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Master of Arts in Anthropology

The department grants an M.A. in Anthropology in the following areas of specialization: Archaeology, Health, Biological, and Cultural. Students admitted to the M.A. program have the option of doing coursework and then 1) writing a MRP (1-year), or 2) writing a scholarly thesis (2-year) which demonstrates ability to conduct original research.

M.A.Master of Arts in Anthropology

The department grants an M.A. in Anthropology in the following areas of specialization: Archaeology, Health, Biological, and Cultural. Students admitted to the M.A. program have the option of doing coursework and then 1) writing a MRP (1-year), or 2) writing a scholarly thesis (2-year) which demonstrates ability to conduct original research.

Anthropologists work in a wide array of areas, from government to large corporations, to NGO's and education.  A great website to get more information about Anthropology careers is from the American Anthropological Association. 

Many employers are interested in the skills which Anthropology graduate students tend to possess. These include:

  • Knowledge about biological, ecological, cultural and long-term historical factors that influence human behaviour
  • Theoretical approaches and practical methods for enhancing cross-cultural understanding
  • Knowledge of a variety of ethnic and cultural groups living in Canada and abroad
  • Skills in social research, qualitative interviewing and fieldwork, as well as quantitative methods
  • Experience in both writing descriptive and analytical reports
  • The ability to analyze the root causes of social problems, and to work towards solutions with people from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Four graduate level courses (Thesis-based)
  • Six graduate level courses (Course-based)
  • Participation in the professionalization workshop in first year of program
  • MA thesis (Thesis-based)
  • Major Research Paper (Course-based)

Criteria of Admission

Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree

The University requires, as the major indicator of ability to complete a Master’s program successfully, the holding of an Honours bachelor’s degree with at least a B+ average (equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 GPA out of 12) in the most current 20 half credit courses in the discipline, or relating to the discipline, in which the applicant proposes to do graduate work.

Applicants are advised that admission is highly competitive, and that achieving this minimum scholastic criterion is normally not sufficient for an offer of admission. In evaluating applications, the department carefully scrutinizes the total application package, including letters of reference, a statement of interest, and a sample of recent work. Applicants must have clearly developed intellectual and research interests. MA applicants should have at least a tentatively defined thesis research project or subject area(s) for the major research paper (MRP) or comprehensive exams.

In some circumstances, exceptionally qualified students holding an Honours BA in Anthropology may be offered direct entry into the Ph.D program.

Important: If English is not your native language:

Applicants are required to submit evidence of their proficiency in the English language as part of their application. The most common evidence is a score on one of the following exams:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 92 (internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based)
  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each section
  • MELAB: minimum score of 90

Applicants who have completed an academic ESL program through Canadian academic institutions may petition to have this considered in lieu of TOEFL

Funding

Students to whom we offer admission are automatically considered for financial assistance from funds available to the Anthropology Department – no special forms need be filled out. Funding is awarded on academic excellence and the availability of funds (amounts vary from year to year.) Funding is open to all domestic students. This fall seventy-one percent (71%) of our returning MA & PhD students and incoming PhD students have won a major external scholarship.  The total of these major external scholarships is just under $457,000! 

The Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Scholarship: These awards are given to Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents who are entering the first year of a Master's or Doctoral program at McMaster in those Humanities or Social Sciences disciplines or fields of study that receive funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (or its successor).

All applicants  should also review the McMaster Ontario Graduate Scholarship process.

Masters

  • There is no guaranteed minimum level of funding for students in the Masters program, but students offered a place in the Thesis program are typically offered funding for two years.
  • Applicants should apply for this federal scholarship if they meet the eligibility requirements.  Deadline:  December 1, 2016. Please choose McMaster as one of your five choices for University. 
  • If you are currently in a Master's program, you are required to apply via your home university. Check with your current department for the internal deadline; typically it is in October.

Travel Scholarships

  • Department of Anthropology Fieldwork and Conference Funds. There are two rounds typically October and March.  Application information can be found by clicking here.
  • Funding for conference attendance is open to all full-time graduate students in the department.
  • Fieldwork funding is open to all full-time students in the PhD program.
  • The Schmid Family Travel Fund: Open to Masters or PhD enrolled full time at McMaster.  The funds are to be used to support travel to present at conferences or undertake field research relevant to anthropology.  Number available varies.
  • The Edith M Wightman Travel Scholarships: The award is available to students registered in or, admitted to a McMaster graduate program in ancient history or, archaeology, to help support travel costs associated with thesis research or sponsored archaeological projects in Europe and the Mediterranean. Number available varies.
  • SGS Grant in Aid for Research Travel and Field Work: The School of Graduate Studies Research Travel and Field Work Fund (SGS Grant) is designed to support highly meritorious students whose Ph.D. research and scholarly activity requires travel to, and extended stay at, locations more than 200 km from McMaster. The Fund is intended to support projects that are critical for completion of the PhD thesis and that normally would not be possible through other means. 

Bursaries 

  • There are some funds available for bursaries, awarded on the basis of financial need. Students should apply directly to Student Financial Aid
  • GSA/SGS Bursary: Bursaries are set at a current value of $500. Applications may be submitted at any time. A maximum of 3 bursaries will be awarded each academic year. Please note that graduate students are only eligible to receive one GSA bursary per academic year.
  •  Alternatively, students in health related research (social psychology) may want to apply to the Canadian Institute of Health Research Doctoral Research Awards.   

All applicants  should also review the McMaster Ontario Graduate Scholarship process.

Academic Calendar the School of Graduate Studies Graduate Handbook Recent Graduate MRP and Theses Awards and Funding Apply Now
For more information:
Graduate Programs Office
CNH-524
905-525-9140 ext.24424
gradmin@mcmaster.ca
Length:
Course-Based (1-year) or Thesis-Based (2-year)
Required Credential:
Honours Bachelor's Degree or equivalent in Anthropology or related discipline
Program Type:
Course based or Thesis based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September
Current Deadline:
January 15