Anthropology MA

Anthropology M.A. Program at Western Washington University

The WWU Anthropology Department faculty cover a diverse range of specializations within the traditional four fields of anthropology with a geographic emphasis on the Pacific Rim. Small cohorts and individualized mentoring for graduate students are strengths of the program. Graduate students are encouraged to develop applied theses grounded in strong theoretical frameworks. Recent theses have focused on issues such as homelessness, health, human rights, language identity, and immigration in communities locally, regionally, and abroad. Archaeology theses typically focus on the Pacific Northwest, taking advantage of legacy collections held by the department.

View past theses topics using CEDAR: Western's Repository

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Grad Student Advisor: Dr. Sarah Campbell


Undergraduate major in anthropology or related field such as human biology, linguistics, classical studies, history, women's studies, sociology and other social sciences. Applicants with insufficient background in theory, quantitative or qualitative methods relevant to their field of study may be required to take undergraduate classes before entering the program. Applicants are directed to the current course requirements in the appropriate undergraduate anthropology major for an indication of the preparation expected.

Program Requirements (45 credits)

ANTH 502 - Theory in Anthropological Research
ANTH 503 - Research Design and Method
ANTH 585 - Essentials of Graduate Study in Anthropology
ANTH 586 - Research Mentorship (Minimum of 3 credits)
ANTH 690 - Thesis (3 - 12 Credits)

One course from the following:

ANTH 501 - History of Athropology(5 crs)
ANTH 506 - Archaeological Method and Theory(5 crs)
ANTH 525 - Primate Evolution(5 crs)
ANTH 547 - Semiotic Anthropology(5 crs)

Electives in specialization: Courses selected under advisement from 400 or 500 level courses in anthropology.

Course Electives:

ANTH 456 - Anthropology of War and Human Rights
ANTH 457 - The Anthropology of Death and Dying
ANTH 462 - Native Peoples of the Northwest
ANTH 470 - Museology Studies
ANTH 473 - Field Course in Ethnography
ANTH 475 - Global Migration
ANTH 484 - Intercultural Education
ANTH 501 - History of Anthropology
ANTH 506 - Archaeological Method and Theory
ANTH 510 - Applied Archaeological Analysis and Interpretation
ANTH 511 - Current Archaeological Research in Northwestern North America
ANTH 515 - Practicum in Archaeological Spatial Analysis
ANTH 520 - Human Osteology
ANTH 522 - Nutritional Anthropology
ANTH 524 - Applied Medical Anthropology
ANTH 525 - Primate Evolution
ANTH 528 - Applied Cultural Resource Management
ANTH 547 - Semiotic Anthropology
ANTH 553 - Women of the Global South
ANTH 554 - Participatory Action Research Methods
ANTH 563 - Peoples of East and Southeast Asia
ANTH 565 - Peoples of Mexico and Central America
ANTH 571 - Field Work Methods in Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 572 - Visual Anthropology
ANTH 576 - Borderlands
ANTH 580 - Applied Anthropology
ANTH 581 - Childhood and Culture

Note: 3 credits of ANTH 690 are required. Not more than 12 credits of ANTH 690 will apply toward the 45-credit requirement for the degree.

Note: No more than 10 credits of 400 level courses can be applied to the graduate degree. At least 35 credits must be from courses at the 500 or 600 (thesis) level.

Supporting Courses: Where appropriate to the student's specialty interests, the candidate may elect up to 15 credits from a related discipline, under Anthropology Graduate Committee advisement (0-15).

Advancement to candidacy is granted upon successful completion of 15 credits.

For More Information

WWU's Graduate School 
Graduate School website: 
Get Connected
More Information about Western's Campus and Bellingham, WA
About Western: