MA, MSc, and PhD Program Requirements

For detailed description of graduate programs, please refer to the Department of Anthropology Graduate Student HandbookProspective students may also find the Department’s Anthropology and Diversity statement and Statement on Anti-Black Racism useful in considering the commitments of our programs.

Program Requirements


Degree of Master of Arts and Master of Science

The Department offers two graduate programs at the master’s level — Master of Arts and Master of Science. The Master of Arts degree program is offered in the five sub-fields of Anthropology, and the Master of Science is normally offered in archaeology, medical and evolutionary anthropology. Both programs begin with broad-based training in Anthropology and proceed to more specialized work, culminating in the completion of a research paper on a specific topic. Upon admission, students are assigned an Advisor.

Time to completion of Master’s programs

  • MA—“normally 12 months”. Students can register for up to three years
  • MSc—“normally 2 years”. Students can register for up to three years

EXTENSIONS

A maximum of three one-year extensions are allowed by SGS:

  1. Two extensions can be granted within the department. The third requires SGS and department approval
  2. Extensions are not automatic
  3. Students can be “terminated” after three extensions or if extensions are not approved

Master of Arts Program Requirements

The Master of Arts program normally extends over a 12-month period lasting from September to August, with formal instruction being offered from September to April. Collaborative Specializations may take longer. The MA program may also be taken on a part-time basis, however, part-time students are not eligible for Base Funding. Students are strongly urged to take the 12-month MA if they are considering applying for the PhD program in Anthropology at the University of Toronto.

Program Requirements:

Coursework: Students must complete 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

  • 0.5 FCE: ANT3047H – ​Evolutionary Anthropology Theory or ANT4010H – ​Archaeology in Contemporary Society or ANT6100H – History of Anthropological Thought.
    • Note: Archaeology Students are welcome to also take ANT4020H Archaeology Theory.
  • 1.0 FCE: ANT2000Y – MA Research Paper *
  • 2.0 additional FCEs (four half courses), of which at least 1.0 FCE must be in Anthropology
  • Exceptions to coursework requirements must be approved by the advisor and Associate Chair-Graduate.

*ANT 2000Y – MA Research Paper (1.0 FCE) – Normally, students enroll in ANT 2000Y with their advisor. When a student is ready to submit a master’s research paper, the advisor, in consultation with the student, selects a second reader (normally, a faculty member in anthropology). The final mark for the master’s research paper is determined jointly by the advisor and the second reader. The advisor submits the final mark, along with the name of the second reader, to the Graduate Office.

Convocation: Master’s candidates wishing to graduate at a particular Convocation must ensure that all requirements have been completed in time for degree convocation.

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Master of Science Program Requirements

The Master of Science program extends over a two-year period and would normally be expected to be completed in the summer of the second year. Collaborative Specializations may take longer. The MSc program may also be taken on a part-time basis, however, part-time students are not eligible for Base Funding. This program may be appropriate for students who are considering careers in consulting archaeology, some aspects of medical or forensic anthropology, NGO work, or application to PhD programs in Anthropology at other universities.

Program Requirements:

Coursework: Students must complete 4.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

  • 0.5 FCE: ANT3047H – Evolutionary Anthropology Theory or ANT4010H Archaeology in Contemporary Society or ANT6100H – History of Anthropological Thought
    • Note: Archaeology Students are welcome to also take ANT4020H – Archaeology Theory.
  • 1.0 FCE: ANT2500Y – MSc Research Paper *
  • 3.0 additional FCEs (six half courses): of which 1.5 FCEs will normally be science courses in archaeology, evolutionary anthropology, medical anthropology, or related disciplines depending on the student’s program
  • Exceptions to coursework requirements must be approved by the advisor and Associate Chair-Graduate.

*ANT2500Y – MSc Research Paper (1.0 FCE) – Normally, students enroll in ANT 2500Y with their advisor. When a student is ready to submit a master’s research paper, the advisor, in consultation with the student, selects a second reader (normally, a faculty member in anthropology). The final mark for the master’s research paper is determined jointly by the advisor and the second reader. The advisor submits the final mark, along with the name of the second reader, to the Graduate Office.

