MA/MPH in Anthropology and Health Education and Promotion

Admissions Criteria

three rows of three dancers each, performing in front of a hutAll applicants to the dual master’s program must meet the following guidelines:

  • GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of an undergraduate degree program
  • Completion of the GRE if the GPA is below 3.0
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • Three letters of recommendation

Applicants must successfully complete the admissions process for both programs. Each department’s admission committee will thoroughly review applicant transcripts to ensure that undergraduate course content and performance indicate the potential to pursue two advanced degrees successfully in a compressed time frame.

Application Procedures

  • Applicants will indicate interest in the dual degree program in the notes section of the application and in their Statement of Purpose. Students who develop an interest in the dual degree program after matriculation will formally apply and go through the admissions process for the second department.
  • Applicants will identify a departmental ‘home’ (anthropology or health science) in their Statement of Purpose.
  • Departments will review applications separately. If the review decisions are the same (accept or reject):
    • The ‘home’ department will notify applicants of their status
  • If the review decisions are not the same, the departments will convene a meeting (virtual or in person) to review files of applicants whose status is in dispute
    • If the parties cannot agree on applicant status, the departments will notify applicants separately of their decisions
    • Departments will track the number of disputed applications and will use this tracking as a basis for periodic review of admissions decisions and student performance in the program.

Scholastic Requirements

Prerequisites (both MA and MPH programs)

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university. In addition, each department admissions committee will examine transcripts to ascertain that applicants have completed sufficient and relevant social science coursework. Performance in social science courses must indicate capacity to be successful in a dual degree master’s program.

Program Requirements

MA Only

With strong training in research methods, application, and theory, the Department of Anthropology MA program is appropriate both for students intending to continue to the PhD, and for those who will enter careers that require only the master’s. The MA program employs a four-field approach, embracing archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Each student must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours. All students are required to complete satisfactorily a core curriculum composed of one graduate course in at least three of the four fields of anthropology. A seminar in research methodology is also required.

MPH Only

The 42 credit hour MPH program through the Department of Health Science provides a high quality, student-oriented, and health equity focused curriculum developed to deliver core public health competencies that emphasize the application of health education & promotion. Designed for eventual Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation, the curriculum offers education in the foundational areas of public health (health behavior, environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services administration). It trains health promotion professionals to plan, implement, and evaluate programs to promote individual and population-based health.

Dual-degree Completion Requirements

Students enrolled in the dual degree program must complete the minimum required credit hours for both programs. After review of the curricula and syllabi, the partner departments have identified 12 hours of course work in anthropology that may count toward both degrees, given the equivalent content and rigor:

  • ANT 600 Research Methods (3 credit hours) may substitute for HES 509 Research Methods (3 credit hours).
  • ANT 502 Health Inequalities (3 credit hours) may substitute for HHE 587 Health Disparities (3 credit hours).

The Anthropology Department reciprocates this acceptance. The Health Science courses named above (HHE 506 and HHE 587) may substitute for their identified anthropology counterparts (ANT 600 and ANT 502, respectively) in the curricular plans of public health students pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology. Additionally:

  • Two of the following ANT Electives may substitute for two HHE Electives. These electives supply theoretical, methodological, or content expertise beneficial to either discipline. All have a health focus. All courses are 3 credit hours.
    • ANT 505 Culture, Mind, and Behavior
    • ANT 511 Culture, Health and Healing
    • ANT 550 Legal Anthropology
    • ANT 574 Neuroanthropology

Transfer of Credit

No transfer of credit is permitted.

Course of Study

See our MA/MPH Sample Curricular Template (thesis/non-thesis; GTA, non-GTA).

Comprehensive Examinations/Capstone Experiences

MA capstone experience

Thesis students complete a research proposal and integrative essay at the end of their first year. Non-thesis students complete an integrative essay at the end of their first year.

MPH comprehensive exams

Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination that insures firm grounding in public health foundations and the essential elements of health promotion practice.

Time to Complete the Degrees

MA/MPH: 6 years

Timing of Degree Conferral

Degrees are conferred simultaneously; that is, no degree is conferred until all required work for both degrees is completed.

Pursuit of Dual Degree Terminated

If a student decides to discontinue work towards one degree but to continue pursuit of the other, they must meet all customary requirements for the continued program, with no double counting of courses, to receive a degree.

Other Requirements or Considerations

Student financial support: It is the policy of the Department of Anthropology to provide financial support to its graduate students. The department feels this support is critical to student success, given the nature of the course content and the expectation that most student learning will be at the application and problem-solving level. The Department of Health Science primarily awards graduate assistantships to doctoral students, although MPH students may be considered. In the current year, three MPH students received graduate assistantships.


In addition to the respective competencies and goals of the component programs, students completing the dual degree programs will exhibit the added capabilities listed below. These reflect their dual preparation. Each of these capabilities connects to at least one learning outcome in the Health Science and Anthropology programs respectively. The learning outcomes are identified in parentheses after each capability. Graduates of the dual degree programs in Anthropology and Health Science will exhibit the ability to:

  • Synthesize literature from multiple disciplines to acquire a holistic view of a given health concern and identify knowledge gaps. (Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health/Research Proposal)
  • Develop a literature-informed research question and design a project to investigate that question (Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health/Research Proposal).
  • Continuously cultivate knowledge of the historical, social and political circumstances informing identified health issues. (Systems thinking/Human Diversity)
  • Develop and maintain partnerships based on mutual respect and trust within the populations who are the target of their efforts (Communication/Human Diversity).
  • Identify and collaborate with community and professional partners in understanding health problems from a local perspective, in designing and implementing interventions, and in disseminating the results of those interventions (Interprofessional Practice/Research Design).