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Anthropology for the real world

The Public Issues Anthropology program is a 16-month Master's degree that teaches students how to use anthropological theories and findings to understand and address important issues in public discourse. 

Archaeological | Biological | Sociocultural

The Public Issues Anthropology program represents a unique approach to graduate studies in anthropology, and is based on two principles:

  1. There are themes and issues that are fundamentally anthropological and which integrate the traditional sub-disciplines of anthropology—sociocultural, biological, archaeological (as well as applied and linguistic)— at every level of research.
  2. Anthropological findings, theory, practices, experiences, and methodologies are relevant to current social, political, and cultural issues.

Students can choose to focus on traditional research topics and methods within their chosen sub-discipline, emphasizing in their thesis the public implications of their findings. Other students take an interdisciplinary approach and explore topics that span multiple sub-disciplines, or to explore innovative or non-traditional anthropological research topics and methodologies. 

In a traditional approach, students can research the archaeology and material culture of ancient societies, analyze the physical and genetic characteristics of human populations, and explore the cultural practices and beliefs of different groups of people. Past students who have taken an interdisciplinary approach have covered everything from connecting anthropology to marketing, artificial intelligence, and drag queens and feminism.

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Graduation cap

16-month degree

The Public Issues Anthropology is designed to be completed in 4 academic terms (Fall, Winter, Spring, Fall). In this time, students take courses and work on research and have the opportunity to collaborate with top-scholars while gaining valuable analytical and communication skills.


Guaranteed funding

We are proud to offer nationally competitive funding packages to all incoming students who meet our funding criteria. Full-time domestic students are eligible to receive $18,000/year with the possibility of additional scholarships and awards.


Graduate career-ready

Our program prepares students for careers both inside and outside of academia. The public issues focus helps students advocate for the relevance of anthropological findings on critical contemporary issues, while also giving students exposure to a variety of sub-disciplines so students graduate as well-rounded experts in the field.

Want to know more?

We're happy to talk to you about our MA program and answer any questions you have.

Miljana Kovacevic
Administrative Manager
(519) 888-4567 ext. 42403

  • Program information
  • Academic forms, deadlines, and courses
  • Funding

Seçil Daǧtaș
Associate Chair, Graduate Studies
519-888-4567 x42991

  • Research guidance
  • Academic advising
  • Learning outcomes

The Faculty of Arts is currently limiting the number of international students we can admit due to funding restrictions. If you are an international applicant, please contact the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies prior to applying.