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Popularly known for its diverse and multi-perspectival investigations, Anthropology studies various social aspects of human cultures and societies and the biological and historical factors that affect human society. While Cultural Anthropology looks at values and culture, Social Anthropology explores societal behavior patterns, including customs, rituals, practices, and norms. Master’s in Anthropology online programs are focused on the blending of both applied and academic approaches: to teach students how to conduct applied projects and employ quantitative reasoning used in applied anthropology typically used for research and fieldwork, and training in the methods of applied anthropology. The study of Anthropology often provides ample opportunity for students to travel to new locations, learn and understand new cultures, and expose themselves to a range of cross-border social skills.
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Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.
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When looking for a Master’s in Anthropology online program, students must always compare two or more colleges (and programs) to see what suits them best. After all, one program tends to vary from another in coursework, requirements, research, and outcomes. Factoring aspects such as the experience of teachers, quality of instruction, research facilities, cost, etc., are advisable before applying for admission. To help with this process, here is a list of some of the best Anthropology programs available:
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A Master’s in Anthropology online program takes a broad view of the many diverse aspects of the human experience, known as ‘holism’, and looks deep into what constitutes our biological organisms, genetics, diet, and health. The program also compares humans with other animals (mostly other primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees) to see what is common and unique to us and archeologically explores history to see how humans lived thousands of years ago.
Anthropology degrees can focus on studying five common subfields – Archeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Forensic Anthropology.
Masters in Anthropology Degree Types
Although very few colleges may offer a Master of Science or MS in Anthropology, it is predominantly the Master of Arts or MA in Anthropology commonly available in the United States. However, there are two variants of this Master’s in Anthropology online degree conferred – an Academic Anthropology Degree and an Applied Anthropology Degree. While the former is best suited for those who wish to take up teaching or pursue a Ph.D., the latter is better suited to individuals who prefer to research or work in the field.
Stemming from the larger department of arts and Humanities, the Master of Arts or MA Anthropology is the most common Master’s program available for students of Anthropology. Typically spanning two years, this degree aims to equip students with the skills and competence needed to study, research, and apply the various approaches to Anthropology through theoretical and practical techniques.
Specializations in Masters in Anthropology Programs
Within the larger sphere of a Master’s in Anthropology online program, there are various specializations and concentrations students can choose from, to form a basis for their future Ph.D. studies or for meeting individual professional goals. Some of the specializations in the field of Anthropology include:
Critical Interventions in Theory and Ethnography
Ecology and Evolution
Health, Medicine, and Humanity
Race, Difference, and Power
Social Formations and Processes
Heritage and Unwritten Histories
Food, Environment, and Sustainability
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Anthropology Online Programs
Online Anthropology courses of an Anthropology Degree vary by college and by the sub-field one may have opted for. As is generally the case, students will have to take up basic coursework, methodology, electives, and sometimes a project or thesis as well.
Here are some courses related to anthropology that usually make up the curriculum of a Master’s in Anthropology online program:
Foundations of Anthropological Theory and Method
Anthropological Research Design
Animals and Humans
Social and Cultural Theory
Advanced Seminar in Archeology, Theory, and Practice
Advanced Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
Advanced Ethnographic Research Methods
Human Osteology and Lab
Computer-Assisted Data Analysis in Anthropology
Food and Culture
Ethnographic Field Work
Language and Cultural Cognition
Graduates of a Master’s in Anthropology online degree will develop and demonstrate a whole set of skills that include but are not limited to:
the ability to identify and engage with analytical, philosophical, and real-world issues, as well as draw relevant conclusions;
the creation and deployment of the techniques of ethnography, as a research approach and method;
the use of advanced expertise and theoretical basis in each of the subfields of Anthropology;
recognition of the importance of Anthropological study in social, political, and economic discussions; and
the expertise to use oral and written communication and persuasive argumentation.
Accreditation for Masters in Anthropology Online Programs
Since the study of Anthropology can be narrowed down to one of its subfields or a specific concentration, the program in question should be endorsed and attested by a relevant department, agency, or organization. An example of such an accreditation organization is the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB) for Forensic Anthropology. This makes the course or degree of value and adds recognition for it in the job market. It is for this reason that finding an accredited Master’s in Anthropology online program is imperative. Having said that, if Programmatic Accreditation is hard to come by, one should at least check to see if the college one is applying to is accredited at the regional or national level. There is much to know and learn about accreditation, and students should understand its importance.
Timeline for graduation from Masters in Anthropology Online Programs
The length of any Master’s degree is determined by a variety of variables, including the structure and format of the program, as well as any additional university-specific criteria. Be that as it may, in most cases, a Master’s in Anthropology online program takes about 1 to 2 years to complete.
In terms of credit hours, many colleges require a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of approved courses and research for a thesis-based MA Anthropology degree. For the non-thesis option, a minimum of 36 semester credit hours of approved courses is usually required.
In general, full-time students can expect to graduate well within one year, while part-time students may require at least two or more years to complete the program.
Masters in Anthropology Online Programs Admission Requirements
For almost all Master’s in Anthropology online programs, the admissions requirements are largely the same. That said, there could very well be additional requirements and prerequisites that some colleges may ask for. Reading the program guide is always advisable to check for exact details. Here is a snapshot of a Master’s in Anthropology requirements (not all may be required by some colleges):
A 2-page Essay or Sample Research Paper to demonstrate Research and Writing Skills.
2 to 3 Letters of Recommendation.
