The Department of Anthropology offers a graduate program leading to the Anthropology Master of Arts degree. The course work in this program is conceptually four-field with faculty strengths in archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and public and applied anthropology. Students must receive a commitment from a graduate faculty advisor for admission to the program. A graduate plan of study dependent on the student’s interests will be individually developed with his or her graduate faculty advisor. Additionally, graduates of the program are prepared to enter doctoral programs or begin professional careers following the MA degree.

The anthropology faculty conduct research in many geographic areas including Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Guatemala, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sudan, Turkey and the United States. The department also has multiple research facilities on the Orlando campus that include the following:  Lithic and Ceramic Analysis Archaeology Lab, Forensic Anthropology Lab, Paleoethnobotany Archaeology Lab, Bioarchaeological Sciences Lab and the Interdisciplinary Geospatial Science Lab. Students may have the opportunity to conduct research projects in various countries or research facilities as part of their program.

View the degree information


Degree-seeking students in the Anthropology MA program may elect to follow either a thesis or non-thesis plan of study. Each plan of study requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, 15 of which must be at the 6000-level. The thesis option is designed for students who plan to enter doctoral programs, while the non-thesis option is more appropriate for students entering or continuing professional careers following the MA degree. Students that focus on archaeology and want to become a Registered Professional Archaeologist should pursue the thesis option. View the graduate catalog for curriculum details.

View the Anthropology MA Handbook

Application Requirements & Materials

  • Official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Personal statement of intent that must specify the student’s research interest, geographical area of interest (if applicable), the faculty they would like to work with, and future career plans (500 words).
  • A writing sample between 2,500 and 5,000 words.
  • A curriculum vitae. See the CV template for an example.
  • Contact with a potential advisor prior to application submission is strongly recommended. Advisors are unable to grant admission to applicants prior to all application materials being submitted and reviewed by the department.
  • Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s academic performance, and their suitability and potential as a graduate student.
  • International applicants are required to submit additional materials by the College of Graduate Studies, such as foreign influence screening, results of an approved English proficiency exam, and a course-by-course credential evaluation. International applicants should review all requirements set by the College of Graduate Studies before starting an application.

Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in anthropology. Supplemental course work may be recommended for students who do not have a degree in anthropology or are missing key undergraduate course work.

All application materials must submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission. Students will be selected on a competitive basis and meeting the application requirements does not guarantee admission.

Statement of Academic Intent

All applications require a well-organized, carefully crafted, and informative statement of purpose of no more than 500 words.

This document should articulate your intentions about pursing a Master’s degree in anthropology at UCF. It should address your anthropological interests, proposed research project, professional goals, and future career plans. The statement should address why the topic or issue warrants graduate level research. We encourage you to integrate insights and life experiences that strengthen your ability to complete the program.

Relevant questions to consider include:

  • Which faculty most closely aligns with your research interests?
  • What is your geographical area of interest?
  • What is the investigative feasibility of your proposed project?

Contacting potential faculty advisors before submitting your application is strongly advised so as to know whether they are accepting students or see viability in your plan of research.

Writing Sample

Faculty generally admit graduate applicants whose writing sample demonstrates significant scholarly abilities and intellectual curiosity. We are interested in seeing a paper that is thesis-driven, presents your ideas clearly, and uses evidence effectively.

Applicants should carefully select an example of their best academic writing that demonstrates both rigorous analysis and independent work. This does not need to be anthropological writing. Indeed, many strong applicants have backgrounds in other fields before pursuing anthropological graduate work. The submitted writing sample will ideally demonstrate a capacity for clear expression, close reading, skilled observation, critical thinking, and the creative, rigorous interpretation of empirical data.

Quality writing samples should be between 2,500-5,000 words in length. Samples may include an undergraduate honors thesis, class paper, published article, or any other piece of written work that demonstrates your skills as a writer and critical thinker. Excerpts from longer works or theses (published or unpublished) are also acceptable. In this case, however, it is advisable that students include a brief one page abstract about the overall project and where the excerpt fits within the larger document.

Applicants should upload one file not exceeding 5MB. Papers originally written in a language other than English must be submitted in English translation. Please include the following statement on the cover page of the writing sample upload:

‘In keeping with the spirit of the University of Central Florida’s student code of conduct, I certify that the uploaded writing sample represents my own work, excepting normal input from advisors and named co-authors or properly cited sources’.

Please be aware that material submitted including non-written media materials cannot be returned to you.

Application Deadlines

Spring Fall
Domestic Applicants November 1st February 1st
International Applicants July 1st January 15th

Program Funding

The Anthropology MA offers a limited number of funding opportunities each year based on available departmental funds. These are awarded in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) to full-time students in the MA program. GTAs are not need-based funding but rather competitive funding awarded to the top students in the program. A variety of different factors are taken into account when awarding funding. Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) may also be awarded through faculty members’ grants.

The required CV provides important information used in determining GTA funding. Criteria considered in making funding decisions include:

  • Undergraduate GPA
  • Undergraduate Thesis
  • Leadership/Service
  • Publications/Presentations
  • Extracurricular Involvement

This list is not exhaustive and meeting criteria is not a guarantee of funding.