Master's in Applied Anthropology

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Overview of the MA in Applied Anthropology

Anthropology is a holistic science dedicated to the study of human biological and cultural diversity and evolution. Anthropologists integrate methods and theories from across the sciences, arts, and humanities to gain a deep understanding of how people live in and respond to their environments.

It includes four intersecting subfields: archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology (read more about the subfields...). The subfield of applied anthropology overlays the other subfields and aims to apply anthropological methods, theories, and practices to contemporary issues

The Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology at Cal Poly Humboldt is a flexible degree program focused on building competitive, marketable skills for the application of anthropological perspectives, methods, and theories, and practices in a diverse array of careers in academic, professional, and global contexts.

Students in the program form a cohesive educational and career plan while they focus on one of the modern or traditional areas of anthropology or utilize the freedom that is intrinsic within the discipline to bridge disciplines as relevant to research and career interests.

This hybrid program begins with a brief orientation that students can attend in person or virtually. During this time, students build camaraderie and are introduced to the program and department/campus resources.

Students undertake the required core courses online - this enables freedom in location of residence and research. The online coursework is primarily asynchronous to enable flexibility in planning days and times to complete assignments each week. In addition to core courses, students take either on-campus and online electives.

The program is career-oriented. The core courses focus on broadly applicable skills/strategies and the application of theory to applied career/research interests, while the electives, internship and culminating experience enable students to specialize in focus areas.

The applied design of the program emphasizes that students consider the real-world relevance and applicability of their interests, experiences, and research.

Cal Poly Humboldt has been named a top Master's University and a Top University >Read more 

MA Program Highlights

  • Curriculum focused on building relevant, competitive, rewarding, marketable skills.
  • Development of broadly applicable research and professional skills.
  • Hands-on training available on campus or in the field.
  • Flexible distance learning core courses to enable freedom in residence and research locations.
  • Resume’ and skill-building internship experience.
  • Culminating experience options - exam, thesis, or project.

MA Degree Outcomes

Upon completion of the MA degree in Applied Anthropology, students will:

  1. Communicate substantive knowledge of the field of applied anthropology, and apply disciplinary principles, theories, methods and approaches to address complex issues within academic and non-academic settings.
  2. Demonstrate expertise in a focus area; evaluate, design, and apply relevant research in that area.
  3. Employ a wide range of graduate level academic and professional skills enabling one to function effectively in academic and non-academic settings.
  4. Demonstrate professional ethics and social responsibility in anthropological practice.
  5. Demonstrate critical awareness of our globalized world and recognize multiculturalism and diversity as fundamental characteristics.

Contact Us

Gordon Ulmer, Ph.D.Four students wearing graduation regalia
Anthropology Graduate Coordinator

Graduate Admissions (general application/admissions questions)
Phone: 707.826.6250

Humboldt Graduate Studies (general graduate student questions)
Phone: 707.826.3949