UAlbany students participate in an archaeological dig at the Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany, NY

Master of Arts


Program of Study

Through coursework and research you will study four subdisciplines of anthropology:

Archaeology: Explore ancient cultures and learn techniques to analyze their material remains such as tools, paintings and religious artifacts to interpret their values and way of life.

Biological Anthropology: Examine the evolution of the brain and nervous system to understand human nature, health, mortality and reproductive behavior.

Linguistics: Investigate the nature of relationships shared between language and culture.

Cultural Anthropology: Focus on contemporary issues such as economics, politics, religion and art through interviews and observation to create in-depth ethnographies.


See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Jennifer Burrell at [email protected].


Diverse group of professionals in a meeting


General Sequence (30 credits minimum)

Anthropology (24 credits minimum)

  • Proseminar in Physical Anthropology
  • Proseminar in Archaeology
  • Proseminar in Linguistics
  • Proseminar in Ethnology
  • One course as advised from two of the subdisciplines

Proficiency in any subdiscipline may be demonstrated through departmental examination, and specific course requirements may be waived. This does not alter the minimum 24 credits requirement.

Research Requirement

Satisfactory completion of a research seminar and approval of a research project paper or a master's thesis.

Supporting Courses (0-6 credits)

Selected courses in related disciplines as advised.

Cognate Field Sequence (30 credits minimum)

Anthropology (18 credits minimum)

Courses as required and/or advised in two of the four subdisciplines

Proficiency in any subdiscipline may be demonstrated through departmental examination, and specific course requirements may be waived. This does not alter the minimum 18 credits requirement.

Research Requirement

Satisfactory completion of a research seminar and approval of a research project paper or a master's thesis.

Cognate Field (8 credits, minimum)

Courses as advised in a cognate field such as historical archaeology, ethnomedicine, and primitive art. A cognate field must be defined in writing by the student and approved by the Department of Anthropology prior to admission.

  • Seminar in Social Archaeology
  • Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • Seminar in Mesoamerican Writing Systems
  • Archaeological Surveys
  • Northeast Archaeology
  • Museum Research and Curation
  • Topics in Archaeology
  • Seminar in Archaeology
  • Seminar in Archaeological Theory and Method
  • Archaeological Research Design
  • Seminar in Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • Topics in Archaeology and Ethnohistory
  • Zooarchaeology
  • The Neolithic of the Near East and the Emergence of Complex Society
Biological Anthropology
  • Human Osteology
  • Human Population Biology
  • Human Population Genetics
  • Functional Anatomy of the Human Skeleton
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Nutritional Anthropology
  • Basic Principles and Methods of Epidemiology
  • Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II
  • Culture, Environment and Health
  • Topics in Biological Anthropology
  • Seminar in Physical Anthropology
  • Topics in Biomedical Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
  • Topics in Social Anthropology
  • Seminar in Anthropology and Folklore
  • Seminar in Mesoamerican Ethnology
  • Seminar in Native Mesoamerican Texts and Literature
  • Seminar in Political Anthropology
  • Seminar in Economic Anthropology
  • Seminar in Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Seminar in Urban Anthropology
  • Seminar in the Ethnology of Religion
  • Seminar in Ethnohistory
  • Seminar in Ecological Anthropology
  • Seminar in Ethnology
  • Introduction to Syntactic Theory
  • Linguistic Structures
  • Language and Culture
  • Comparative and Historical Linguistics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Topics in Anthropological Linguistics
  • Mesoamerican Linguistics
  • Field Methods in Anthropological Linguistics
  • Seminar in Linguistics
  • Archaeological Field and Laboratory Techniques



You will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful research with faculty on projects in the U.S. and abroad including student fieldwork in Mesoamerica and summer archaeological field schools in the Northeast. You can also study the interactions between local societies and the global economy, the evolution of past societies, and the relationship of human health to the environment.



Career Outcomes

With a master’s degree in anthropology you will be prepared to take the next step in your career in public and private settings or continue your studies for a PhD or professional school. Possible career pathways include:

  • Archeologist
  • Community development
  • Market research
  • Museum curator
  • Social work
  • Institutional research
  • Public relations
  • Human resources
  • Behavior analyst


Two professionals reviewing a data report
Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE score*
  • Statement of goals
  • Writing Sample

*The GRE will be waived as a requirement for admission to the Anthropology master's program for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 applicants.

Available information for International Applicants

Special Notes

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Arts
  • Evaluate and conduct new anthropological research.

  • Understand anthropology as an interdisciplinary field including archaeology, biology, cultural anthropology and linguistics and the integration into a holistic discipline.

Program Statement

Explore the deep history of what it means to be human and discover how it can inform the decisions we make today. Study cultures, health, language and religion while developing solid analytical, communication and problem-solving skills. You will be equipped for careers in areas such as market research, community development, social work, public relations and higher education with a master’s in anthropology from the University at Albany.