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Students develop skills in critical thinking, increase their knowledge of anthropological theory and methods, and gain specialized knowledge in a particular topical area of their choice. Graduates of our program are well prepared to continue their studies at the doctoral level and/or go on to careers in policy, research, government, social services, activism, and the arts.


The program consists of two required half courses in Theory and Methods plus four elective half courses selected from offerings in Social Anthropology. Students may, with the permission of the Graduate Director, substitute an elective course for one of the following: a course in another graduate program, a Directed Reading course, or a Placement course. All first-year students must enroll in the weekly Graduate Seminar. Students are expected to complete their course work in the first year before commencing research.

Major Research Paper

Candidates write a research paper (in the range of 40-60 pages) under the supervision of a two-member committee, on a topic approved by that committee and by the Director of the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology. The major research paper should demonstrate creative and analytical ability and an advanced understanding of the selected topic. MA students are required to present their work in a department-wide event in the fifth and final term of the program.

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.