Anthropology and Education MA

Master of Arts in Anthropology and Education


The master program in Anthropology and Education is concerned with the cultural, social and linguistic dimensions of education. Our program offers insight to better understand inequalities, cultural differences, linguistic diversity, and the wealth of human life for educational purposes. We examine educational processes in schools and classrooms, in families, on street corners, in community centers, in churches, and in all other non-conventional education settings.

Anthropology is well positioned to answer some of the toughest questions of education and policy-making because of its emphasis on spending time with and learning from people. The program highlights participatory ethnography: engaging in and observing human activities and conversing with people as a means of improving education and collaborating with local groups and organizations. As one of the only master programs in Anthropology and Education in the world, we offer a unique outlook on how to understand and support diverse approaches to education in and outside the classroom.

In addition to core Anthropology courses, we encourage our students to take courses with other departments and program at Teachers College and Columbia University, more generally. For example, many of our students take courses in the International and Comparative Education, Technology in Education, and Applied Linguistics programs.

Our program offers students related courses and concentrations in a highly individualized fashion. We strive to maintain smaller entering cohorts in order to magnify every student’s experience. Our students choose a concentration that most aptly fits their research or professional interests, while faculty work with students to create a course schedule that support these interests. Below is a list of concentrations that students can choose from:

For more information about the requirements for our Master Programs, click below:

Master of Arts (MA) Degree Requirements

Integrative Project (IP) Requirements

Anthropology Program Handbook

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Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 32
  • Entry Terms: Spring, Summer, Fall

Application Deadlines

Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
SpringNovember 15, 2023November 15, 2023N/A
SummerJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024N/A
FallJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024N/A

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

 Requirement
 Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
 Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
 Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
 $75 Application Fee
 Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

View Full Catalog Listing

The Master of Arts degree program in Anthropology and Education offers a disciplinary approach that carefully explores and contributes to the analysis and understanding of educational processes in all settings where education may proceed.

Administrators, counselors, evaluators, and research associates can improve their work through learning how anthropological methods are applied to educational problems, policy, and practice. Students should choose an area of emphasis from Urban Education or Ethnographic Methods for Education Analysis.

The program requires at least five courses (15 points minimum) in anthropology; courses (9 points) in Complementary/Other Concentration Courses (International & Comparative Education, applied linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology); and four other courses (8-9 points) that directly contribute to the emerging professional interest of the candidate or practical courses relative to future professional settings. The M.A. program requires an integrative project in addition to the 32-point program. M.A. students are also required to attend a bi-weekly one-hour MA Advising and Career Workshop, also to assist with the IP, for noncredit.

To satisfy program breadth requirements, master's students must complete two Teachers College courses (for this purpose a course is defined as one in which at least 3 points are earned) outside the major program.

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