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Resources for Programs: Session Summary

The Ideal Preparation for Admission to MA and PhD Programs in Applied Anthropology: A Roundtable Discussion with Graduate Faculty Members

Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting, 2013

Organizers

Faith R. Warner (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) and Lisa Henry (University of North Texas)

Discussants

DeeAnne Wymer and Gabrielle Vielhaeur (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania)

Participant Institutions

University of South Florida (Nancy Romero-Daza); University of North Texas (Doug Henry); IUPUI (Wendy Vogt); University of Kansas (Don Stull); Oregon State University (Nancy Rosenberger); Northern Arizona University (Robert Trotter); University of Memphis (Linda Bennett; Keri Brondo).

Other participants included undergraduate students, graduate students, and university faculty. Approximately 60 individuals participated in the roundtable discussion.

Summary

Graduate program representatives were asked to comment on the following questions. Given the time constraints of the session the comments and responses largely focused on the first, fourth, and fifth questions.

1. What should undergraduate faculty do to enhance their programs in order to better prepare students to be accepted into your programs?
2. Do you prefer that students enter your graduate programs directly after completing their undergraduate degrees?
3. How important are GREs and GPAs, and how do your programs assess these measures?
4. What type of practical experience makes for a stronger applicant to your program?
5. How much value do you place on an applicant’s record on research experience, presentations at conferences, and publications?
6. How much value do you place on undergraduate coursework in programs outside of anthropology?

The remarks made by the participants tended to be quite similar and are summarized below.

Responses to opening of session and Question #1 (What should undergraduate faculty do to enhance their programs in order to better prepare students to be accepted into your programs?):

Responses to Question #2 (Do you prefer that students enter your graduate programs directly after completing their undergraduate degrees?):

In response to a question about whether students should let the graduate programs know that they require financial assistance, most of the representatives felt that it was appropriate for the student to indeed indicate this need. Discussion over the issue of financial aid revealed quite a lot of variability in terms of what is available to students. For the most part, students should expect to pay at least a part of their graduate school expenses, even if their receive assistantships or fellowships.

Response to Question #3 (How important are GREs and GPAs and how do your programs assess these measures?):

Ideal applicants should be “brilliant, committed, experienced, and engaged.” Finally, graduate programs are actively seeking a diverse applicant body, so one area that undergraduate programs can help is to increase the diversity of their own anthropology student population.

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Susan Hyatt
Co-Chair, COPAA
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
IUPUI
Cavanaugh Hall 413
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317-278-4548
suhyatt@iupui.edu