The Department of Anthropology is unfortunately not accepting new applications to our MSTS program in Fall 2020 or Fall 2021. PhD students currently enrolled at UCI are still able to complete the requirements and receive the MA degree.


The Department of Anthropology offers a Masters of Arts concentration in the School of Social Sciences focused on Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies, informally known as the M.A. in MSTS. Students who complete the program will earn an M.A. in Social Sciences (Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies).

This degree is the only terminal M.A. degree in either medical anthropology or science and technology studies in the University of California system. The program recognizes that these two fields and the social phenomena they examine are inextricably linked, and flexible course offerings provide students with an opportunity to pursue projects that focus on either field or that bridge both areas of study.
Ethnographers of medicine, science, and technology are in high demand, and the M.A. in MSTS will enable students to respond to the significant and rapidly changing impact of medicine, science, and technology upon economies and societies around the world. The program helps to prepare students for a range of employment opportunities in academia, public health, technology industries, and the nonprofit sector.

The program is administered by the Department of Anthropology, but draws on the expertise of faculty across the Irvine campus.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements

The M.A. in MSTS is a one-year program. Students will take three courses per quarter for a total of nine courses (36 units). All courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.

Required courses include:

  1. Anthropology 204A: Proseminar in Medicine, Science, and Technology (4 units)
  2. Eight elective courses (32 units) that may include:
    • Approved graduate courses in the Anthropology department
    • An internship, independent study, or directed reading (up to 4 units)
    • Up to two electives may be approved upper-division undergraduate courses in the Anthropology department
    • Up to two electives may be approved courses taken outside the Anthropology department
    • Up to two electives may be Anthropology Methods courses: Anthro 215A: Ethnographic Methods; or Anthro 215B: Research Design (4 units)


Approval for additional courses (as well as those offered outside of the Anthropology department) may be requested using the course petition form. Courses at other UC campuses can be taken under the Intercampus Exchange (IE) program

Advancement to Candidacy

The application for Advancement to Candidacy must be submitted to the department staff before the end of the Winter quarter.

Form: Advancement to Candidacy

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to completing the required coursework, students must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination administered each year by the program committee.

Optional: Master’s with Honors Paper

In addition to the comprehensive exam, students in the program who wish to produce a written analysis larger than those created in conjunction with specific graduate courses may also complete the “Master’s with Honor’s Paper” option.

The “Master’s with Honors paper” involves combining two or three graduate seminar papers into a longer comprehensive thesis under the supervision of a program faculty member. Papers from undergraduate courses cannot be used for this option.

After completing this option, students may list the approved Honors Paper on their curricula vitae.

You must complete the Comprehensive Exam whether or not you choose to write the optional Honor's Paper.

Students must declare their intention to earn a "Master's with Honors Paper" in the fall quarter of the program, and the final paper is due in the spring quarter.

Form: Intent to complete Honor's Paper

Honor's Papers Guidelines


Course Offerings

See MSTS courses page


Schedule of Classes
Social Sciences Graduate Office
Society for Medical Anthropology
Society for the Social Studies of Science


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