Convocation: Master’s candidates wishing to graduate at a particular Convocation must ensure that all requirements have been completed in time for degree convocation.

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Doctor of Philosophy Program – Direct-Entry and Regular Stream

An individual program of study is designed for each student to ensure competence in a field of research culminating in the writing of a thesis. Research will normally involve “field work”, in the broad meaning of the term, and theoretical analysis. Upon admission, each student is initially assigned to a Faculty Advisor. An Advisory Committee (faculty advisor and two other graduate faculty members) will be set up for each doctoral student within the first year of the program. After acceptance of the thesis proposal, a Supervisor and Core Committee are appointed. At least one member of the core committee, in addition to the advisor/supervisor, is required to hold a graduate faculty appointment in the Anthropology Department.

PhD students may enroll in a Collaborative Program as approved by the Department.

Residence Requirement

Each student is expected to spend a minimum of one year on campus.

Course Requirements

Students in the PhD program are required to take one of the following courses as part of their full course load:  

  • ANT3047H – Evolutionary Anthropology Theory
  • ANT4020H – Archaeology Theory
  • ANT6006H – ​Genealogies of Anthropological Thought

Note 1: SCL students are strongly recommended to take ANT6150H - Proposing Ethnographic Research in year 2. Students should consult with their advisors about
appropriate methods training.

Note 2: Archaeology students are welcome to also take ANT4010H Archaeology in Contemporary Society.

Note 3: All students are strongly recommended to take the appropriate Dissertation Writing Seminar after field and lab work is completed

Regular Stream PhD program - Students who enter the PhD program from a MA or MSc degree program are entering a four-year funded PhD program. They will take a minimum of 3.0 full-year graduate course equivalents (FCE), Students will need to attain at least an A- average in their course work to continue in the PhD program in good standing. Of the 3.0 FCE, 1.5 FCE must be in anthropology. Exceptions require approval of the Supervisor and Associate Chair-Graduate.

Direct-Entry Stream PhD program - Students who enter the PhD program from a Bachelors equivalent degree program are entering a five-year funded PhD program. They will take a minimum of 5.0 full-year graduate course equivalents (FCE), of which three will normally be taken in the first year. The remaining two FCE can be taken in the second year when the work on the research proposal is also expected to begin. Students will need to attain an annual average of at least A- to continue in the PhD program in good standing. Of the 5.0 FCE, 2.5 FCE must be in anthropology. Exceptions require approval of the Supervisor and Associate Chair-Graduate.

Students and faculty should be familiar with the University of Toronto Rules regarding graduate student supervision

They should also be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct regarding conflict of interest, sexual harassment, and other matters.

Language Requirements

Students must demonstrate an adequate knowledge of at least one language other than English, unless their program of study requires the intensive and time-consuming mastery of another research tool. All students must indicate to the department by the end of their first year of graduate study how they propose to satisfy the language requirement. Demonstration of adequate language or equivalent knowledge can be accomplished in a variety of ways, a list of which is available in the Department of Anthropology Graduate Student Handbook.

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Collaborative Specializations

The Department of Anthropology offers graduate studies in collaboration with various departments and institutes across the University. For these specializations, students must first be admitted to a graduate program in the Department. Many of the Collaborative Specialization requirements fulfill Anthropology degree requirements, e.g., as elective courses. Courses in a Collaborative Specialization may, however, exceed minimum degree requirements in Anthropology. Please refer to the SGS Collaborative Specializations for listings to departmental contacts.

Below are the current list of specializations available to graduate students within the field of Anthropology:

  • Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course
  • Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies
  • Development Policy and Power
  • Diaspora and Transnational Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethnic and Pluralism Studies
  • Food Studies
  • Global Health (U of T Global Scholar)
  • Indigenous Health
  • Jewish Studies
  • Mediterranean Archaeology
  • Sexual Diversity Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Women’s Health

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