4+1 Master's Degree in Anthropology


For students who are already enrolled as undergraduates at the University of Cincinnati, the combined BA/MA program represents an accelerated path to a Master of Arts degree in anthropology. Although students who enter this program must complete all of the requirements of the respective degrees, the knowledge that they will be pursuing the MA degree upon completion of the BA degree allows them to (A) begin taking graduate-level coursework as an undergraduate student, and (B) begin focusing on thesis-related, independent research at an earlier date.

Students who are considering this program should note the following considerations:

1.     Per a policy of the Graduate School, students who enroll in graduate-level coursework prior to formally reaching status as a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology (i.e., classes taken while still an undergraduate student) are allowed to apply 10 graduate-level credits toward the requirements of the MA degree. Because the MA degree requires 30 credit hours, including 24 hours of formal coursework, students in the BA/MA program must complete the majority of their coursework after completing the BA degree. The requirements of the MA degree are detailed in the program's graduate handbook.

2.     Prior to completing the bachelor degree, the student must complete a formal graduate application online and pay the graduate application fee to facilitate the eventual transition to graduate status upon graduating with the undergraduate degree. Following this transition, the policies of the graduate school stipulate that students must complete all requirements of the MA degree within five years. In other words, while the BA/MA program is designed to facilitate an accelerated path to an MA degree, students are permitted up to five years to finish the MA degree after graduating with the Bachelor degree and formally beginning the MA degree program. As detailed below, the application to the department precedes the application to the graduate school, but students must be formally accepted by the graduate school before they can begin full-time graduate study.


To be eligible for entry to the BA/MA track, students must have junior standing (>60 credits) (<90 credits). In addition, students must have completed all McMicken College distribution requirements. They should also have completed (or at least be enrolled in) the following anthropology courses by the semester in which they submit an application.

  • Course #   Course Title
    1001        Cultural Anthropology
    1003        Biological Anthropology
    1005        Introduction to Archaeology
    1007        Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

In addition, students must have completed two courses (six credit hours) at or above the 4000 level, of which one course should be a methods course such as ANTH4022 (Archaeobotany and Ethnobotany),  ANTH4022 (Principles of Archaeological Analysis), or ANTH6071 (Ethnographic Methods). In rare circumstances, the department may consider applications from students who have not completed all of these requirements. Interested students should contact the Director of Graduate Studies to determine whether circumstances warrant the waiver of some of these application requirements.

Finally, applicants should have a grade point average of 3.2 or higher in their anthropology coursework to merit consideration for admission to the BA/MA program.

Application Procedure

For eligible students, there are two annual application deadlines: February 15 andMay 1[GM2] . Because students can apply only once to the BA/MA program, however, applicants are generally encouraged to wait until the May deadline unless they anticipate opportunities to enroll in graduate-level courses in the spring quarter following the February deadline.

In support of their application, students should submit the following documents directly to the Department of Anthropology:

1.     Transcripts of all college/university or other post-secondary studies must be submitted. For coursework completed at colleges or universities other than the University of Cincinnati, official transcripts are required. Unofficial copies are sufficient for coursework completed at UC.

2.     Three letters of reference are required. These should come from individuals such as faculty with whom the applicant has studied and who are qualified to evaluate the applicant's background and capability for graduate study. Faculty members in the Department of Anthropology may write letters on the applicant's behalf. No official recommendation form is required for recommenders. Applicants should download and complete this form to provide the names and contact information of letter-writers, then submit the form directly to the department along with transcripts and the statement of purpose. Letters should be delivered to the Director of Graduate Studies, either by the applicants or the referees themselves.

3.     A personal statement (1-2 pages) of the applicant's interests and intentions in the field of anthropology is required. It should describe the applicant's academic background, the development of the applicant's interest in anthropology, and the subfield(s) and topic(s) that will be the focus of graduate study. Because the anthropology department does not offer courses or have faculty resources in every geographic or topical area, the personal statement should indicate an appropriate match between the applicant's educational goals and the strengths of the faculty in the program.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all supporting documents have been delivered to the Department of Anthropology by the application deadline.

Guidelines for Admitted Students

Soon after being notified that the department has accepted them into the combined BA/MA program, students should formally complete and submit an application to the graduate school: www.grad.uc.edu

Students who are admitted to the combined BA/MA program must enroll in Fundamentals of Anthropology (ANTH 700) when it is offered in the fall. [GM3] When opportunities arise, students who are still completing the BA degree are encouraged to take additional graduate-level coursework, up to the maximum of 10 credits that can be applied toward the MA degree. Note, however, that the program prioritizes completion of the BA degree, and students should not enroll in graduate-level courses if it prolongs progress toward the undergraduate degree.

Upon graduating with the BA degree, students whose applications for admission have been formally accepted by the Graduate School will be considered full-time graduate students, and all of the policies in the graduate handbook will apply, such as the minimum grade point average.

Courses that have been taken as an undergraduate (e.g., ANTH 6071) cannot be repeated for graduate credit, and substitute courses may be needed to fulfill graduate requirements. Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies to identify an appropriate substitute.

Throughout this entire process, students who have been admitted to the BA/MA program should attempt to formalize a relationship with a thesis adviser, who will assist the student during the design and implementation of thesis-related research. Although successful thesis research requires initiative and independent work on the part of the student, the mentorship of the thesis adviser and other committee members is likewise essential. With few exceptions, students in the BA/MA program should formalize a relationship with a thesis adviser during the semester after they have transitioned to full-time graduate status, if not before.