M.A. in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology offers a Master of Arts degree under the close direction of 13 Anthropology and Archaeology faculty with specializations in Archaeology (terrestrial and maritime), Cultural Anthropology, and Biological Anthropology.

Program Description 

The degree of choice for professionals in anthropology and historical archaeology, an M.A. is required for professional positions in government and private firms. The primary objectives of our Masters program are to prepare graduates to begin successful working careers and to enter doctoral programs.

We have 80+ active graduate students, and we are growing! Student-centered research is our specialty, and we have continuous opportunities for students' professional development in the Anthropology Department and Archaeology Institute. 90% of our Masters graduates are employed in their field or are accepted into doctorate programs.

You can find UWF Anthropology's .


The M.A. program capstone in anthropology is a thesis paper. Graduate students must prepare a formal Thesis Proposal for their committee's approval. When successfully completed, the graduate student will be allowed to begin his or her thesis. Theses must be approved by the Thesis Committee and successfully defended by the candidate in an open defense. For more information on the thesis, including forms and funding opportunities, click here. Examples of past theses are available here.


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There are two specializations in the Anthropology Master of Arts programs. Students may specialize in either Anthropology or Historical Archaeology. 


The graduate specialization in Anthropology focuses on providing students with more general graduate-level coursework in all three anthropological subfields offered at UWF, including a minimum of two courses each in biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. In addition, research design and a proseminar are required, along with three unspecified electives and a 3-hour minimum of enrolled thesis research. This track is appropriate for students who plan to pursue careers or further graduate studies in archaeology, biological anthropology, or cultural anthropology, including archaeology students who seek more general anthropological coursework than is available in the Historical Archaeology specialization.

Historical Archaeology

The graduate specialization in Historical Archaeology focuses on providing students with more specialized graduate-level coursework in both archaeology and history (a minimum of three courses each), including a required graduate-level archaeological field school. In addition, courses in cultural resource management and historical research methods in archaeology are required, along with three unspecified electives and a 3-hour minimum of enrolled thesis research. 

This track is appropriate for students who plan to pursue careers or further graduate studies specifically in historical archaeology or CRM archaeology.

Faculty Advisors

The department has two terrestrial archaeologists (prehistoric and historic), two maritime archaeologists, two biological anthropologists (forensic and bioarchaeology), and one medical anthropologist.  Faculty and staff in the Archaeology Institute and FPAN can also serve on committees and advise graduate students.

UWF accepts new graduate students into the program each year. The number changes depending on interest, faculty availability, and funding, but is usually around 12-15 new students. It is a good idea to contact the faculty member(s) you want to work with prior to applying.

Admission Requirements

The anthropology department’s approach combines a strong anthropological perspective, an active faculty, a vigorous research and contract program, flexibility, and many opportunities to obtain hands-on experience. The department has one of the largest and most active terrestrial and maritime archaeology programs and facilities in the Southeast. There are continuous student-focused research and contracts in prehistoric, historic, coastal, and interior archaeological sites that include graduate students at all levels of responsibility.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Graduate Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the criteria listed below are used to assess the potential success of each applicant.

University Requirements*
• Submission of Graduate Application and Processing Fee 
• Submission of official transcripts 
*International students may have additional requirements.

Departmental Requirements
• Submission of official GRE test score 
• Undergraduate cumulative GPA 
• Undergraduate degree major 
• Submission of a formal letter of intent describing background, study interests, and professional goals 
• Submission of a writing sample (term paper, conference paper, published paper, etc.) 
• Submission of three letters of academic reference 

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

UWF Archaeology Institute Graduate Collections Assistantship: The Archaeology Institute at the University of West Florida offers a three-year Collections Assistantship to incoming Anthropology or Historical Archaeology graduate students. The Collections Assistant will work with existing Archaeology Institute material collections (Prehistoric, Historic, and Maritime) and archaeological project archives including paper, film, and digital materials. This award will be made when funding permits.

Collections Management Application (PDF)

Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) Graduate Assistantship in Public Archaeology: The FPAN Graduate Assistantship in Public Archaeology is offered to an incoming UWF Anthropology or Historical Archaeology graduate student. During the first two years, the student will work in the public archaeology program for the FPAN Northwest Region. During the third year the student will work directly with the FPAN Executive Director on a thesis representing a substantive contribution to the field of public archaeology or to public archaeology programming in Northwest Florida. 

FPAN Assistantship Application

Additional Information

Historical Archaeology track graduate students should also make note of the fact that Florida participates in the Academic Common Market, a program of the Southern Regional Education Board in which students from other participating states can have out-of-state tuition waived if there are no graduate degree programs in their chosen field within their home state. Since the Historical Archaeology specialization is relatively uncommon in Master's programs, UWF students have the opportunity to avail themselves of this program. Details on this program can be found here.

Application Deadline

 To be considered for financial support, all application material must be received on or before January 15, 2020. Applications received after January 15, 2020, may be considered if Fall 2019 enrollment space permits.

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For more information concerning the Master's Degree in Anthropology, please contact:


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