Applied Anthropology M.A.

  • Student examines a model of DNA

    Applied Anthropology M.A.

    Examine the distinct and diverse populations and environments in the Arctic North at the University of Alaska Anchorage, one of very few schools in the U.S. with an applied degree program in anthropology.

Explore the anthropology master’s degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage

With a focus on the southern half of Alaska and the Aleutians, UAA’s graduate program in applied anthropology provides unique perspectives in the human experience, including language, culture and history.

Anthropology scholarships and financial aid
The anthropology graduate program offers a limited number of paid teaching and research assistantships as well as research stipends. You may also qualify for grants and general university or private scholarships such as the Thomas F. Eidel Graduate Scholarship. Visit the Office of Financial Aid at UAA for details.

Applied program emphasis
Applied anthropology offers specialized training in concepts, methods and perspectives relevant to specific career fields.

Various class locations
You can take UAA anthropology classes on campus in Anchorage or at Kenai Peninsula College. Some online classes are also available, providing more flexible options for earning your master’s degree in anthropology.

Graduate student advising
Questions on admission, degree or candidacy requirements? Work with the graduate program coordinator and a graduate faculty advisor to build a Graduate Studies Plan to achieve your goals.

Advanced facilities and work spaces
In addition to cultural centers, computer labs and libraries at UAA, access these dedicated anthropology labs:

  • the Anthropology Laboratory for Cultural and Environmental Scanning, with a 3-D modeling lab;
  • the Bioanthropology Lab;
  • the Cultural Resource Management Lab, with a zooarchaeological comparative faunal collection;
  • the GIS and Cultural Research Lab, with a computer lab and interview space;
  • and Archaeology Wet and Dry Labs.

Anthropology Club
From movie nights to Archaeology Day, the UAA Anthropology Club hosts a variety of activities and events, including guest speakers on topics in anthropology. The student club is open to everyone.

Applied Anthropology M.A.

Degree Type:

  • Master

Emphases: Applied anthropology

Program Length: Two years

Availability:Anchorage campus, Kenai Peninsula College

Did you know..

Comprising professionals in the field, the Anthropology Graduate Advisory Board connects the master’s program with the Anchorage community and guides it on current employment and research needs in Alaska. Partner agencies include the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cultural Resource Consultants, Knik Tribal Council and the U.S. Air Force.

What can you do with an anthropology degree from UAA?

Many alumni from the anthropology graduate program find full-time employment working in Alaska, and some further specialize their area of study in Ph.D. programs.

Anthropology careers
85 percent of working alumni have found jobs in the field with federal or state government agencies, private consultancy firms, Alaska Native corporations and tribes, museums and private businesses, such as:

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • U.S. National Park Service
  • Alaska Office of History and Archaeology
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Subsistence Division
  • Institute for Social and Economic Research
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Minerals Management Service

By the numbers..

The median wage for an anthropologist.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Anthropology master’s degree program highlights

Extensive resources and experiences in the classroom and in the field facilitate the anthropology department’s focus on applied learning. At UAA, you can find related jobs, from paid internships and assistantships to independent employment, while you earn your degree.
Give presentations and prepare for the comprehensive exam with proseminars. Proseminars in specialized fields are a core part of the program curriculum and explore broad topics to provide tools for future research.

  • Apply anthropological method and theory in a workplace setting. Internship practicums, independent studies and directed studies are available in a variety of organizations across Alaska, including Western Arctic National Parklands, UAA Environmental and Natural Resource Institute, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Forest Service (Chugach and Seward Ranger Districts), Alaska Native Medical Center, Hope Community Resources, Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) Alaska and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Conduct an independent research project leading to your thesis. Past projects have created public dialogue about topics such as the development of interpretive signage in Death Valley National Park for the Timbisha Shoshone, the production of videos in English and the Unangan language on Adak archaeology, the heritage value of abandoned mining lands, and structural inequities between an Alaska Native village and a federal agency regarding subsistence practices.
  • Learn from and conduct research with faculty members who have a variety of expertise and interests. Their specialties include language use and identity, applied medicine, biological anthropology, archaeological excavations, cultural resource management, gender relations, Alaska Native studies, behavioral health, historical and industrial archaeology, medieval Scandinavia and applied sociocultural and policy research.
Students conduct research outdoors in the winter

Providing sound scientific data and analyses, the institute supports natural and environmental public policy issues and decision making and provides hands-on educational opportunities and services.

A glacier above rocks and water

The Anchorage Museum’s branch of the federal research and education program explores people, culture, history and archaeology in the region and offers internships to help you gain hands-on job experience.

Anthropology master’s degree program curriculum

The rigorous, core coursework includes proseminars, comprehensive exams, research design and an independent research project and thesis. Choose an emphasis in general anthropology, which develops graduate-level knowledge of core concepts, research methods and findings, or study applied anthropology, which offers the following program tracks for specialized training:

  • applied cultural anthropology, which identifies and assists in resolving current social issues in their cultural dimensions;
  • applied biological anthropology, which encompasses forensic anthropology, medical anthropology and other practical applications of physical anthropology;
  • and cultural resource management, which involves the inventory, assessment and conservation of archaeological and historical sites and remains and their place in cultural contexts. This track also covers the legislative operations of agencies that many students will work for.

Top classes for anthropology graduate students

  • Research Design
  • Ethnohistory of Alaska Natives
  • Human Osteology