 units of Anth 690 before receiving the MA degree. Students typically first enroll in Anth 690 the semester after completing the other core program requirements. During that semester, students are expected to present thesis sections for committee evaluation. Students will generally have already begun/completed their thesis research by this time. Students who do not complete their thesis research during the semester first enrolled in Anth 690 will be expected to make committee-approved progress toward that end and submit initial chapters (e.g., introduction, background, methods) during the semester. Students who do not expect to complete their thesis during this semester should sign up for fewer than 6 units of Anth 690 so that they can enroll in thesis units during following semesters (to maintain university continuous enrollment requirements); in general, no more than two additional semesters will be allowed for thesis completion. An in-person/online oral defense of the thesis is required before final written thesis submission. Additional information on thesis requirements is provided in the MA Thesis webpage.
  • ANTH 691 Comprehensive Exam (3 units)
    Work toward completion of comprehensive exam with guidance from faculty. Comprehensive exams are generally completed during students’ final semester in MA program. Students on the comprehensive exam track enroll in this course during their final semester in the program.  Additional information on thesis requirements is provided in the MA Comprehensive Exam page


  • ANTH 559: Variable Topics in Archaeology
    ANTH 618: Qualitative Methods & Analysis
  • ANTH 621: Anthropology & Globalization
  • ANTH 637: Applied Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 654: Cultural Resources Management
  • ANTH 679: Applied Anthropology Region
  • ANTH 680: Graduate Seminar (rotating topics)

UPPER DIVISION UNDERGRADUATE ELECTIVES (may count towards the MA if advisor approved)

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  • ANTH 302: Anthropology of Religion (regularly offered online)
  • ANTH 305: Human Evolutionary Health (regularly offered online)
  • ANTH 307: World Heritage & Archaeology
  • ANTH 315: Sex, Gender & Globalization
  • ANTH 316: Anthropology & Development
  • ANTH 317: Gender & Development
  • ANTH 329: Special Topics in Social Anthropology (e.g., Environment, Health, Politics, Media, Visual Anth)
  • ANTH 330: Method & Theory in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 331: Paleoanthropology
  • ANTH 332: Skeletal Biology & Forensics
  • ANTH 333: Primate Adaptation & Evolution
  • ANTH 334: Anthropology, Ecology & Conservation
  • ANTH 339: Special Topics in Bio Anthropology (e.g., Comparative Osteology, Bioarchaeology)
  • ANTH 340: Language & Culture
  • ANTH 341: Anthropological Linguistics
  • ANTH 350: Method & Theory in Archaeology
  • ANTH 351: Archaeological Materials Analysis
  • ANTH 352: Experimental Archaeology
  • ANTH 353: Archaeology of Warfare
  • ANTH 354: Cultural Resource Management
  • ANTH 357: Field Archaeology
  • ANTH 358: Archaeology Lab
  • ANTH 359: Special Topics in Archaeology
  • ANTH 390: World Regions Cultural Seminar
  • ANTH 395: Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • Medieval Bioarchaeology Field Program in Poland
  • Belize Archaeological Field Program

Additional anthropology courses and potential electives are described in the MA program Course Schedule and Course Rotation, the Humboldt Catalog, and the Humboldt Class Schedule. Humboldt also offers Certificate Programs that students can complete while enrolled in the MA program.

Contact Us

Gordon Ulmer, Ph.D.
Anthropology Graduate Coordinator

Marissa Ramsier, Ph.D.
Anthropology Department Program Leader

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 707.826.6250

Humboldt Graduate Studies
Phone: 707.826.3949