Jul 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Historical Archaeology, MA

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Degree Requirements

Students must complete 36 credits for the MA degree. Students will complete eight 3‑credit courses (three required and five elective), participate in graduate field training in archaeology, and complete a master’s thesis. The three required courses are


The five elective courses may be drawn from several other courses in Anthropology, as well as from selected offerings in History and allied departments on a limited basis. The 6-credit graduate field course, ANTH 685 , is usually completed in the summer following the first year of the program or upon first entry, except in the rare instance when students can demonstrate sufficient field training to waive this requirement. If a waiver is approved, students must take six credits of additional elective courses to ensure meeting the 36-credit minimum. Students are expected to complete course work in three or four semesters and complete the thesis in one to four semesters thereafter through enrollment in ANTH 699  (Thesis Research).

Completion of a thesis is the capstone requirement for the Historical Archaeology degree. Every student must produce a thesis based on original research, typically using archaeological data, but also involving primary documents, oral history, and/or ethnographic field results. Thesis research and writing are accomplished with the guidance of a faculty advisor, following approval of the thesis proposal by the graduate committee. For the thesis, a length of 70-90 pages, exclusive of bibliography, is recommended, but individual theses will vary in length. The thesis should be structured in the form of a long, refereed journal article, although this is an ideal model that can vary according to individual circumstances. The completed thesis will be read and approved by a committee of three, consisting of the advisor and two other readers chosen in consultation among the advisor, the student, and the Graduate Program Director. At least two of the three readers must be members of the Anthropology Department faculty or Fiske Center senior staff, but the remaining reader may come from other UMass Boston departments (for example, History or American Studies) or from a limited range of off-campus scholars with the approval of the thesis committee. More details can be found in the graduate program’s “Handbook,” which can be downloaded from the Anthropology Department’s website at: http://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/anthropology/grad/ma

Additional Requirements

All students are assigned a graduate advisor upon entering the program based on stated interests and faculty availability. The majority of students are admitted to the master’s program on a full-time basis. It is expected that all students have a thesis proposal approved by the Graduate Committee by the end of their third year or risk being placed on academic probation. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of the student’s first enrollment.

Each student in the Historical Archaeology Program must pass an oral thesis defense before being awarded the master’s degree. The thesis will be defended in front of the three-person thesis committee described above, with a corresponding public presentation to the department and program. A student who fails may repeat the examination no more than two times at intervals of not less than three months. A student who has not passed the defense within two calendar years from the date upon which it was first attempted will be subject to dismissal from the program.

Graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 overall GPA; within the Historical Archaeology MA Program, any grade below B- is not considered to be a passing grade and will not count toward degree requirements.

Admission Requirements

Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions ” section of this publication.

Note that this graduate program requires three (3) letters of recommendation (preferably from a student’s former or current professors who can attest to their academic abilities) and asks that all applicants submit one (1) statement of intent of approximately 1,000 words that includes reasons for pursuing a graduate degree, information on preparation for undertaking the degree, and specific interests that the applicant would like to pursue in this graduate program.

Applicants must submit evidence that they are able to perform graduate work at a high level of competence. Preference is given to students who can demonstrate proficient research skills, strong analytical writing, previous field or laboratory experience, and a thorough sense of the discipline. The strongest applicants are those who have completed an undergraduate archaeological field school. In addition, our goal as a graduate program is to create broader representation in archaeology through research, teaching, and mentoring students from varied backgrounds, life experiences, and under-represented communities nationally and internationally. Applicants for the program will normally be expected to have maintained at least a 3.2 cumulative average in undergraduate courses, with a major in anthropology, archaeology, history, historic preservation, or other related field that includes sufficient archaeology course work. The more successful applicants tend to be those with a grade point average of 3.5 or better, particularly in their undergraduate major. Applicants must also present satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to be considered for admission and funding. Submission of a writing sample is highly recommended.

Please see more details at http://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/anthropology/grad/ma/requirements

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