A group of students looking over a canyon


Study Humankind in the Cultures of the World

Program Information

Master of Arts in Anthropology program covers a diverse range of specializations within the traditional four fields of anthropology with a geographic emphasis on the Pacific Rim. Small cohorts and individualized mentoring for graduate students are strengths of the program. Graduate students are encouraged to develop applied theses grounded in strong theoretical frameworks. Recent theses have focused on issues such as homelessness, health, human rights, language identity, and immigration in communities locally, regionally, and abroad. Archaeology theses typically focus on the Pacific Northwest, taking advantage of legacy collections held by the department.

Faculty Areas of Specialization


  • Provide structured training in academic core, appropriate specialization courses, and experience conducting independent research
  • Prepare students for a variety of professional careers utilizing anthropology (e.g. social services, international corporations, cultural resource management, forensics, public health)
  • Prepare students for PhD programs or other advanced degrees

Application Requirements

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
  • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
  • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Statement of Purpose: 
    • Submit a statement of purpose (1000 words, maximum) describing your motivation for graduate study, research interests, and potential advisors. We encourage you to specifically address (1) why you are pursuing a MA in Anthropology, (2) your professional plans after completing your MA or how an MA will help your future career, and (3) why you think the MA program at Western Washington University suits you in particular. Finally, (4) identify three potential faculty research advisors and justify your choices.