MA Applied Anthropology Courses

All core required courses are offered solely via online distance learning (exceprt for the orientation/institute at the onset of the program), the primary goal of which is to enable students to simultaneously obtain applied experience and/or complete thesis fieldwork/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 online coursework is rigorous, yet primarily 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.

MA CORE COURSES (Required for all - online) 

view rotation

  • ANTH 670 Introduction to Applied Anthropology (3-4 units - Fall)
    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 (3-4 units - Fall)
    Intensive overview of methods and materials used within applied archaeological, biological, and cultural anthropology. Topics include enthnographic data collection, structured observation, interviewing, excavation, lab techniques, materials / artifact / skeletal analysis, and data management. Most top­ics will be cov­ered as a group to pro­vide a broad skill-base in the discipline. Some requirements will be specific to field of interest.
  • ANTH 672 Theory in Applied Anthropology (3-4 units - Spring)
    Connects anthropological theory and practice to address human problems in concrete settings. Develop critical evaluation of and effectively communicate about problems and interactions between humans and their environments.
  • ANTH 673 Anthropology Careers & Management Strategy (3 units)
    In-depth examination of domains in which anthropological principles, theories, and methods are applied; intensive development of professional-level skills, written communication, and portfolios; strategic management of applied projects and their outcomes. This course is for students that began the program prior to Fall 2021 - it will not be offered after Fall 2019, as the material is integrated into other courses.
  • ANTH 674 Research Project Design (3-4 units - Spring)
    Guided preparation of research proposals and/or grant applications, with a focus on student initiative and responsibility. Theoretical and methodological topics include defining questions, designing fieldwork, proposal evaluation criteria, and peer-review. At the end of the course, students will present their completed project proposal to the course instructor(s) and their thesis committee for approval.
  • ANTH 676 Literature Research (3 units - Spring)
    Applied Anthropology MA students complete a literature and research review. This courses is for students beginning the program Fall 2021 or after - students in previous years are welcomed to but not required to take this course.
  • ANTH 678 Applied Anthropology Pro Seminar (1 unit, repeated three times)
    Ongoing seminar/colloquium for the MA cohort. Focuses on research in progress, developing arguments and written and oral presentations within a structured and supervised format. Students present and discuss their ongoing research and writing and engage in peer review. Faculty also intermittently schedule readings and discussions based on relevant topics. This course is for students that began the program prior to Fall 2021 - the material is now integrated into other courses.
  • ANTH 682 Anthropology Internship / Field Placement (3 units)
    Students enroll in this course while completing an internship in applied anthropology that they arranged during the previous semester. Engages students with the work of research libraries, museums, community organizations, governmental agencies, and other institutions to enhance students’ knowledge of sources, research methodologies, institutional cultures, and work environments. During the internship, students will learn and critically evaluate not only aspects of the position and particular organization, but also their roles and responsibilities as anthropologists.
  • ANTH 690 Thesis/Project (6 units)
    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/Skype oral defense of the thesis is required before final written thesis submission. Note that there will be no regular “course” or “assignments” for these units, which will be largely self-paced in consultation with your advisor. Additional information on thesis requirements is provided in the MA Thesis webpage.
  • ANTH 691 Comprehensive Exam (3 units)
    Students on the comprehensive exam track enroll in this course during their final semester in the program.  During that semester, students are expected to complete the course requirements (annoated bibliographies) and then take the exam. Additional information on thesis requirements is provided in the MA Comprehensive Exam page


view rotation

  • ANTH 618 Qualitative Methods & Analysis (3 units)
    Gain experience in qualitative research methods and analysis (participant observation, interviews, artifact and qualitative data analysis). Students learn to collect and analyze qualitative data as well as present research results.
  • ANTH 680 Quantitative Data Analysis (3-4 units)
    This course provides students with conceptual and practical instruction in quantitative methods of data analysis applicable to research and applied work across all subdisciplines in anthropology. Students will learn to quantify, manage, visualize, and analyze anthropological data sets. In addition, students will apply and interpret descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to test hypotheses and explore and compare means, variances, and relationships within and between samples/groups. This course builds competency in the use of common statistical software, with a focus on Excel and SPSS. No previous specialized knowledge in statistics, math, Excel, or SPSS is needed in order to succeed in this class.
  • ANTH 680 Applied Anth Teaching & Public Engagement (3 units)
    Exploration of methods for applying anthropology in academic, professional, and public sectors, including designing and delivering academic courses, workshops, meetings, events, and presentations focusing on applied aspects of the discipline.

NON-PROGRAM, ON-CAMPUS ELECTIVES (may be taken by graduate students)

 view: course descriptions, course schedulecourse rotation

  • ANTH 302: Anthropology of Religion (often offered online)
  • ANTH 305: Human Evolutionary Health
  • ANTH 307: World Heritage & Archaeology
  • ANTH 315: Sex, Gender & Globalization
  • ANTH 316: Anthropology & Development
  • ANTH 317: Women & 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 HSU Catalog, and the HSU Class Schedule. HSU also offers Certificate Programs that students can complete while enrolled in the MA program.

Contact Us

Mary Scoggin
Anthropology Department Chair & Graduate Coordinator
Email: ms34 (at) 

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 707.826.6250
Email: apply (at)

HSU Graduate Studies
Phone: 707.826.3949
Email: tef21 (at)