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Graduate Program Overview


    The PhD and MA programs are tightly integrated so that there is close interaction between the degree programs in teaching, research, as well as academic and social activities.  Graduate program students have a history of being highly democratic, comfortable with intense interaction and cooperation in their study programs and social activities, and often suggest, plan, and execute on their own initiative a broad variety of professional and social activities.


Doctoral Program

    Our PhD program prepares students for professional careers in teaching, research, and applied anthropology. The PhD program is a small, selective program that admits from one to three students annually. PhD alumni have had excellent success in job searches and for the most part take jobs in universities and research institutes in Taiwan.

The PhD program emphases:

    A broad command of theory that provides a synoptic view of the field and with considerable emphasis on learning to locate ongoing theoretical innovation within a broad historical understanding of anthropological thought.

    Students in our doctoral program benefit from a variety of cross appointments, funding opportunities, and collaborative research projects with institutes and centers at Academia Sinica including the Institute of Ethnology, the Institute of History and Philology, the Institute for Taiwan History, and the Center for Historical Demography.


Master of Arts

    The MA program prepares students for PhD programs in anthropology and also places equal emphasis on employment outside of academia.  The institute has been highly successful in its MA program in preparing students for professional careers in fields where anthropological training is relevant, including new and traditional media, secondary education, museums, non-governmental organizations, and foundations. All MA students are given strong training in independent research skills, writing, and applied anthropology. The record of employment in the public and private sectors for MA alumni is one of the strongest in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as for the university’s MA programs in general. The MA program includes a highly regarded summer fieldwork practicum that prepares students for their thesis research. The summer fieldwork practicum course for research on human subjects involves MA students engaging in independent projects at separate individual field sites in Taiwan and elsewhere, typically within East and Southeast Asia for six weeks to two months. The summer fieldwork practicum course for archeology usually involves one or more sites in Taiwan where groups of students engage in six weeks to two-months of fieldwork.


Master of Arts in Austronesian Studies (Exclusively English Instruction)

    Taiwan’s importance in Austronesian studies arises from not only the great diversity of its indigenous peoples and cultures, but also its archaeological information crucial to the understanding of pre-historical migration patterns and cultural changes in the Pacific regions. Launching in Fall 2021, this MA program seeks to promote and enhance the study of indigenous peoples in Taiwan within the greater context of Austronesia across Southeast Asia and Oceania with coursework and research reflecting this broad socio-linguistic area of study. This program intends to consolidate the Austronesian studies as one of the foci of area studies at the Institute of Anthropology, as well as to offer an English taught program that will attract non-Mandarin speakers to pursue their studies. The program is the first of its kind in the region and it will offer students broader understanding of Austronesian Studies in general, and deeper knowledge of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and cultures in particular from anthropological perspectives. Students will be able to acquire the ability to conduct independent research and fieldwork which are essential for personal learning and professional development.  In this program students have the option of writing a thesis based upon original or secondary research, or alternatively writing two publishable research papers.