Graduate Program Anthropology

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Anthropology Master's Degree Overview

A graduate degree in anthropology at PSU allows you to dig deep into anthropology and pursue one of the subfields: biological anthropology, archaeology, or sociocultural anthropology. or develop a project that cross-cuts the subfields.

Students have the option of choosing either the thesis track, the internship track, or the skills-based track (courses + comprehensive exams).

Our curriculum includes over 60 courses for students who want to learn more about the field. Our courses address a huge range of topics and emphasize writing, critical thinking, research methods, and ethics. We offer:

  • lecture-type classes
  • online courses
  • small seminar-discussion classes
  • lab-based classes (zooarchaeology, artifact/feature analysis, human osteology, paleoanthropology)
  • training in ethnographic methods including ethics and protocols for working with human subjects
  • field-based courses, such as the Fort Vancouver Archaeological Field School and the Primatology Field School at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve in western Florida

PSU offers a Bachelor's + Master's Program in Anthropology. Undergraduate Anthropology students may be admitted directly into the parallel Anthropology master’s program (i.e., BA students for the MA, and BS students for the MS) and share up to 20 graduate-level credits (five 4-credit courses) between their bachelor's and master’s degrees.

Degree Details

  • M
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Anthropology Master's Degree: Why PSU?

You’ll graduate from one of the nation’s top 10 “most innovative” universities with a Master’s degree from a program established in 1959.

Our diverse campus is located in the center of downtown Portland, one of the most vibrant cities on the West Coast. Our deep community connections give you unmatched opportunities for hands-on learning and research.

PSU anthropologists have compiled a long record of research, teaching, and community involvement. Among its distinguished former faculty was Wayne Suttles, the premier 20th-century ethnographer and linguist of the Northwest Coast.

Our department is committed to research and scholarship in “applied anthropology” – where anthropological scholarly products address “real world” problems; and knowledge is returned to the peoples and places where the research is conducted. Our work contributes to public policy and answering questions about significant cultural, social, and environmental issues.

What can I do with a master's degree in Anthropology?

Our program has had great success placing students in a range of settings: government agencies (U.S. Department of Transportation, National Park Service, Oregon State Police, Peace Corps), private corporations (Intel, ICF-International), non-governmental organizations, and others (Oregon Health Sciences University).

Featured Courses

  • ANTH 511 Core Seminar in Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 550 Core Seminar in Archaeology
  • ANTH 570 Core Seminar in Physical Anthropology
  • ANTH 512 Research Methods in Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 515 Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 552 Archaeological Lab Methods
  • ANTH 453 Archaeological Field Methods


  • ANTH 517 Advanced Topics in Native American Studies
  • ANTH 518 Environmental Anthropology
  • ANTH 526 Transnationalism and Migration
  • ANTH 528 Political Anthropology
  • ANTH 532 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 578 Human Osteology


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).