MA Applied Anthropology Courses

All core required courses other than ANTH 670/671 (Summer Institute) are offered solely via online distance learning, 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 after the Summer Institute 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)

  • ANTH 670 Introduction to Applied Anthropology (2 units) – Summer Institute
    Introduction to anthropological perspectives, methods, theories, and practices applied to human and environmental problems in academic, professional and global contexts; evaluation and debate of current issues; development of research interests.
  • ANTH 671 Methods in Applied Anthropology (3 units) – Summer Institute
    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 units) – Fall online
    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) – Fall online
    In-depth survey 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.
  • ANTH 674 Research Project Design (3 units) – Spring online
    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 678 Applied Anthropology Pro Seminar (1 unit, taken three times) – Fall/Spring online
    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.
  • ANTH 682 Anthropology Internship / Field Placement (3 units) – Spring online
    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 (6 units) – Fall/Spring online
    Students are guided through the process of thesis development and writing throughout the MA program. Students must enroll in 6 units of Anth 690 before receiving the MA degree. Students first enroll in Anth 690 during their final semester in the program (fulltime semester 3, part-time semester 6). 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 have not completed their thesis research when first enrolled in Anth 690 will be expected to make committee-approved progress toward that end and submit initial chapters (i.e. introduction, background, methods) during the semester. Students who do not expect to complete their thesis during the final program 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 to HSU. Additional information on thesis requirements is provided on the MA Thesis page.

ELECTIVES (9 units required - online)

  • ANTH 618 Qualitative Methods & Analysis (1-3 units) – online
    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 621 Anthropology & Globalization (1-3 units) – online
    Examines fractured nature of globalization in diverse political economies, with focus on cultural transformation and resistance, changing paradigms of ‘development’ and Indigenous critiques.
  • ANTH 637 Applied Biological Anthropology (1-3 units) – online
    In-depth study of modern approaches and growing fields of interest across biological anthropology and bioarchaeology, such as genetics, stable isotope analysis, pathology, nutrition and foraging ecology, and functional morphology.
  • ANTH 654 Cultural Resources Management (1-3 units) – online
    In-depth exploration of skills needed to function in a professional cultural resource management (CRM) environment. Includes historical development of CRM, contemporary regulatory framework, project planning, proposal writing, archival research, project management, and reporting.
  • ANTH 679 Applied Anthropology Region -  Rotating Region & Sub-Discipline Focus (1-3 units) – online
    Holistic examination of applied anthropology projects in context. Critical analysis of interplay of factors contributing to the complex reality confronting communities and professionals. Regions and sub-disciplines vary with each offering
  • ANTH 680 Graduate Seminar -  Rotating Special Topics - Recent examples below (1-3 units) – online
    • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Bioarchaeology: This course examines interdisciplinary methodology for the investigation of bioarchaeological questions. Topics covered will include the (re)construction of identities in the past, dietary and migration analysis, and paleoanthropology and health. Course witll draw on spatial analysis, chemistry, and various perspectives in biology.
    • Applied Archaeology & Biological Anthropology: Exploration of selected topics and methods in archaeology (e.g., CRM, public archaeology, historic preservation, curation) and biological anthropology (evolutionary medicine, medical anthropology, forensics) relevant to career options and real-world application.

NON-PROGRAM ON-CAMPUS ELECTIVES (may count for up to 4 of 9 required elective units)

  • ANTH 302: Anthropology of Religion (often offered online)
  • ANTH 315: Sex, Gender & Globalization
  • ANTH 316: Anthropology & Development
  • ANTH 330: Method & Theory in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 332: Skeletal Biology & Forensics
  • ANTH 335: Topics in Evolutionary Medicine
  • ANTH 340: Language & Culture
  • ANTH 350: Method & Theory in Archaeology
  • ANTH 351: Archaeological Materials Analysis
  • ANTH 354: Cultural Resource Management
  • ANTH 357: Field Archaeology
  • Medieval Bioarchaeology Field Program in Poland
  • Belize Archaeolgical Field Program
  • Non-HSU courses (see program requirements)

For a complete list of courses and their descriptions, see the HSU course catalog - for current offerings (outside of the MA program), see the HSU non-MA course schedule.

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

Rebecca Robertson
Applied Anth Graduate Coordinator
Tel. 707-826-4372

Marissa Ramsier
Anthropology Department Chair

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 707.826.6250

HSU Graduate Studies
Phone: 707.826.3949