applied anthropology in action
Information for Current Students ← Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology

Information for Current Students

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Welcome to the Applied Anthropology MA pro­gram at HSU! This pro­gram focuses on build­ing reward­ing, rel­e­vant, com­pet­i­tive, mar­ketable skills that will help you apply your passion. As such, this pro­gram is rig­or­ous yet flex­i­ble, and the fac­ulty and staff are ded­i­cated to help­ing you suc­ceed. Below you will find var­i­ous resources to help guide you through the pro­gram. Keep an eye on this page, as infor­ma­tion is reg­u­larly added and updated.

View the cur­rent Class Schedule
Download the Graduate Student Handbook

Incoming Students

If you have just been accepted into the pro­gram — con­grat­u­la­tions! Here is what’s next:

  • At your ear­li­est con­ve­nience, please email the MA pro­gram ( to let us know if you plan to attend.
  • If you have not already, you should shortly be receiv­ing a paper let­ter in the mail that acknowl­edges your appli­ca­tion and pro­vides instruc­tions on how to log in to the HSU Student Center. Once you have log-in access, you can find the log in link at the top of the HSU home­page. Once you log in, you can nav­i­gate to the Student Center where you will be able to see a list of any out­stand­ing appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als you might need. Be sure to promptly com­plete any items on the “To Do” list. Please con­tact Graduate Studies if you have ques­tions about this mate­r­ial, or if you do not receive your log in information.
  • Once your appli­ca­tion is com­plete, you will receive a paper let­ter in the mail with an offi­cial offer of admis­sion as well as infor­ma­tion on how to com­plete other pre-term require­ments. Around this time you will also be able to log in to the Student Center and offi­cially accept admissions.
  • Once you accept admis­sion (through the Student Center), you will be assigned an ini­tial aca­d­e­mic advi­sor. Your advi­sor will be cho­sen based on your area of inter­est and fac­ulty avail­abil­ity. It is not required that your advi­sor serve as your the­sis chair (which you will arrange dur­ing your first fall semes­ter), but this will gen­er­ally be the case.
  • If you have not done so already, be sure apply for finan­cial aid if you are eli­gi­ble and so desire. Applicant dead­lines are well in advance of the Summer Institute — see Program Costs for more infor­ma­tion. The last day to file for finan­cial aid for the 2014 Summer Institute is June 30, 2014.
  • After con­firm­ing accep­tance, it is time to start plan­ning accom­mo­da­tions for the Summer Institute if you have not done so already. The 2014 Summer Institute will be held from June 30 — August 1, 2014 (see Class Schedule for detailed dates and reg­is­tra­tion infor­ma­tion). Students may apply to HSU Housing + Dining ser­vices to explore on and off-campus hous­ing options dur­ing the Summer Institute and any other time that they decide to reside on campus.
  • All incom­ing first-year stu­dents that have accepted admis­sions in the Student Center will be auto­mat­i­cally enrolled in both courses the Summer Institute courses dur­ing the week of May 19th (see Class Schedule for details). Fees for the Summer Institute are due June 2; stu­dents expect­ing a finan­cial aid award for the Summer may be able to request a fee defer­ment from the College of eLearn­ing and Extended Education (CEEE) if nec­es­sary to arrange pay­ment at a later date before the Summer Institute. Please inquire at the CEEE Office (Student Business Services, 2nd floor), or call (707) 826‑3731.
  • After log­ging in to HSU, one of the resources (menu in top right) will be Moodle. Moodle is our online course deliv­ery sys­tem where you can find dis­cus­sion forums as well as course pages with syl­labi, etc… Course mate­ri­als for course you are reg­is­tered for may be avail­able prior to the begin­ning of each term.

Are you won­der­ing what you can do to pre­pare for the Summer Institute?

A great (and excit­ing) way to start the pro­gram on track would be to start think­ing about the topic that you would like to explore for your MA the­sis! You may have already iden­ti­fied a spe­cific topic/project in your state­ment of pur­pose, or you may still be refin­ing your ideas. Please take some time prior to the Summer Institute to con­sider research areas you are inter­ested in. When com­ing up with ideas, it might help to briefly list for each: (1) Your questions/hypotheses; (2) What meth­ods could address your ques­tions; (3) What elec­tive courses/internship expe­ri­ences might be use­ful for such a project; and (4) If the project could be com­pleted within a rea­son­able time­frame. You do not need to have your the­sis topic solid­i­fied prior to begin­ning the pro­gram, but it will be use­ful to have a strong idea of what direc­tion you are head­ing, and some poten­tial the­sis ideas on hand. Have fun with this!

Another way to start prepar­ing for the Summer Institute is to work on col­lect­ing arti­cles that relate to you area of inter­est. These will come in handy when you start build­ing your anno­tated bibliography.

Additional Information for Current Students

View infor­ma­tion about the Anthropology Department fac­ulty and facil­i­ties & resources.

