Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, we offer thesis-based MA and PhD programs, both of which require ethnographic fieldwork. We also offer a coursework-based MA program which does not involve fieldwork and is designed to be completed in 12 months.

The research interests of faculty members are diverse and the department is capable of supervising graduate research projects in areas such as: political anthropology and the anthropology of the state; economic anthropology; social inequality; globalization; labour; migration; war and violence; social movements; gender; historical anthropology; international development; political ecology; science and technology studies; fisheries and aquaculture; extractive industries; symbolic anthropology; religion and ritual; the anthropology of art and literature; education; and tourism. Please visit the faculty profiles on this website for further details about faculty research expertise.

Graduate student field sites have included England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Russia, Norway, Iceland, Bangladesh, Singapore, South Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, and Jamaica, as well as various locations in the United States and Canada. For more information about the research interests of our current graduate students, please visit our graduate student profiles page. You may also wish to consult the list of theses and major research papers completed by graduate students in the department.

With a current enrolment of 12 in the MA program and 14 in the PhD program and a mix of Canadian and international students, our graduate program is vibrant and growing. Our students benefit from the fact that we are a small department, which places a high priority on student supervision. Many of our former graduate students have gone on to become professional anthropologists. Others have used anthropology to build careers in fields such as journalism, filmmaking, and public policy.

Memorial University offers competitive funding packages to academically eligible full-time graduate students, both Canadian and international. Our students also have a strong record of obtaining additional funding, both from competitions within the university and from independent organizations, such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), and the Wenner Gren Foundation.

Graduate students at Memorial have access to a world class university library which houses numerous special collections dealing with Atlantic Canada and Western Europe. These include those stored at the Maritime History Archive, the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Many visiting scholars have remarked that Memorial's outstanding library resources more than compensate for its relative geographic isolation from larger research centres.

In recent decades, the Department has placed a strong emphasis on the use of film and video in our research projects. A number of graduate students have been able to produce ethnographic films to accompany their thesis research projects. 

Please consult the following pages for specific information about each of our programs:

Graduate applicants interested in research-based programs are strongly encouraged to connect with a faculty supervisor at the time of application. Visit the Department of Anthropology website for a list of faculty members, their research interests, and contact information.

For general information about pursuing graduate studies at Memorial, please refer to the following pages:

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Graduate Program Co-ordinator.


Anthropology graduate courses: 

For additional course infomation such as slot, room number, and instructor, see our upcoming courses database. 

Language and Culture (ANTH 6210)

Language and Culture examines the constitutive role of language in the formation of social categories and institutions. Through critical analysis of communication, students will investigate how personhood, identity, community, difference, space and time, meaning and organization of social life are made and unmade. It is preferable but not necessary that students have some familiarity with the foundational texts in linguistic anthropology (Peirce, Saussure, Boas, Sapir, Whorf, Bakhtin, Jacobson, Silverstein, Gal, Irvine etc.)

Anthropological Theory (ANTH 6412)

Course description forthcoming.

Graduate Seminar (ANTH 6890)

Everyone can name books and articles they loved and others they wish they’d never had to read. What makes the difference? Why are some pieces of writing riveting and others excruciating? How does written form relate to substantive content? This term in ANTH 6890, we will focus on a variety of approaches to writing anthropology, a discipline described as the most humanistic of the social sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. Among other genres, we will explore auto-ethnography and anthropological memoir, journalistic anthropology, and anthropological essays. We will approach anthropological writing as a craft that can be learned and improved, tacking between attentive reading of anthropological texts and small experiments in writing anthropological prose.