1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

The MA Degree Program

A stand-alone Masters in Anthropology from the University of Virginia requires 30 credits of graded coursework.  Most graduate courses run for a single semester and count for 3 credit hours. Full-time graduate students generally take three (sometimes four) courses per semester. Graduate courses from other institutions cannot be transferred for credit towards the University of Virginia MA degree.

UVA undergraduates have the opportunity to apply for the 4+1 BA/MA Program in Anthropology in their third or fourth year of undergraduate study.

Incoming MA and PhD students take ANTH 7010 (History of Anthropological Theory) together.  MA students must also satisfy a subfield distribution requirement and demonstrate “competency” in a second language.  The distribution requirement involves taking at least one course in two of the three different subfields (archaeological, linguistic, and socio-cultural anthropology).

In addition to coursework requirements, students in the MA track must complete one of the following:

  • A Critical Review Essay evaluated by the student’s MA Director plus a second faculty reader.  This Critical Review Essay follows the same guidelines used by 2nd-Year PhD students for their Critical Review Essays.  MA students may choose to write either the topical or regional essay.
  • A comprehensive examination evaluated by the student’s MA Director plus a second faculty reader.

It is possible to pursue the stand-alone MA on a full-time or part-time basis.  Full-time students in the MA track are expected to complete all coursework and other requirements for their degrees by the end of their second year.