Master of Arts in Anthropology

Major: ANTH
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The MA in anthropology at the University of Louisville is designed to enhance student knowledge of and skills in dealing with contemporary social issues facing a globalizing community and world from an anthropological perspective and to be able to locate these in the long progression of human history and within the body of social science theory. We expect our graduates to enter professions as skilled administrators, researchers, and leaders. Although students may focus heavily on evolutionary anthropology, archaeology, or cultural anthropology, this is a general, comprehensive masters program.

Anthropology is the queen of multidisciplinary work, and we see our students taking courses from and pursuing collaborations with colleagues in Humanities, Sociology, History, Women and Gender Studies, Pan-African Studies, Political Science, Art History, Biology, and the Kent School of Social Work. Students with little or no academic background in anthropology will be required to take some preparatory courses determined in consultation with the Anthropology Graduate Coordinator.

Admission criteria include an undergraduate GPA of minimally 3.0 from an accredited college or university, and an average of the 50th percentile in the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

Applicants must complete/submit:

  • Online graduate application for admission.
  • A statement of interests covering relevant experience and aspirations. This letter is absolutely critical to your successful application, as it helps us assess where you might find common interests among Department faculty.
  • GRE scores.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Three letters of reference addressing the candidate's readiness for graduate studies, academic abilities, and potential for success.  One letter may be from an employer.
  • Applicants may choose to submit a writing sample.


The Master of Arts in Anthropology is a 30-hour program.  It comprises 24 hours of course work at the graduate level plus 6 hours of thesis or an internship.

In addition to the 9 hours of the 600-level core seminars, students take another 600-level course, 12 hours of topical electives at the 500- or 600-level, and 6 hours of thesis or internship hours.

Students may enroll in up to 9 credit hours in another department. Students may enroll in 500 level courses in another department with the permission of the Anthropology Director of Graduate Studies.

Courses taken at the 500 or 600 level as an undergraduate may be applied toward the M.A. in Anthropology on the condition that the student earned a grade of B or higher in the course.  Graduate Coordinator approval is required. Coursework earned as undergraduate and used to meet the requirements for the undergraduate degree may not be used for graduate credit.

Degree Options
The Master of Arts in Anthropology requires 30 hours of academic work at the graduate level.  All students enrolled in the M.A. program are required to complete one of the following options:

Thesis (24 seminar hours plus 6 credit hours of thesis)

Core Seminars9 hours
Topical Electives15 hours
Thesis6 hours
30 hours


Non-Thesis (24 seminar hours plus 6 credit hours of internship)

Core Seminars9 hours
Topical Electives15 hours
Internship6 hours
30 hours


Course Offerings

Core Seminars:
608 Social and Cultural Theory
612 Contemporary Issues in Anthropology

Students must select one of the following courses:
609 Research Design:  Archaeology
610 Research Design:  Biological Anthropology
611 Research Design:  Socio-Cultural Anthropology

Topical Electives:
ANTH 501   American Crossings
ANTH 502   Anthropology and Europe
ANTH 503   Central Africa and the Politics of Development
ANTH 507   Space, Place and Culture
ANTH 530   Human Impacts on Past Environments
ANTH 531   Anthropology of Water
ANTH 540   Human Adaptation
ANTH 546   Problems in Urban Anthropology
ANTH 548   Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 549   Special Topics in Archaeology
ANTH 601   Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
ANTH 604   Problems in Social Anthropology
ANTH 606   Regional Analysis
ANTH 607   Emergence of Human Culture
ANTH 621   Anthropology of Identity and Subjectivity
ANTH 622   Anthropology of Violence
ANTH 623   The Study of Folklore
ANTH 624   Black Cultural Traditions
ANTH 625   Globalization, Transnationalism, and Anthropology
ANTH 626   Community Food Security
ANTH 627   Political Economy and Culture
ANTH 650   Human Evolution in Health and Disease
ANTH 651   Seminar in Biological Anthropology
ANTH 652   Topics in Nutritional Anthropology
ANTH 653   Human Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
ANTH 654   Evolutionary Medical Genetics
ANTH 655   Analysis of Molecular Data
ANTH 670   Independent Study (reading)
ANTH 671   Independent Study (research)
ANTH 672   Thesis
ANTH 673   Internship


Jennie Burnet

Associate Professor

Amanda Coleman


Fabian Crespo

Assistant Professor

Phil DiBlasi

Staff Archaeologist

John Hale

Professor (Adjunct)

Jonathan Haws

Associate Professor

Yvonne Jones

Associate Professor

Lisa Markowitz
Associate Professor


Kelly O'Connor

Senior Lecturer

Shawn Parkhurst

Associate Professor

Frances Purifoy

Senior Lecturer

Julie Peteet


Russell Reid

Professor Emeritus

Edwin Segal

Professor Emeritus

Gabriela Stocks

Visiting Assistant Professor

Jay Stottman


Christopher Tillquist
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Jeneen Wiche


Jianhua Zhao

Associate Professor