Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Overview

Our MA program provides students with a broad knowledge of anthropological theory and research methods. Students build their research and writing skills in their graduate courses, culminating in the preparation of a significant piece of scholarly writing, which constitutes their MA thesis. Interdisciplinary contacts are encouraged, and links are maintained with departments and programs such as Asian Studies, the Institute of Asian Research, Linguistics, History, Geography, Sociology, and the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies.

Program Structure

The M.A. is based upon a combination of coursework, research, and a thesis. Compared to the Ph.D., the M.A. is a structured course of study. Students must successfully complete 30 credits:

  • ANTH 500 History of Anthropology (6)
  • ANTH 506 Current Research in Anthropology (3)
  • an advanced anthropological methods course (3)
  • two 3-credit courses outside of the student's sub-disciplinary specialty; Students are encouraged to take at least three credits of these in Anthropology (6)
  • at least 6 credits of elective courses
  • after submitting an approved thesis proposal, a 6-credit thesis
 
 

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
25
25
22
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Prior degree requirements

Applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree with a major, honours or concentration in anthropology or the equivalent. Outstanding candidates with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines but with substantial background related to anthropology, or who are missing one or more of our admission requirements, are occasionally admitted on the condition that they complete a number of additional courses in anthropology.

Prerequisites / Course Requirements

Applicants to the MA program must have completed at least 12 credits in senior anthropology courses with a minimum average of A-. The courses should cover a broad range of anthropology, including at least three credits of archaeology or physical anthropology, six credits in ethnography, three credits in methods, and, if possible, at least three credits of anthropological theory, and three credits in museum and visual anthropology.

The Department also favours applicants who have taken introductory courses in linguistics and statistics. Highly qualified applicants lacking one or more of these requirements may have courses in contiguous fields accepted as equivalents or may be required to take such courses as part of their program of study.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Focus

UBC offers graduate study in the fields of socio-cultural anthropology (including legal, medical, and ecological anthropology, oral and expressive culture, religion, globalization, and applied anthropology), linguistic anthropology, anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, and museum studies. Faculty research interests include North America, Asia (Russia, India, Japan, and Korea), Mesoamerica, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa. The program provides training in quantitative, qualitative, archaeological and museum methods.

Research Facilities

Extensive research facilities are available in the Museum of Anthropology, and in the Laboratory of Archaeology. The UBC Library has excellent collections to support program interests, as well as a large collection of microform theses and dissertations, and the Human Relations Area files. Anthropology has a dedicated graduate computer lab with a wide range of software to support quantitative and qualitative research.

Application Notes

We look for applicants with developed intellectual interests as well as abilities and a strong commitment to their area of study and with interests that fall within the current interests of the Department. If applicants have questions about the match between their interests and those of the Department, they should contact the program administrator. It is also helpful for applicants to discuss their program with the appropriate faculty members before making a final application.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 09 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 09 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 09 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 09 December 2020

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications4750365950
Offers747109
New registrations43597
Total enrolment1314232523

