Master Program in Anthropology at the American University of Central Asia is the only anthropology program in Kyrgyzstan that trains professional anthropologists. Master program in Anthropology was opened in 2016. The period of study is two years. Students have face-to face classes on Mondays-Fridays from 5 to 8 pm. The graduates receive the diplomas from the Ministry of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic.
HOW TO ENTER MASTER PROGRAM IN ANTRHOPOLOGY?
There are no entrance exams to enter Master Program in Anthropology. The only condition is English fluency. If a student studied in English in the undergraduate or graduate program, or has an official English certificate (ELPT 480, TOEFL 54, IELTS 5.0), he has to pass the English test to enter Master Program in Anthropology. He has to fill an application form, bring the copy of his higher education (BA) diploma and write a motivation letter.
WHAT SPECIALIZATIONS DOES MASTER PROGRAM IN ANTHROPOLOGY HAVE?
To compete successfully on the modern labor market, there are two specializations are offered: “Urbanization, Migration and Multiculturalism” and “Professional Methods and Technics”.
Specialization “Urbanization, Migration and Multiculturalism” aims to study the modern processes and phenomena that take place in cities and urban space. A number of courses has been developed for this profile such as “Redesigning the Commons: Urban Design and Project Management”, “Identities in the Making Religion, Mobility and Globalization in Central Asia”,“Ethnicity and Nationalism in Multicultural Societies”, “Language and Society”.
Specialization “Professional Methods and Techniques” aim to teach theoretical approaches and research methods that have been used in anthropology and other social sciences. Among them are “Advanced Anthropological Theories I-II”, “Ethnographic Research Methods”, “Quantitative Methods”, “Interdisciplinary Research methods” and others.
WHAT COURSES ARE TAUGHT IN MASTER PROGRAM IN ANTRHOPOLOGY?
The curriculum of master program as well as undergraduate program is divided into three blocks: general educational courses, required major courses and elective courses.
As for general educational courses, there are orientation course “Graduate Writing, Thinking and Learning” as well as theoretico-methodological general courses for all social sciences, for example “Foundations of Knowledge”, “Qualitative Methods”.
The block of required major courses includes not only anthropological courses but the theories and methods of other social sciences. This block includes “Advanced Anthropological Theories I-II”, “Biological Anthropology”, “Ethnographic Research Methods”, “Research and Writing Colloquium I-III” that are taught from the second to forth semesters, ethnographic and archaeological fieldworks. The archaeological fieldwork takes place on the territory of Kyrgyzstan with the professors and students living on the sites of archaeological excavations. The ethnographic fieldwork is conducted outside of Kyrgyzstan in the countries of near and far abroad.
As for electives, there are many courses offered by the program such as “Anthropology of Violence”, “Introduction to Urban and Regional Development”,“Ethnicity and Nationalism in Multicultural Societies”, “Language and Society”, and other courses on contemporary issues such as urbanization, ethnicity, identity, religion, conflict.
WHAT ARE THE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS?
Master Program in Anthropology offers students exchange programs with universities-partners. In 2016, Master program in Anthropology jointly with the University of Tromso in Norway, Hamburg University in Germany, Ilya University in Georgia, National Academy of Sciences and the University of Mechnikov and the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine elaborated a 3-year project on academic mobility of students and professors that received the funding of Norway. This project supports the study of master students in universities-partners as well as the organization of a number of summer schools in universities-partners. From 2016 to 2018, 8 students and 6 professors participated in the mobility program and summer schools.
WHERE CAN GRADUATES WORK?
As the practice showed, the graduates of Master Program in Anthropology have been employed in international organizations, state agencies, tourism and hotel business. Some graduates continue to study in PhD programs and then come to teach and do research. The graduates of anthropology program have more opportunities and scholarships to study in the countries of Europe and USA.
The graduates of anthropology program are demanded in many international organizations that are affiliated in Kyrgyzstan. This stems from the fact that anthropologists can serve as the bridge that help in adapting international projects to the local context and implement them under local conditions. Anthropologists are those specialists who are familiar with the local community, speak local and foreign languages. Such skills and knowledge help them in promoting more effective implementation of international projects in Kyrgyzstan.