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American University — College of Arts and Sciences - Anthropology

Program Type:
Master's International
College of Arts and Sciences - Anthropology
Degrees Awarded:
Public Anthropology (MA)
Admissions Deadlines:

January 15 for graduate study beginning the following fall term. Earlier submission of application materials is strongly recommended.  

Admissions Cycle:

Fall term admission recommended, although arrangements for spring term admission can be made in exceptional cases.

Program Start:
Late August (for fall term)
Program Founded:
August, 2013


The American University Anthropology Master's International track enables graduate students to earn an MA in public anthropology and complete a Peace Corps placement over the course of three years. Upon completion of the program, graduates are ready to enter the job market with excellent academic credentials, significant overseas experience, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer status.


Graduate students gain problem-solving knowledge in areas of health, education, environment, international development, human rights, and social justice. The combined master's program and Peace Corps placement gives students opportunities for experiential learning and increases students understanding of global issues.


Tuition costs are waived for course credits earned during Peace Corps placement (6 of 30 required hours, 20% reduction in cost). The Harvey & Sarah Moore Scholarship can offset additional tuition costs. Work study placements are available for eligible students while in residence and the Financial Aid Office assists with federal financial aid packages.


The international track includes two semesters of academic study,  a two-year Peace Corps assignment, and a final semester for completing course work and other requirements.

The program uses a public anthropology/social justice framework to prepare participants for service in one of three areas: environment and ecology, health and wellness, and community-centered education.  The core foundation of coursework is in contemporary theory in culture, power, and history and anthropological research. All courses emphasize problem-solving for social change. Courses in related academic units are also available, particularly the Department of Sociology, the School of Education, Teaching, and Health and the Public Health Program.

Students hold an internship for credit related to their anticipated Peace Corps placement to ensure that participants have practical experience in their area of interest. Ordinarily this internship is completed during the second semester of coursework. 

Each participant is assigned an anthropology faculty member as an academic advisor and maintains that relationship on campus and (through e-mail/Skype or other means) during Peace Corps placement. Working with the advisor, each participant develops an academic project related to the Peace Corps placement, and the write-up of that project during the final semester in residence satisfies the MA program’s “nonthesis option” requirement.

For more information about the degree requirements and timeline, visit: http://www.american.edu/cas/anthropology/mip-requirements.cfm


University requirements for admission include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; 3.0 GPA in last 60 hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate work and scores from the GRE General Aptitude test. 

Admission is based on a review of the academic record, letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work, a writing sample (e.g., a term paper) and a personal statement explaining your interests in Peace Corps placement and how admission to our MA international track will support these interests. 

For inquiries about Master's International, call 855.855.1961 x1812.

Program Contacts

If you have questions, please contact:
Adrienne Pine, PhD
Coordinator, Peace Corps MA-International Track

Department of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology American University CAS-Anthropology 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Hamilton - 202A Washington, District of Columbia 20016
Washington, District of Columbia 20016