In general, applicants with Bachelor’s Degrees in medicine, psychiatry, foreign affairs, international relations, business, library science, social work, the arts, demography, theology, architecture, law, planning, community affairs, criminology, and linguistics and are encouraged to apply for admission to a Master’s in Anthropology online program.
For those students who have a Grade Point Average (GPA) less than 3.0, colleges may ask for a GRE score that is at or above the 50th percentile on two of the three portions of the test.
Free Online Anthropology Courses
There are no Universities that offer a Master’s in Anthropology online, free of cost. However, many of them conduct free Anthropology classes that can be of immense help to graduate students or for research work. Some of the resources to find free courses and lessons on Anthropology are:
MIT OpenCourseWare Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s OpenCourseWare offers a few free Anthropology Courses at the graduate level.
EdX EdX has courses on topics such as Gender & Sexuality, Evolutionary Medicine, Past, Present and Future of Urban Life, and more.
Class Central Class Central has a compilation of some 80+ courses, some of which are from Harvard University, University of North Carolina, Princeton University, and others.
Coursesity Coursesity is another great place for free Anthropology courses online, many of which come with a Certificate.
One Year Masters in Anthropology Programs
It is not uncommon for students to want to finish up their education as early as possible. This is the primary reason why they look for one-year or accelerated programs. There are a few one year Master’s Anthropology programs available across the country; however, one should bear in mind that there are many factors that could affect the actual length of time it takes to graduate, such as the program structure, any required prerequisites, full-time or part-time studies, etc.
How to Pay for Masters in Anthropology Online Programs
Pursuing a Master’s in Anthropology online could be expensive, depending on the college. Unfortunately, inflating costs of a Master’s program gives rise to the need to look for funding mechanisms that can ease student debt to a substantial extent. The list below shows a few such potential funding mechanisms for students to explore and consider:
Scholarships are relatively easier to apply for and one of the most popular means of funding advanced education. The main reason for this is that scholarships are akin to ‘free money, in that a student is not required to pay back the award amount. (There are severalScholarship Scamsthat students should not fall prey to.)
Grants, typically provided by the federal, state, or private sectors, are funds that cover the costs of tuition or other associated student expenses, such as study materials, transport, equipment, etc.
Another possible way of raising money for education is Federal or Private Loans. However, Loans are granted on interest and may contribute to student debt if not paid back in time.
Full-time students are generally eligible for merit-based or project-based awards, known as Fellowships, that assist them in pursuing their higher studies.
There are largely two types of Assistantships – Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships that may be available for a Master’s in Anthropology in certain Universities. Assistantships allow a student to teach, work or research at the college while studying at the same time.
Working on Campus
Some Universities ‘employ’ their students to work on their campus. Unlike Assistantships, this option treats the student like any other ‘employee’, but the money earned from such employment can at least partly fund their tuition fee.
If an individual’s passion is the study of humanity in all of its diversity or related fields such as archeology, sociology, ethnography, etc., a Master’s in Anthropology can be the apt choice and an enriching experience. With a variety of jobs to choose from and the opportunity to travel, interact with others, and explore the world – past, present, and future, this degree is certainly worth one’s salt.
How to get a degree in Anthropology?
To enroll for a degree in Anthropology, applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s program, preferably in subjects connected with arts and humanities, and meet certain other admission criteria listed out on this page.
What can I do with a Master’s in Anthropology?
With a Master’s in Anthropology, graduates can go on to take up jobs in various fields, ranging from politics to archeology to teaching, forensic science, and a whole lot more.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in Anthropology Graduates
A Master’s in Anthropology online opens a plethora of career paths to choose from. Graduates can take up work for consulting firms, the government, museums, social work, etc. Here is a small list of careers an Anthropology degree can provide:
Certifications and Licensing for Anthropology Graduates
Certifications assist Masters in Anthropology online graduates in obtaining a particular job or allowing students to take focused coursework in a specific field of Anthropology. There are quite a few Universities and other independent institutions that offer Anthropology Certificate Programs online. For example, the University of South Carolina offers Certifications in Historical Archeology and Cultural Resource Management, Museum Management, and Women and Gender Studies. Another example is the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA), with a Certification in Forensic Anthropology for individual practitioners.
Touching upon the topic of Licensure – most careers relating to Anthropology do not necessitate any additional licensing or special certification. In general, employers look for a Master’s in Anthropology degree from a reputed and accredited University. On the other hand, there are chances that Forensic Anthropologists who work for or with the government may be required to undergo special training and even perhaps security clearance, but may still not require any license in particular.
Additional Resources for Anthropology Professionals
Resources can assist students, and even professionals, with their Anthropology studies and research. A graduate of a Master’s in Anthropology online should stay up to date with current research and professional practices. Connecting with like-minded peers is always advisable, as individuals and groups can get the support they may need to advance their careers. Membership with professional associations is a great way to identify workshops, seminars, and conferences in Anthropology as well. Here are a few that cater to several fields of Anthropology:
Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) promotes the investigation of the principles of human behavior and the application of these principles to contemporary issues and problems. The site hosts webinars, publications, and job postings and has an excellent online community as well.
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) From resources for Archeologists and Educators to publications and online seminars, the Society for American Archeology (SAA) caters to the many needs of individuals connected with Archeology.
American Anthropological Association (AAA) With the American Anthropological Association (AAA), students and professionals can stay informed, attend events, learn and teach, participate and advocate, advance their careers, and connect with like-minded people in the field of Anthropology.
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