Enrollment and Registration:

All incom­ing first-year stu­dents that have accepted admis­sions in the Student Center will be auto­mat­i­cally enrolled in both courses the Summer Institute courses (see Class Schedule for details). After the Summer Institute, stu­dents will choose to con­tinue as either full-time or part-time. Registration infor­ma­tion for Fall/Spring enroll­ment infor­ma­tion will be pro­vided dur­ing or prior to the Summer Institute and on the Class Schedule webpage.

MA stu­dents that would like to take non-program courses at HSU will need to reg­is­ter using the Open University pol­icy. MA stu­dents want­ing to take non-program courses are encour­aged to con­tact course instruc­tors prior to the begin­ning of the term to inform the instruc­tor of their inter­est in the course and inquire if a spot may be held. For more infor­ma­tion on cur­rent non-program courses, see the HSU Catalog and the HSU class sched­ule.

If the thesis/program require­ments are not expected to be com­pleted accord­ing to the stan­dard time­line, stu­dents are required to enroll in at least one unit (usu­ally Anth 690) each fall and spring until require­ments are com­pleted (to main­tain uni­ver­sity con­tin­u­ous enroll­ment require­ments). Extension of the­sis com­ple­tion dead­lines past the stan­dard time­line must also be approved by the advi­sor and Graduate Coordinator.

Students must file a for­mal Leave of Absence appli­ca­tion if they are unable to con­tinue enroll­ment. If a stu­dent needs to drop out of the cohort for any period of time, the stu­dent will be able to return to the pro­gram if the fol­low­ing pro­vi­sions are met (unless waived by suc­cess­ful peti­tion): (1) stu­dent was in good stand­ing at the time of sep­a­ra­tion, (2) advance notice was given if pos­si­ble, (3) evi­dence of poten­tial to suc­ceed upon return, (4) advi­sor approval, and (5) planned return within three years.

Students are advised to reg­u­larly con­sult the CEEE Calendar for impor­tant dates and deadlines.

Financial Aid:

In addi­tion to seek­ing exter­nal fund­ing, stu­dents are encour­aged to con­tact the HSU Financial Aid office for infor­ma­tion about avail­able grants, loans, schol­ar­ships and work study. See Program Costs and the FAFSA web­site for appli­ca­tion details and dead­lines. Graduate Studies also main­tains a list of Fellowships & Scholarships avail­able to grad­u­ate students.

Housing + Dining:

Students may apply to HSU Housing + Dining ser­vices to explore on and off-campus hous­ing options dur­ing the Summer Institute and any other time that they decide to reside on campus.

Field Placement (Internship):

Students are required to com­plete 180 hours of applied anthro­po­log­i­cal field work that may or may not be directly related to their the­sis. The field place­ment will fol­low the HSU Policies as indi­cated by the HSU Center for Service Learning and Academic Internships (CSLAI). The intern­ship will be arranged dur­ing the first fall semes­ter of the pro­gram as an inte­gral part of Anth 673, and it will usu­ally be com­pleted dur­ing the fol­low­ing Spring semes­ter (Anth 675). Additional infor­ma­tion is pro­vided in the Graduate Student Handbook and dur­ing Anth 673/675. The fol­low­ing forms will need to be completed:


All stu­dents are required to sub­mit a the­sis or project to their advi­sor. Students are guided through the process of the­sis devel­op­ment and writ­ing through­out the MA pro­gram, accord­ing to the fol­low­ing timeline:

  • Discuss and present poten­tial the­sis topic ideas (Summer Institute)
  • Establish the­sis chair and pre­lim­i­nary the­sis plan (Full-time 1st fall, Part-time 2nd Fall)
  • Form the­sis com­mit­tee, approval of the­sis topic and pro­posal (Full-time 1st Spring, Part-time 2nd Spring). Begin the­sis research.
  • Complete 6 units of Anth 690 while pre­sent­ing the­sis chap­ters to com­mit­tee (Beginning Full-time 2nd Fall, Part-time 3rd Spring).
  • Final the­sis approval by com­mit­tee and sub­mit­ted to HSU. In-person/Skype oral defense of the­sis before or directly after the­sis submission.

The Anthropology Department fol­lows the HSU guide­lines for the­sis for­mat­ting, as described on the Graduate Studies web­site under the­sis for­mat require­ments and the­sis examples/resources. Also see the  Thesis Evaluation Rubric (down­load as a word .doc).

Additional infor­ma­tion on the­sis require­ments is pro­vided in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Advisor & Thesis Committee:

Students will be assigned an advi­sor based on their inter­ests and fac­ulty avail­abil­ity. The advi­sor will usu­ally be the the­sis chair, unless the stu­dent, advi­sor, and pro­posed the­sis chair agree oth­er­wise. Students are gen­er­ally expected to work with the same advi­sor (and the­sis chair) for the dura­tion of the pro­gram, but stu­dents may switch to another advi­sor within the HSU Anthropology with the approval of the cur­rent advi­sor, pro­posed advi­sor, grad­u­ate coor­di­na­tor, and the­sis chair.

