M.A. Degree in Medical Anthropology

Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree in Medical Anthropology is based on 36 hours of coursework at the University, as follows:

ANTH 5336 Health in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 5344 Research Methods in Ethnology
ANTH 6343 Biomedicine, Culture, and Power
ANTH 6353 Research in Anthropology (normally taken in the fall of the second year; field/clinical research)

Strongly Recommended is ANTH 7333 Data Analysis. Please consult the "Sequence and Timetable" for the MA in Medical Anthropology.

Twenty-four (24) elective hours of graduate coursework must be completed. At least two of these courses must be on health/medical topics; one course should be taken outside of the department (for example, PSYC 5359 "Death and Dying" or PHIL 3344 "Medical Ethics"); the remainder must be either in medical anthropology or globalization. You should meet with your Advisor each semester to ensure an appropriate selection of courses is made. Some suggested courses might include:

ANTH 6303 Political Economy of Health
ANTH 6305 Applied Anthropology
ANTH 6307 Global and Public Health
ANTH 6316 or 6317 Advanced Seminar in Ethnology (medical topic)
ANTH 6344 Global Population Processes
ANTH 6384 Global Issues and Development: An Overview
ANTH 6390/6391 Current Issues in Anthropology

Note: For non-medical anthropology coursework, you are encouraged to consult with the instructor and to develop a research project/paper topic for the course that has a health focus.

For courses outside of the anthropology department, you must obtain the approval of your Advisor before enrolling. You should also discuss your enrollment in these courses with the Instructor of Record in the appropriate department or school. You may have the option of taking these courses, particularly those in the Law School, on a "Pass/Fail" basis. This option should be discussed with the instructor and your Advisor before enrolling. You should be aware that the calendars of the professional schools may differ from that of Dedman College.

An internship with a field or clinical component is an intrinsic part of the M.A. program. This will involve your participation in some extramural medical, anthropological, or medical research project, clinic, facility, or agency. You should identify the agency, facility, or program where you want to work by the end of your 2nd semester. The internship/experience should last approximately 8-10 weeks with between 10 and 20 hours of service each week. Work may be limited to observation, or may be more involved, and may or may not involve an independent research question. A site supervisor must be identified, who will evaluate your efforts and provide a brief, written report to your Advisor at the end of the internship. Internships may not occur where you are currently employed, nor should they be in the same type of work in which you are already knowledgeable and working.

A one-page written proposal of the internship/experience, including evidence of a willing site supervisor, must be submitted to and approved by your Advisor no later than your 3rd semester. If you wish to propose a small independent research project to conduct during your internship/experience, this proposal must be submitted to and approved by both your Advisor and site supervisor no later than your 3rd semester. Ideally, the internship will be completed in your 3rd semester of coursework under the auspices of ANTH 6353.

You will prepare a written report on your field/clinical experience that is a minimum of twenty (20) pages of text. It must include a bibliography and be written in appropriate anthropological style and format. This report does not need to conform to the thesis requirements for the University. Please consult with your committee chairperson regarding the necessary and appropriate content and form of the report. The report needs to be submitted at least six (6) weeks in advance of the scheduled date for the M.A. exam since it will be discussed during that exam. Examples of past reports are on file in the Department office and are available to students.

You should form your MA Examination Committee late in your second semester, but prior to finalization of your internship proposal. The examining committee will consist of at least three members, two of whom must be from the Anthropology Department; the third member must be from a department other than Anthropology. Normally, the student's Advisor serves as Committee chair. You are responsible for choosing the committee members, but should do so in close consultation with the Committee chair. The Department Chair will officially nominate this committee to the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for approval.

You must file for the degree early in your final semester in the M.A. program. Please consult with your Advisor about deadlines and procedures.

Note: Financial support for graduate students is limited. Except under extraordinary circumstances, Teaching Assistantships and Departmental Assistantships are not available to students in the MA program.


Semester 1

Semester 2

5336 Anth and Medicine ®

6343 Health and Medical Systems ®

5344 Research Methods in Ethnology ®




*Students will be assigned or choose an advisor.

*Identify location/supervisor for internship.

*Complete all petitions (course waivers/transfers)

*Form MA committee.


Semester 3

Semester 4

6353 Research in Anth (Internship)






*Remove all grades of "incomplete."

*Early in semester: Complete written proposal for Internship

*Write 20-page report on internship - submit 6 weeks prior to MA exam.

*By end of semester: Complete internship.

*MA Exam - one hour, oral exam.