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UW Anthropology MA Degree Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin, the Department of Anthropology has the following requirements.  Click here for a checklist for completing these items.


1. Completion of the university requirements for the M.A. degree with either 26 hours of course work and a thesis or 30 hours of course work and a Plan B paper.

FAQ: Can I transfer some credit hours from my previous institution to count towards my degree?
Answer: Yes, transfer credit hours will require departmental approval. You need at least 21 credit hours to be completed at the University of Wyoming.

2. Successful completion of three semesters or the equivalent of a single foreign language, if not taken as an undergraduate; when appropriate, advanced linguistics involving work with a non-European language can be substituted for the language requirement.

FAQ: The requirements for graduation as listed by the University of Wyoming Graduate School does not specify that that I need 3 semesters of a foreign language, so do I need this?
Answer: Yes, 3 semesters of a foreign language is required by the Anthropology Department for completion of a graduate degree. If you have never taken a foreign language you can complete this requirement through the University of Wyoming or through a local community college or other program prior to your expected graduation date (simply complete 3 semesters of a single language of and receive a passing grade, these credit hours will not count towards your degree, foreign language courses must be of an appropriate level).

FAQ: I took many semesters of a foreign language at my previous University, how do I get credit for completing this requirement?
Answer: Bring documentation (i.e. a transcript) of your foreign language experience to your advisor and he/she can approve them.

FAQ: I don't have "official" proof of my foreign language skills, but I'm a fluent speaker of "language X" do I still have to take classes?
Answer: No, talk to your advisor about establishing your language fluency.

3. Completion, with a grade of "B" or better, of a four course sequence; this sequence will consist of ANTH 5010 (20th Century Anthropological Thought) and ANTH 5020 (Biological Anthropology); and ANTH 5015 (Archaeological Theory and Method) and ANTH 5030 (Linguistic Anthropology).

FAQ: Do I have to take these classes?
Answer: YES.

FAQ: Do I have to take these classes in the semesters they are offered (complete all four in the first year of study)?
Answer: Yes. These "core" classes will help you prepare for the thesis presentation exam and your thesis research. If you do not complete them in your first year you will likely delay completion of your degree.

FAQ: Wait, that's 4 classes at 3 credits each, that only adds up to 12 credit hours don't I need 14 more to graduate?
Answer: Yes. Most graduate students take between 3-4 classes per semester (about 9-12 credits hours). For your first two semesters in the program you should enroll in the 2 core classes per semester plus one additional graduate level course of your choice. In your second year you can take whichever graduate courses you choose plus some thesis hours (a minimum of 4 is required by the Graduate School).

4. Successful completion of a public thesis presentation at the end of the first year.

5. Successful completion of a thesis and a public thesis defense.

FAQ: When do I have to complete my thesis?
Answer: Usually students complete their thesis at the end of their second year or in the first semester of their third year.

FAQ: Where do I find information about the requirements for the thesis?
Answer: See the checklist. You should also review the University Catalog and the University requirements ( and make sure you follow the guidelines set by ProQuest ( You can view an example of an electronically submitted thesis or dissertation here (

Contact Us

Anthropology Department

12th and Lewis Streets

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307 766-5136


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