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MA Curriculum

The M.A. in Applied Anthropology at UK is designed to train students to apply the theories, methods, and practices of anthropology to solve real-world problems and to prepare them for careers in different domains of application or for further graduate study. The program draws on the department’s considerable research strengths in a variety of areas and puts strong emphasis on training in theory, application, and proficiency in qualitative and quantitative research methods and skills. The M.A. in Applied Anthropology program requires 30 credit hours and has two areas of concentration: archaeology and cultural anthropology. Students must declare their area of concentration in their admissions application. In consultation with their advisor, M.A. students should form an advisory committee by the end of the spring semester during their first year in the program and submit the MA Committee Membership Form to the director of graduate studies. For each committee meeting, the student and the advisor jointly fill out a committee meeting reporting form.

The M.A. in Applied Anthropology program has a practicum requirement, which students have fulfilled in a variety of ways depending on their interests and career plans. Practicum activities could include (but are not limited to) program or policy implementation, evaluation or assessment, grant writing, data analysis, empirical research (at the request of an organization or project director), or any such activities that allow the student to engage in critical experiential learning. Once the student has established a three-person committee to give advice as the practicum project takes shape, the student, advisor, and a representative of the organizational partner sign a practicum contract specifying what the outcome of the practicum will be that meets the needs of the organization and the student’s graduate education.

Students often do their practicum project in the summer between the first and second years of the M.A. program, but there is flexibility in the timing depending on the project. The practicum outcome for the partner organization (which can be inside or outside the university) can take many forms: an exhibit, a website, a program evaluation, a training manual, etc. The M.A. student gets 3 hours of credit for the practicum by signing up with their advisor for ANT 760. The student then enrolls in 3 more credit hours of ANT 760 with their advisor while writing up two accompanying documents to what was produced as the outcome of the practicum: an introduction situating the project in the relevant anthropological literature and a summary reflection on the practicum experience and its relationship to future career plans.

Examples of partnering organizations with which M.A. students have done or are doing practica in recent years include:

--Kentucky Refugee Ministries

--Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop

--The United Farm Workers

--The Kentucky Legislative Research Council

--WLXU Lexington Community Radio (RADIOLEX)

--Lexington Fair Housing Council

--Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church Social Work Office

--A community literacy program

--A project to improve health care navigation for patients with autism


Within UK, examples of partnering organizations include:

--The Webb Museum of Anthropology

--The Donovan Scholars Program

--The Campus Kitchen

--A community-based participatory research program focused on diabetes prevention

The final examination for the master’s degree is an oral presentation of the practicum project at the annual departmental practicum colloquium. There is no foreign language requirement for the M.A. in Applied Anthropology.

For more details and learn more about the M.A. in Applied Anthropology curriculum, please contact the USP/MA Coordinator, Dr. Ann Kingsolver, at 859-218-4088, prior to completing the USP Plan of Study and applying to the Undergraduate Scholars Program.  

The department encourages M.A. students interested in earning a dual degree to combine their Anthropology M.A. training with training in other colleges on campus, such as The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commercethe College of Public Healththe College of Design (historic preservation), or the College of Education.

If you would like to learn more about the M.A. program, please contact the USP/MA Coordinator, Dr. Ann Kingsolver, 859-218-4088, or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kristin Monroe,

The B.A./M.A. 5 - Year University Scholars Program

The department offers a 5 year combined B.A./M.A. degree program through the University Scholars Program for eligible undergraduate majors. Students in the University Scholars Program are classified as undergraduates until they have completed all requirements for their undergraduate degree and undergraduate tuition rates will be applied to the 12 hours of graduate level coursework designated for dual credit in the program. Program requirements are listed below. Interested undergraduates are encouraged to speak with their faculty mentor as early as possible about the program. Please see here for more information about the application process.

  1. Applicants must be undergraduate majors in anthropology who apply for the program in the second semester of their junior year. Students will be encouraged to apply for the program then in order to be able to use the spring semester of their senior years to satisfy up to 12 hours of their M.A. requirements.
  2. Applicants must have 90 hours completed or in progress toward the completion of their B.A when they apply.
  3. Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or above and a GPA of 3.5 or better in Anthropology.
  4. Applicants must satisfy the current application rules and standards of the Graduate School and of the Department of Anthropology for admission to the Master’s program in Anthropology.
  5. Applicants must complete at least three graduate courses before the conclusion of their senior year.
  6. Applicants pursuing the recommended practicum option must make arrangements in their senior year to engage in a practicum during the summer after graduation or in the fall of the following year of graduate study.

Graduate Courses

Graduate credit courses include all 600 and above level courses; additionally some 400G level courses and some 500 level courses, with approval from the student’s committee, may count towards the graduate degree in Anthropology. Please see the Registrar for a complete list of available graduate courses in anthropology. Enrolled graduate students at the University of Kentucky that sit out for one or more semesters will need to complete a new application and pay the application fee in order to be considered for readmission.  In many instances this requirement can be avoided by requesting a leave of absence.