Dec 01, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Anthropology, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Majors (A-Z)

Degree Information

Priority Admission Application Deadlines:

Minimum Total Hours: 40
Level: Masters
CIP Code: 45.0201
Dept. Code: ANT
Major/College Code: APA AS
Implemented: 1985


Archaeological and Forensic Science (AAF) (2014)
Bio-cultural Medical Anthropology (BCM) (2006)
Cultural Resource Management (CRM) (2007)
Heritage Studies (HGS) (2008)

Also offered as a Concurrent Degree

Contact Information

College: Arts and Sciences
Department: Anthropology

Contact Information:
Other Resources:

The Applied Anthropology major, initiated in 1974, was the first in the country to focus on career training for the practice of Applied Anthropology. Faculty at USF specialize in various areas, including medical anthropology, biological anthropology, urban policy and community development, education, archaeology, cultural resource management (CRM), economic development, immigration, media, and issues pertaining to race, gender, and ethnicity. Geographic specializations emphasize the Caribbean, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and the United States. More than 240 graduates have received an education in anthropology and its practical uses, leading to employment in government and private sector agencies and organizations. For many, the MA is a terminal degree that qualifies them for professional careers in administration, program evaluation, planning, research, and cultural resource management. Others have gone on to earn doctoral degrees and have gained employment in academic or higher level nonacademic positions.

Students entering the Applied Anthropology major at USF choose from one of four tracks: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, or Medical Anthropology. Although these four tracks share some common requirements, and are bound by general rules of the USF Office of Graduate Studies, they have different curricula and employment trajectories. Archaeology Track graduates typically enter careers in contract archaeology, or public and private agencies and museums responsible for managing archaeological resources. The Cultural Anthropology Track is designed to lead to employment in diverse areas that include education, urban planning, human services, private sector consulting and research, and non-governmental community organizations. Museum and heritage programming represent an area of overlap between the two emphases. Students who wish to pursue these kinds of specialties will develop curricula that draw from both applied and public archaeology requirements in consultation with their advisors. Biological Anthropology students are trained to work in law enforcement, private sector consulting and research, and non-governmental organizations. The Medical Anthropology track prepares students to conduct research, evaluation, and consulting in a variety of settings, including community-based organizations, county and state health departments, and non-governmental organizations. In addition to following the curriculum of a track, M.A. students can select elective courses to fulfill one of four concentrations in Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, Bio cultural Medical Anthropology, Cultural Resource Management, or Heritage Studies.

Our M.A. offers flexibility, depending on the student’s career plans. Students choose from one of three professional development options: research, internship, and internship-based research (a hybrid of the other two). All three options are expected to have an applied component, but differ in emphasis and setting.

Major Research Areas:
Human biology; bio cultural medical anthropology; nutrition/diet; growth and development; population genetics; forensic anthropology and human rights; neuroanthropology; stress; immune function; maternal and child health; reproductive health; HIV/AIDS; disasters; water and sanitation; migrant health; health policy; sociocultural and historical anthropology; transnational migration; labor; neoliberal globalization; citizenship; media and visual anthropology; environmental anthropology; urban anthropology; pedagogy and educational anthropology; heritage and memory studies; Florida archaeology; Eastern U.S. prehistory; Mesoamerican archaeology; Mediterranean prehistory; archaeological science; bioarcheaology; cultural resource management; public archeology.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GRE is required, however, there is no minimum score for admission into the major
  • a statement of purpose
  • a signed research ethics statement
  • at least three letters of recommendation
  • a resume or curriculum vitae
  • graduate assistant application form (optional)
  • writing sample (optional)

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours - 40 credit hours

Core Requirements - 6 hours
Required Track - 24 hours
Optional Concentrations 9-12 hours
Internship – 0-7 hours, depending on the option
Thesis - 6 hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Required Track (24 Credit Hours)

Students select from one of the following Tracks:

Archaeology Track

Biological Anthropology Track

Cultural Anthropology Track

Medical Anthropology Track

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program in Applied Anthropology for Returning Peace Corps Volunteers

Students in the Coverdell Program are required to complete internships related to the program of study in underserved American Communities.

For more information on the Fellows Program:

Concentration Requirements (Optional)

Students may select one of the following concentrations:

Concentration in Archaeological and Forensic Sciences (12 Credit Hours)

Two required courses (3 credits each), consisting of
Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Two elective courses (3 credits each; one may be outside Anthropology):
External Electives That Also Qualify

(only one can count towards concentration):

Concentration in Bio-cultural Medical Anthropology (12 Credit Hours)

Please Note: the Foundations of Medical Anthropology on-line course offered through the School of Sustainability is a service course intended for non-anthropology students and cannot count towards the Applied Anthropology degree.

Four Graduate Medical Anthropology Courses with the ANG Prefix:

Or one of the following:

Concentration in Cultural Resource Management (9 Credit Hours)

Graduate class in Geographic Information Systems, whether offered in Anthropology or another department.

Graduate students pursuing a concentration in Cultural Resource Management must take the basic course requirements of their graduate program.

One of the following electives

(or other as approved by Graduate Director):

Concentration in Heritage Studies (9 Credit Hours)

Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Two electives from among the following options:

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam requirement is satisfied upon successful completion of ANG 6705 Foundations of Applied Anthropology I . Successful completion entails earning a final grade of “B” or better in this course.

The MA offers flexibility, depending on the student’s career plans. Students choose from one of three professional development options, which must be decided in consultation with their major professor before the proposal is delivered. All three options are expected to have an applied component, but differ in emphasis and setting.

  • Research Option – This option is designed for students who are planning a career in applied research and are considering a Ph.D. degree. The final product is a thesis, which may be delivered as either a traditional thesis or as a peer-reviewed journal article. If an article is submitted, the student must be first author and the journal selected in consultation with the M.A. Committee. The publication must be formally accepted, but not necessarily published, to fulfill this requirement.
  • Internship-based Research Option: This option is designed for students who are planning a career in applied research and practice. It is designed for students whose thesis research is situated in an Internship setting. A formal Internship is required, and the final product is a thesis, which may be delivered as either a traditional thesis or a peer-reviewed journal article (same guidelines apply as in the Research option).
  • Internship Option: This option is designed for students who are planning a career in applied research and practice. A formal Internship is required, and the final product consists of 1) a technical report or installation delivered to the host agency and 2) a substantial Internship report delivered to the M.A. committee. The student must be the first author on the technical report, and it must represent new and original work. The targeted length and substance of the Internship report should be discussed with the M.A. committee and agreement reached in advance.


0-7 hours minimum, depending on the option

Research Option

no internship hour requirement

Internship-Based Research Option:

Internship Option


3-6 hours minimum, depending on the option

At least 2 credit hours per semester until thesis is accepted.

Research Option

  • ANG 6917 - Thesis Credit(s): 10

Internship-Based Research Option

Internship Option

Concurrent Degree

Also available as a Concurrent Degrees  

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Majors (A-Z)