MA Applied Anthropology FAQ

Frequency Asked Questions


Can students complete this program fully online / via distance?

  • Yes, the core coursework for the program is online, and students can choose online or in-person electives.
  • The orientation is hyflex - students can attend in-person or virtually. 
  • Many students choose to come to campus for some courses or to take advantage of resources and facilities, but this is not required.
  • The program begins with an on-campus orientation, but accommodations are virtual attendance are possible.

When and where is the orientation?

The program begins with an orientation during the first instructional week of the fall semester, typically Thursday and Friday of the third week of August (see Academic Calendar). The orientation typically is in hyflex mode, which means that students can choose to attend in-person on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus or virtually. On-campus is recommended. Incoming students will be provided with specific dates and details after being accepted into the program.

How are the online courses structured?

  • The online core coursework is primarily asynchronous, meaning that students will have flexibility in planning days and times to view course materials/lectures and complete assignments each week. 
  • There will also be some online synchronous (live web) meetings, for example via Zoom. Days and times of synchronous activities are organized with consideration that many of our students have other full-time obligations. Typically, any synchronous online meetings will be within the timeframe of Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evenings between 5-7 pm PST, although we will not utilize all of this time frame each week.
  • All resources available to on-campus students are also available to students taking online courses. The Online 'Student Center' has numerous resources, including the ability to check transcripts, grades, registration dates, and many more items online.
  • There are numerous online support services - see some links on our resources page.
  • Canvas is our primary online course delivery system. Each course has its own Canvas page where you can find course information, materials, and assignments. Canvas sites for courses you are registered for will be available at the beginning of each term. You can access Humboldt Canvas pages through a link after logging in to myHumboldt

What is required for the internship?

What is required for the thesis, project, or culminating exam?

Do students have access to the library when not on campus?

  • Yes. Students have access to the Cal Poly Humboldt library where they may access numerous resources. The library provides a wide range of support and access for distance students. Interlibrary loan enables faculty and students to access sources nationally and internationally.  Document delivery is sent via E-Mail.  E-books are available that can be searched, highlighted and notated. Every student is assigned a library account where searches, materials and notes can be stored and accessed online. A complete list of services specifically for graduate students can be found at the library website.
  • Students can also save eBooks to their electronic bookshelf.

I have been offered and accepted admissions. How can I prepare to begin?

Congratulations! Here is what’s next:

  1. Make sure you complete all pre-term requirements (see application page), apply for aid
  2. Register for classes.
  3. Familiarize yourself with all information and links on the Anthropology Department website.
  4. Plan accommodations for the orientation at the beginning of the fall semester. We highly recommend attending in person - be sure to reserve lodging well in advance (we have resources to facilitate this).  

Are you wondering what else you can do to prepare?

A great (and exciting) way to start the program on track would be to start thinking about the topics that you would like to explore for your MA thesis/exam! You may have already identified a specific topic/project in your statement of purpose, or you may still be refining your ideas. Please take some time prior to beginning the program to consider research areas you are interested in. When coming up with ideas, particularly if you plan to apply for the thesis track, it might help to briefly list for each: (1) Your questions/hypotheses; (2) What methods could address your questions; (3) What elective courses/internship experiences might be useful for such a project; and (4) If the project could be completed within a reasonable timeframe. You do not need to have your thesis/exam topics solidified before the program, but it will be useful to have a strong idea of what direction you are heading, and some potential ideas on hand. Have fun with this!

Another way to start preparing for the program in general is to work on collecting articles that relate to you area of interest. These will come in handy when you start your coursework.