Graduate opportunities

The Master of Science or Master of Arts degree in Applied Anthropology teaches you to take informed and thoughtful action as a street-level practitioner, administrator, agency-based researcher or program evaluator. A dual degree is also available in Applied Anthropology and Public Health through a cooperative effort with the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. The master’s programs also prepare you to enter a doctoral program.

The Department of Anthropology offers several unique advantages including:

  • Many opportunities to collaborate on projects with a variety of organizations including corporations and social service agencies
  • Faculty members who are applied anthropologists with geographic focuses on Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, Oceania and the Middle East
  • Flexibility to take classes online or on campus (We offer the nation’s first online master’s program in Applied Anthropology.)
  • Faculty members who are engaged in building networks around the diverse applications of anthropology locally, in the North Texas region and beyond
  • Prime location in one of the nation’s largest urban areas for applied research projects such as those involving health issues of ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees from all over the world

In addition to their geographic expertise, our faculty members have extensive backgrounds in bilingual education, health, migration, race and ethnicity and sustainable communities. Some of their research has explored:

  • Environmental health and sustainability
  • Factors that influence food insecurity
  • Outreach and educational attainment of Latinos
  • Refugee and asylum seekers
  • Place making and the urban environment
  • Virtual communication and collaboration in the workplace

Areas of interest

Students are not required to choose a specific track, but the department offers several areas of interest.

Anthropology of Education focuses on understanding various aspects related to the educational process. It explores the connection between culture and education in a variety of contexts, paying particular attention to concerns related to teaching and learning.

Business, Technology and Design Anthropology includes the areas of organizational analysis and change, teams, user-centered design, marketing, communication in the workplace, human-computer interaction, consumer behavior, diversity and globalization. We work with both the private sector and the nonprofit sector. The North Texas region offers opportunities for partnerships with a wide variety of organizations.

Crossing Borders addresses the experiences of immigrants and refugees through an emphasis on the politics and policing of mobility across cultural and physical borders. Special focus on the relationships between migration and the formation/negotiation of identities, such as religion, gender, ethnicity, race, class, caste, nationality and sexual orientation in transnational, national, local and global contexts.

Environmental and Ecological Anthropology includes community-based conservation of natural and cultural resources, cultural landscapes/ seascapes, indigenous peoples and protected areas, spiritual ecology, traditional ecological knowledge, human ecology, sustainable development, ethnoecology, political ecology, environmental justice, world views concerning the environment and globalization and environmental policy.

Medical Anthropology includes public health, health care delivery, indigenous medicine and the health issues of ethnic minorities, migrants and/or refugees. Students have access to the affiliated UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In addition, the North Texas region provides innumerable opportunities for students interested in the health issues of ethnic minorities, migrants and/or refugees from all over the world.

Urban Anthropology focuses on social phenomena in cities with an emphasis on the relationship between spatial, cultural, and political-economic structures and the everyday life of people. Applications include policy, planning, social and health services, education, labor and migration, technology, business, ecology and community relations.

Attending UNT

Admission process

You’ll need to meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School® and specific program requirements. These requirements can be found at tgs.unt.edu and anthropology.unt.edu/graduate-programs-overview.

You must submit two separate applications to be considered for the program -- one to the graduate school and one to the department. You will be asked to provide:

  • Completed ApplyTexas application form
  • Completed departmental application form
  • Transcripts of all attended colleges
  • Statement of purpose
  • Scholarly writing sample from your undergraduate career or any research you have completed since graduation
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic record

Adequate subject preparation in anthropology is a requirement for application. If accepted into the program with fewer than 12 credit hours in the subject, you will need to take an online prerequisite leveling course.

Degree requirements

If you are pursuing the M.A. you’ll need to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. If you are pursuing the M.S. you’re required to take a course in an additional skill appropriate to your specialty as part of the 36 required credit hours. Both degrees require the completion of:

  • 15 credit hours of core courses
  • 15 credit hours of electives
  • 6 credit hours of applied thesis

The M.S./M.P.H. dual degree requires 63 credit hours, including the applied thesis. Specific course requirements and descriptions are available at the catalog.

Financial assistance

The department funds a number of scholarships and tuition waivers to help you pursue your master’s degree. The graduate committee recommends nominees based on their first-year status and academic achievements. On-campus students must take at least nine credit hours, while online students must take at least six credit hours.

Several teaching assistant and grader positions are also available.

Visit the anthropology website for more information about financial assistance. You can also visit the financial aid site for additional information.

Faculty

Jara Carrington, Senior Lecturer; Ph.D., University of New Mexico. Gender; sexuality; migration; citizenship; social movements; activism; NGOs; US.

Doug Henry Associate Professor; Ph.D., Southern Methodist University. Medical anthropology; refugee and immigrant health; international and public health; demographic impacts of culture change; disaster relief; violence; culture of sleep disorders; cannabinoids and risk; Africa.

Lisa Henry,, Professor and Department Chair; Ph.D., Southern Methodist University. Cross-cultural health beliefs and treatments; health care decision making and alternative medicine; evaluation of health care delivery in hospitals and clinics; patient response and compliance to treatment plan; curriculum evaluation in medical schools; food insecurity.

Jamie K. Johnson, Senior Lecturer; Ph.D., Syracuse University. Urban anthropology; architecture and urban planning; development; organizational culture; material culture; gender; tourism; water-energy nexus; India.

Karine Narahara, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Environmental Anthropology; Ethnographic Theory; Latin America; Native American; Afro-Indigenous relations; decolonial anthropology.

Andrew Nelson, Assistant Professor and Graduate Programs Director; Ph.D., University of Virginia. Space and social relations; migration; urban planning; architecture; media; Nepal.

Mariela Nuñez-Janes, Professor; Ph.D., University of New Mexico. Anthropology of education; Latinx and immigrant education; critical and feminist pedagogies; youth-led activism and community organizing; community engagement; action research and participatory methodologies.

Alicia Re Cruz, Professor; Ph.D., University of New York at Albany. Migrants and refugees; displacement; border studies; Hispanic culture and society; Latin America; Mesoamerican culture; Maya culture and society; rural-urban migration; social change; tourism; transnationalism; peasant societies.

Susan Squires, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Boston University. Organizational culture; design anthropology; research theory and methodology in business and design; practicing anthropology.

Christina Wasson, Professor; Ph.D., Yale University. Design anthropology; participatory design; user-centered design; virtual communication and collaboration; archives for Indigenous communities; autonomous vehicles.