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Graduate Program in Applied Anthropology

The department offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Anthropology, which train students to apply their knowledge and skills to contemporary human problems, whether as academics or practitioners. At USF, we balance world-class training in theory and method with practice, placing applied research at the core of our training.

In 1974, USF was the first in the nation to focus on applied anthropology, and we have been a leader ever since. For many, the M.A. degree qualifies them for careers in the private and public sectors, while others continue to the Ph.D. Our doctoral graduates have gone on to academic positions, where the applied focus is becoming increasingly valuable, or are working in professional positions across the nation and the world.

Acceptance into the program is highly competitive; prospective students must demonstrate not only strong academic credentials but also a clear commitment to Applied Anthropology, explained in their Statement of Purpose. Several sources of support and funding are available through the Department and USF; prospective students should be aware of these opportunities when planning to apply.

Once admitted, students follow one of four course tracks, each of which has a set of required classes and choices of electives:

Overlapping with the tracks, we also offer four optional concentrations, that may appeal to students in any of the tracks: Archaeological and Forensic Sciences (AFS), Biocultural Medical Anthropology (BCM), Cultural Resource Management (CRM), and Heritage Studies (HGS). A concentration draws individual specialized course offerings together into a focused curriculum, and the concentration is noted on the transcript. Concentrations may be declared by both Ph.D. and M.A. students.

ConCurrent Degree with Public Health

We collaborate with the USF College of Public Health to offer a ConCurrent degree program, in which students can earn an M.A. or Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology along with the Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) in one of ten concentrations within Public Health. Students may also earn their Ph.D. in Public Health and an M.A. in Applied Anthropology. Students pursuing this option will apply to the MPH program during their first semester in the anthropology program. Please see pages 112 and 119 of the graduate catalog for details.

Theses and Dissertations

The department keeps a searchable database of all completed theses and dissertations; this helps prospective students see what kind of research is carried out at USF. We also encourage potential applicants to visit descriptions of current students and their projects.

To hear about the research of Applied Anthropology students, see: