Anthropology Image


Master of Arts (MA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

At the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, we take a comparative, cross-cultural and cross-specific perspective to understand human beings. We consider how humans evolved, how they shape — and are shaped by — their culture, and we seek to understand the records they have left behind. Our students are curious and driven to understand the world around them. And the research options are boundless for students accepted into this thesis-based program, boasting both a socio-cultural stream (anthropology and militarization, medical anthropology, sustainability, urban anthropology) and a biological anthropology stream (conservation, human osteology, population genetics, primatology, paleoanthropology).

Completing this program

  • Core courses include Thesis Development and Professional Skills for Anthropologists.
  • Students choose a methods course: either Methods in Anthropological Research or Current Issues in Methodology in Primatology.
  • Students choose a theory course: either Anthropological Theory or Primatological Theory.
  • Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Biological Anthropology (Interdisciplinary)


Cultural Resource Management, Corporate Consulting, International health organizations, International and community development, Market research, Law, Humanitarian efforts, forensics, medicine, veterinary medicine, conservation, academic positions.

A master’s degree in anthropology will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Two core courses and two electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Susanne Cote

    Susanne Cote

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Naotaka's headshot

    Naotaka Hayashi

    Environmental Anthropology, Community Building and Development
  3. Steig Johnson

    Steig Johnson

    Accepting Inquiries
  4. Ben M. McKay

    Ben M. McKay

    Global Development Studies
  5. Image of Professor Mercader 2022

    Julio Mercader Florin

    Accepting Inquiries
    Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, Bioarchaeology, Chemical and Materials Science approaches to the Past
  6. Photo of Kathryn Reese-Taylor

    Kathryn Reese-Taylor

    Accepting Inquiries
    Maya archaeology, Mesoamerican anthropology, Remote sensing in archaeology, Landscape archaeology, Urbanism, Ceramic analysis
  7. WM Wilson

    Warren Wilson

    Accepting Inquiries
    Biological Anthropology

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A four year baccalaureate degree, or equivalent from a recognized institution.

Work samples

An example of the applicant's written work in the research context.


  • A statement outlining the applicant's interests and reasons for wishing to pursue graduate work in this department. Clearly identify your thesis research area
  • A C.V

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: December 15 application deadline
  • International students: December 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

Earth Sciences 620

2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website