Social and Cultural Anthropology MA
An undergraduate degree with honours or specialization in anthropology or joint specialization in anthropology and sociology, with a grade point average of 3.00 (B average) is required. An undergraduate degree with a major in anthropology, with a grade point average of 3.00 (B average) is considered, provided that the background preparation is acceptable.
Applicants who lack certain prerequisite courses may be required to take a qualifying program of up to 12 undergraduate credits in addition to the regular graduate program. For the qualifying program a grade point average of 3.00 (B average) is required.
Applicants with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation may be required to take up to 24 undergraduate independent credits.
Applications to the program must be accompanied by a preliminary statement (roughly 500 words in length) of the student's intentions regarding research, fieldwork and thesis.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
- Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits. Additional courses may be taken from outside the program, subject to the advice and approval of the student's supervisor or the Graduate Program Director.
- Supervision. Students are assigned an interim advisor upon admission. Students in the thesis option must select their permanent advisor by the beginning of the second term, along with a second committee member. Their thesis is evaluated by the two-person committee and a third examiner. Students in the non-thesis option select a permanent advisor by the beginning of the second term, and their final research papers are evaluated by the advisor and a second examiner.
- Language Requirement. A working knowledge of English and French is recommended, although written work may be submitted in either language. Where appropriate, students are encouraged to acquire competence in the language of the community they choose to study; this may be achieved in the context of ANTH 640.
- Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
- Residence. The minimum period of residence is two calendar years (6 terms) of full-time graduate study beyond the Master’s degree or the equivalent in part-time study.
- Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements. The thesis option is designed to be completed in two years. The non-thesis option can be completed in 12 months.
- Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology with Thesis (Option A)
Courses. Students must satisfactorily complete the following program: ANTH 600, 601, 610, 620, 630, 660 , 690, 691 (6 credits), 692 (18 credits).
Thesis. Students enrolled in the thesis option are required to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent ethnographic field research. The thesis proposal, ANTH 690 serves as the basis for the elaboration of the written thesis, ANTH 692. The student then orally defends the thesis before an examining committee. The thesis may be written in either English or French.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology without Thesis (Essay - Option B).
Courses. Students must satisfactorily complete the following program: ANTH 600, 601, 610, 630, 660, 693, 694 (6 credits), 695 (15 credits) and 6 credits of electives.
Essay. ANTH 695 (15 credits): Students are required to write the essay under the supervision of one faculty member and are evaluated by two faculty members, including the supervisor. The essay proposal (ANTH 693) serves as the basis for theEssay (ANTH 695) which can be either a literature review of a substantive nature, or a report on empirical research.
Note 1. All students are required to plan courses related to their own interests with the help of advisors.
Note 2. All students are required to take 3 credits of SOCI elective studies.
Note 3. No more than 3 credits of elective studies taken outside the Department of Sociology and Anthropology may be credited towards the degree.
All courses listed below are worth 3 credits unless otherwise noted.
ANTH 600 Identity and Difference
This course explores the processes of social differentiation and identification.
ANTH 601 Decolonizing Anthropology
This course examines the roots of anthropological theory in Western culture and the decolonization of anthropology since the 1960s.
ANTH 610 Ethnographic Research and Ethics
This course explores the methods used to gather ethnographic material and the ethical dynamics of the fieldwork encounter, and the duties of the anthropologist as cultural mediator.
ANTH 620 Writing Ethnography
This course examines a range of methods and styles for presenting ethnographic material, from ethnographic realism to fiction, and encourages further experimentation.
ANTH 630 New Directions in Anthropological Research
This course explores emergent concepts, methods and topics in anthropology. Content changes in accordance with the research focus of the professor leading the course.
ANTH 640 Special Topics I *
This course, selected in consultation with the student’s thesis supervisor, may be taken from a cognate discipline.
ANTH 641 Special Topics II *
This course, selected in consultation with the student’s thesis supervisor, is offered as the occasion arises, for example, when a faculty member returns from the field, or when a visiting professor is in residence.
ANTH 660 Professional Development Seminar
This seminar is designed to help students develop the professional skills needed to pursue a career in research, practice or teaching. Students are exposed to a variety of research approaches through presentations by a diversity of faculty researchers. This seminar takes place every two weeks over the course of the Fall and Winter semesters. Credit for this course is obtained on a pass/fail basis.
ANTH 690 Thesis Proposal
The student develops a research proposal under the direction of his/her thesis supervisor.
ANTH 691 Fieldwork: Stage (6 credits)
The fieldwork requirement, which may last from 3-4 months, involves undertaking research in a community which differs in important respects from the student’s community of reference, and collecting ethnographic data. This research forms the basis of the student’s thesis.
ANTH 692 Thesis (18 credits)
The thesis is required to demonstrate that the student has been able to carry out independent field research. It should be a work of near publishable quality. The thesis is evaluated by the student’s Thesis Committee and one other faculty member. The student is also required to defend the thesis orally before the above-mentioned examiners.
ANTH 693 Essay Proposal
Students develop a research proposal under the direction of their supervisor, including a preliminary reading list.
ANTH 694 Bibliographic Research (6 credits)
Students spend two to three months reviewing the literature (which may include both academic and grey literature sources) on their proposed topic. The review forms the basis of the students' essay.
ANTH 695 Essay (15 credits)
The essay is written under the supervision of one faculty member and is evaluated by two faculty members, including the supervisor. It can either be a literature review of a substantive nature, or a report on empirical research. Students are expected to submit work of publishable or near publishable quality. The appropriate length of the essay is approximately 40 pages.
* Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may re-register for this course provided that the course content has changed.