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Program and Application Information
Interim Department Chair:Dr. Jeffrey Bumgarner
Graduate Coordinator:Dr. Pamela Emanuelson
Department Location:Minard Hall Rm. 428
Department Phone:(701) 231-8657
Department Web
Application Deadline:For full consideration, applications must be received by February 15 for fall semester and September 15 for spring semester.
Degrees Offered:M.A., M.S.
English Proficiency Requirements:TOEFL ibT 100; IELTS 7

Program Description

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers an M.S. and M.A. degree in Anthropology. The program centers on human heritage past, present and future, both cultural and material, and it is based on the principle that graduate level education in Anthropology is a desirable preparation for a growing number of career orientations. The precise plan of study for each student is established in consultation with the academic adviser. Graduate students are also expected to enhance their course work and degree research by engaging in professional development activities such as paper or poster presentations and/or attendance at academic conferences, campus and community service, and teaching and research assistantships. Sample positions that our graduates have obtained include university and college teaching, contract archaeology, folklore program coordination, international studies administration, National Park Service archaeology, not-for-profit program event coordination management, teaching English in other countries abroad, and research analysis as cultural experts.

The focus of graduate education in Anthropology is directed toward both the development of applied anthropologists and the advanced training of those seeking to pursue a doctoral degree. Students may elect to take courses in a specialty area, or they may pursue a background in general anthropology. Areas of specialization include cultural anthropology and archeology.

The Anthropology graduate program provides students with the opportunity to expand their background and perspectives in research methods and theory. Consequently, the first year of the program is designed to expose students to anthropological theory and a variety of research methods. Research facilities include the Archaeology Technologies Laboratory and Anthropology Materials Laboratory.

Two program options are available for students. In the thesis option, students work on a research-based thesis. Students typically test theoretical assumptions using primary or secondary data. The comprehensive study option is designed for students who wish to combine their studies with some type of specialized field or internship experience. Students electing this option are required to complete a comprehensive study paper related to their experience, such as evaluating a program.

Students in the Anthropology graduate program benefit from a favorable faculty-to-student ratio.

Admission Requirements

The Anthropology graduate program is open to qualified graduates from universities and colleges of recognized standing. To be admitted with full standing to the program, the applicant must meet the Graduate School's requirements and have adequate preparation in anthropology.

Financial Assistance

Teaching assistantships are available to qualified applicants. Research assistantships may also be available, contingent on faculty research funds. Applicants for assistantships are considered on the basis of scholarship and potential to undertake advanced study and research. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference must be received by the Graduate School no later than February 15.

The masters degree (M.A. or M.S.) in Anthropology credit requirements consists of a minimum 30 credits (for the thesis option) or 35 credits (for the paper option), of which 16 must be didactic credits. Core requirements include the following:

  • Successfully complete a theory-oriented Anthropology course (such as ANTH 680 Development of Anthropological Theory)
  • Successfully complete a methods-oriented Anthropology course (such as ANTH 681 Qualitative Methods in Cultural Anthropology)
  • Complete additional coursework to finish the 30-credit requirement (24 for thesis, 26 for paper)
  • Complete a research-based thesis or a comprehensive study paper and pass an oral defense of the thesis or paper administered by the student's supervisory committee.

Jeffrey T. Clark, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987
Research Interests: Archaeology, Digital Archaeology, Paleoenvironmental Studies, Archaeological Method/Theory, Heritage and Material Culture, Oceania, North America

John L. Creese, Ph.D.
University of Toronto, 2011
Research Interests:  Archaeology, Spatial Analysis, Household and Settlement Archaeology, Material Culture, Theory, North America and Great Lakes

Kristen R. Fellows, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Research Interests: Anthropological Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, Ethnohistory, African Disaspora, Archaeology of Plantations; Colonial Encounters; Globalization and Transnationalism; Feminist Archaeology, the Caribbean; North America

Julia Kowalski, Ph.D.
University of Chicago, 2014
Research Interests: Gender, Kinship, and Transnational Rights Discourse in India and in the United States


Travis Kitch, M.S.
North Dakota State University, 2003
Research Interests: Archaeology, Medical Anthropology