College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Graduate Program in Anthropology

Graduate Adviser: Dr. Sean Bruna

The Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University, offers a graduate program leading to an M.A. degree in Anthropology (Thesis Only). The relatively small size of our Department (ten full-time faculty) enables us to work closely with students on projects and maintain the "family" atmosphere. We are pleased that our MAs are competitive in the job market with the majority employed in their fields or enrolled in Phd programs.

Graduates will be required to fulfill core requirements and at least one each of the upper-division or graduate courses in the Culture Region, Methods & Topical components to gain skills necessary to ensure success in your sub-discipline or applied focus. Graduates with insufficient background in statistics, anthropological history, or in theory and methods, will be expected to take undergraduate courses as instructed by the graduate advisor. The ideal duration is approximately two years and core requirements should be completed within four quarters, if attending full-time.

While our program provides a broad exposure to all the subfields of Anthropology, our greatest strength is in cultural anthropology with emphasis in area specialties of our faculty. With an archaeological and cultural concentration on the Pacific Northwest, we also take pride in our Pacific Rim ethnographic strengths, which complement expertise in other departments on campus.

Our main concern is grounding in the discipline-- its theory and data. We are not a technical college, but we do encourage you to pick an "applied" topic for your thesis. Additional skills can be acquired through our "special skill requirements," which may be completed through other departments on campus. The members of our Department have always been committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship, as well as providing a warm and open learning atmosphere.