M.A. Degree | Anthropology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

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M.A. Degree

Graduate Program - M.A. Degree in Anthropology

The Graduate School requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate course credit, including at least 15 hours of 500-level credit, as specified in the Graduate Catalog. In addition, the following Anthropology requirements apply to all M.A. degree candidates: 

  1. Each student must complete THREE of the five core courses, (ANTH 500 A, B, C, D & E) with an average grade of B or higher, no more than one C, and no grade lower than C. These courses should be taken by new M.A. students within the first 2 terms, and must be completed by the end of the third term. Once the 3 core courses have been satisfactorily completed, performance in them together with an evaluation of the student's overall academic record will serve as a basis for an Anthropology decision on retaining a student in the M.A. degree.
  2. Each student must complete 1 or more regular graduate-level courses or seminars in each of 2 subdisciplines of the student's choice (from among archaeological, linguistic, physical, sociocultural anthropology) beyond the core courses.
  3. Each student must complete 3 credit hours of Anth 599 (thesis).
  4. A further 6 hours of course work will be assigned by the student's committee after consultation with the student. These 6 hours may include up to 4 hours of graduate credit to meet tool requirements, and may not include more than 3 hours of independent study or thesis. No more than 3 hours of credit in ANTH 501, 590, 597, and 599 (thesis) may be applied toward the Graduate School requirements of 30 hours of graduate course credit and 15 hours of 500-level credit. Anthropology requires two additional seminars (500-level course) beyond the 3 core courses and the thesis hours (these can be met through the additional courses in other sub-disciplines [number 2 above] or as electives).
  5. Each student must demonstrate a reading competence in a language foreign to the student that is relevant to the research program.

Students entering the program may petition to have previously taken courses accepted as equivalent to core courses in cases where the equivalence can be documented.

M.A. Degree Committee Thesis, Research Paper

Each student in the M.A. degree program will consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and faculty advisor to select a three-person faculty committee (including committee chair), which will assume major responsibility for the student's advisement. At least 2 members of this committee, including the chair, must be from Anthropology, and the third member may be selected from outside Anthropology. The chair should be chosen by the end of the second term at the latest, and the entire committee by the end of the third term at the latest (ideally by the end of the second term).

Under the direction of the M.A. degree committee, the student will complete a thesis and register for at least three hours of Anthropology 599 while doing so. A student may submit a published paper, or one accepted for publication in an approved professional journal, instead of a thesis, or may be authorized by Anthropology to substitute a research paper for the thesis. Passing of a comprehensive examination on the student's entire program is a Graduate School requirement (this is the oral defense of the thesis). One copy of the thesis, research paper, or article (printed on acid-free paper) must be deposited with Anthropology before the degree is granted.

An option is available, at the discretion of Anthropology faculty, to allow exceptional M.A. students accelerated entry to the doctoral program at the end of their first year of M.A. study. For these students, the following are sufficient for the M.A. degree in Anthropology: (1) completion of 30 hours of coursework, including 21 hours at the 500-level (which can include up to 9 hours of Anthropology 598); and (2) a research paper (normally one prepared for a class in the student's sub-discipline) approved by the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, and submitted to the Graduate School. No additional stipulations on the nature of the coursework (beyond the core courses) nor a language requirement are imposed.