The typ­i­cal the­sis com­mit­tee will be com­prised of the the­sis chair (HSU Anthropology fac­ulty), plus one addi­tional HSU Anthropology fac­ulty member. A stu­dent may include a third com­mit­tee mem­ber with approval from the cur­rent the­sis com­mit­tee, advi­sor, and grad­u­ate coor­di­na­tor. Committee mem­bers that are not HSU Anthropology fac­ulty will gen­er­ally be approved if they hold a Ph.D. and an aca­d­e­mic position, or have equiv­a­lent exper­tise and experience.

A list of cur­rent HSU Anthropology fac­ulty and their research/teaching spe­cial­ties is avail­able here.

Research Tips:

  • Literature: Peer-reviewed books or jour­nals (peri­od­i­cals) should be your pri­mary sources. The HSU Library web­site and Google Scholar are good places to start search­ing. The HSU Library and Google Scholar are good places to start searching.
  • Internet: Be very cau­tious of non-peer-reviewed infor­ma­tion (e.g., Wiki and It is gen­er­ally not accept­able to cite non-peer-reviewed infor­ma­tion to sup­port claims in your the­sis; how­ever, such infor­ma­tion can be used to demon­strate other things, such as state of gen­eral knowl­edge on a topic. Please con­sult your instruc­tor, advi­sor, or the­sis com­mit­tee if you have any ques­tion as to the legit­i­macy of cit­ing this information.
  • ANY idea that is not yours must be cited within the text of your the­sis, and with a full cita­tion in your bibliography/works cited.

Online Environment & Resources:

After the Summer Institute, stu­dents under­take 30 units of course­work via online dis­tance learn­ing, either full-time (three 10-unit semes­ters) or part-time (six 4–6-unit semes­ters). The online course­work will be pri­mar­ily asyn­chro­nous, mean­ing that stu­dents will have flex­i­bil­ity in plan­ning days and times to view course materials/lectures and com­plete assign­ments each week.  Students are not required to be on cam­pus after the Summer Institute, but those who would like to are wel­comed and will have access to depart­men­tal facilities.

All resources avail­able to on cam­pus stu­dents are also avail­able to stu­dents tak­ing online courses. The Student Center has numer­ous resources, includ­ing the abil­ity to check tran­scripts, grades, reg­is­tra­tion dates, and many more items online.

There are numer­ous online sup­port services. Some of these include:


After log­ging in to the HSU main web­site, one of the resources (menu in top right) will be Moodle. Moodle is our online course deliv­ery sys­tem where you can find dis­cus­sion forums as well as course pages with syl­labi, required read­ings, and other mate­ri­als. Moodle sites for courses you are reg­is­tered for will be avail­able at the begin­ning of each term.

Career Services:

The Career Center web site includes resources that help stu­dents to explore careers, includ­ing job search tools, search engines, and help prepar­ing resumes and plan­ning for inter­views. The site on the Center web­site enables stu­dents to find jobs based on geog­ra­phy, cul­ture, area of focus, job func­tion and so on. Students have access 24/7 to the online job board. The Center has also estab­lished a Facebook page that has reg­u­lar updates on career events and jobs. Center staff can work with stu­dents at a dis­tance in review­ing drafts of resumes and cover let­ters using tele­phone and E-Mail Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Alumni Office also offers inter­view coach­ing (mock interviews).


Students have access to the library web­site where they may access numer­ous resources. The library pro­vides a wide range of sup­ports and access for dis­tance stu­dents. Interlibrary loan enables fac­ulty and stu­dents to access sources nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally.  Document deliv­ery is sent via E-Mail.  E-books are avail­able that can be searched, high­lighted and notated. Every stu­dent is assigned a library account where searches, mate­ri­als and notes can be stored and accessed online. A com­plete list of ser­vices specif­i­cally for grad­u­ate stu­dents is linked here.

Ethical Conduct:

Students are required to main­tain pro­fes­sional con­duct and abide by eth­i­cal stan­dards, in all aspects of and activ­i­ties related to the pro­gram, in anthro­po­log­i­cal research and activ­i­ties, and in all sit­u­a­tions where they rep­re­sent the pro­gram and dis­ci­pline. The depart­ment reserves the right to dis­miss from the pro­gram a stu­dent who does not abide by these rules. Please con­tact the Institutional Review Board for poli­cies and pro­ce­dures for all projects/research involv­ing human sub­jects, and the IACUC for projects/research involv­ing non­hu­man ani­mal subjects.

HSU Graduate Studies, Current Students

Anthropology Faculty & Staff

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Graduate Student Handbook