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.


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There are two specializations in the Anthropology Master of Arts program:

  • Anthropology. 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.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, we will likely not be admitting any forensic anthropology focused students due to personnel changes. If you are interested in forensics, please contact the relevant faculty members to learn more. Prospective students interested in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and bioarchaeology are encouraged to apply.


To be considered for financial support, all application material must be received on or before January 15, 2021. Applications received after January 15, 2021 may be considered if Fall enrollment space permits.

Requirements for Admission

Admission to graduate study involves acceptance by the University as well as the department or college in which the applicant expects to study. Final admission to the University is subject to approval by the department or college.

Required documents, deadlines and admission policies for graduate programs at UWF may be found on this general graduate admissions page. In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA (3.0 minimum per University graduate admissions requirements)
  • Undergraduate degree major and classes (Four-field coursework is recommended, as well as classes in anthropological theory and field methods. Some amount of course remediation is possible.)
  • Formal letter of intent describing background, study interests, and professional goals
  • Writing sample (term paper, conference paper, published paper, etc.)
  • Three letters of academic reference
  • ** Optional: Students who would like to be considered for either of the 3-year full-ride assistantships need to submit by January 15:

** These documents should be submitted in electronic format (e.g., PDF, .doc) as specified in the application guidelines. All other documents should be uploaded through UWF's online application system.

The Anthropology graduate program emphasizes multidisciplinary and collaborative study and research. Admission exceptions can be made for promising students with prior degrees in different fields. Incoming students without a degree in Anthropology can become eligible for admission with the completion of upper division undergraduate level core courses in anthropology with a grade of “B” or higher. The core courses must include cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and theory.

Degree Requirements

For current degree requirements, please see the UWF Catalog.


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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Program Contact

For more information about the Anthropology/ Historical Archaeology M.A. program please contact Dr. John Bratten jbratten@uwf.edu

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Nicolas Laracuente

Nicolas Laracuente - MA in Anthropology

Bourbon is American’s oldest spirit. When it comes to the history of bourbon in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, there is a trail of tall tales. Lost beneath the layers of sediment and storytelling, Nick Laracuente has spent a decade unearthing new facts and authentic stories behind the barrels that true bourbon enthusiasts and tourists traversing Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail long to hear.

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