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 93.1% based on 29 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 30 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 0.99 years and the maximum time is 5.66 years with an average of 2.52 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Barker, John (Local and global religion, history of Canadian anthropology, ethno-history, the anthropology of art and the impact of international environmental organizations upon indigenous peoples)
  • Blackburn, Carole (relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler states; how Indigenous nations assert their rights and sovereignty in struggles over land and political recognition, and the consequences for Indigenous people of engaging states in legal and political arenas.)
  • Blake, Thomas Michael (Archaeological research, origins and spread of maize agriculture in the Americas, exploration of Coast Salish identities as expressed in house structures and village settlement layouts extending from about 3000 years ago)
  • Bloch, Alexia (Migration and Transnationalism, Anthropology of Gender, Statelessness, Ethnographic Methods and Writing, Socialist Cultures and Projects of Modernity, Eurasia, Peoples of Siberia)
  • Creighton, Millie (Japan, Japanese descent communities (Nikkei or Nikkeijin), Korea, Inter-Asian Relations, Identity, Consumerism, Popular and Mass Culture, Gender, Minorities, Work and Leisure)
  • Davis, Wade (Latin America, passionate defender of all of life)
  • Gordillo, Gaston (Space and violence, affect, ruins and ruination, critical theory and continental philosophy, object-oriented ontologies, resistance to agribusiness, Latin America, Argentina, the Gran Chaco)
  • Jing, Zhichun (Archaeology of Early China Archaeology Geoarchaeology Ancient Civilizations, Archaeology of early China, geoarchaeology, human impact on ancient environments, archaic states and early complex societies, systematic regional survey and analysis, quantitative analysis, environmental archaeology, provenance of archaic jades)
  • Kamat, Vinay Ramnath (Global Health and Emerging Diseases, Medical Anthropology, Global Health, ethnography, India, Outsourcing of Clinical Trials, Tanzania, Malaria, East Africa, marine conservation, Dispossession, Extractive Industry, political ecology)
  • Kramer, Jennifer (Visual culture and art of the First Nations)
  • Levell, Nicola (interdisciplinary folds of anthropology, theoretical museology, material culture and critical curatorial studies)
  • Martindale, Andrew (Archeological Data Analysis, Archeological Excavation Methods and Techniques, Prehistory, History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Indigenous Archaeology, Northwest Coast, Oral Traditions, Spatial Analyses, Archaeology and the Law, Political economy, Radiocarbon Dating, Indian Residential Schools)
  • McKellin, William (Medical, linguistic and cultural anthropology; socio-linguistics and discourse analysis; clinical medical anthropology; genetics and society; international health; cognitive anthropology; kinship and social organization; Papua New Guinea; Canada.)
  • Menzies, Charles (Local Cultures and Dynamics, Resources Management, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Social Movements, Indigenous studies, Natural Resource Management, Maritime Anthropology, Western Europe, Ethnographic Film)
  • Miller, Bruce (Anthropology of Law, ethnography, ethnohistory of Coast Salish of BC and Washington, Indigenes worldwide, state-Indigenous relations)
  • Moore, Patrick (Anthropological linguistics, languages of North America, sub-Arctic ethnography, ethno-history, gender, First Nations Languages, Literacy and Orality, Oral Traditions, Dene (Athbaskan Languages and Cultures), Codeswitching, Gender, Indigenous Activism, and the Anthropology of Media)
  • Muehlmann, Shaylih (Environmental politics, linguistic anthropology, drug trafficking, indigeneity, water scarcity, the anthropology of the awkward, US-Mexico borderlands, Mexico)
  • Robertson, Leslie (Indigenous and settler historiographies, colonial regimes of difference, spectacle and narrative, and political histories of resistance in settler nations, afterlife of historical colonialism, forms of power and representation in the context of urban marginalization (drug use, sex work, health, and violence) )
  • Rosenblum, Daisy (multi-modal documentation and description of indigenous languages of North America, with an emphasis on methods, partnerships, and products that contribute to community-based language revitalization)
  • Rowley, Susan (Archaeology, Arctic, Museums, Public archaeology, oral history, ethnohistory, material culture)
  • Shaw, Patricia (First Nations languages; endangered languages, First Nations Languages)
  • Shneiderman, Sara (Intercultural and Ethnic Relationships, Political Culture, Society and Ideology, Local Cultures and Dynamics, Religion, Culture and Space, Ideological, Political, Economical and Social Environments of Social Transformations, Social Organization and Political Systems, International Development, Indigenous issues, Disaster response and preparedness)
  • Speller, Camilla (Archeological Data Analysis, Molecular Genetics, Bioarchaeology, Ancient DNA Analysis (paleogenetics), Ancient proteins (paleoproteomics), Environmental Archaeology, Marine Ecosystems, Animal Domestication)
  • Turin, Mark (Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.), Lexicography and Dictionaries, Language Contact and Linguistic Changes, Language Rights and Policies, Language Interactions, Political Culture, Society and Ideology, Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, First Nations, Bella Bella, Heiltsuk, Indigeneity)
  • Weston, Darlene (Archeological Data Analysis, Biological Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Osteoarchaeology, Paleopathology, Paleodemography)

Further Program Information

Specialization

UBC offers graduate study in the fields of socio-cultural anthropology (including legal, medical, and ecological anthropology, oral and expressive culture, religion, globalization, and applied anthropology), linguistic anthropology, anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, and museum studies. Faculty research interests include North America, Asia (Russia, India, Japan, Korea and China), Mesoamerica, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGMMAA-BN
 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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