Welcome to MACCP
The program will prepare you for a career in social scientific research better than any Master’s program I have seen. While personal research projects are focused, the curriculum provides opportunity for study in many important areas of health studies. – MACCP alumnus
Doing my own fieldwork was an experience that I quickly realized set me apart from most students with Master’s degrees that I encountered. I was able to speak the same language as the PhD’s who were doing our evaluation [for the job]. Going through the whole process was a great thing to talk about in job interviews and valued by organizations that I have worked with. – MACCP alumna
Welcome to the Master of Science Program in Medical Anthropology & Cross-Cultural Practice. We are delighted that you are interested in this field and in our program! We know you have many choices for graduate study in medical anthropology. To help you compare the MACCP program with other master’s-level programs, here is a chart that shows key features (click to download).
Click on chart (below) to see a larger copy:
Based at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), which awards your Master of Science degree
- We are one of the only graduate programs in Medical Anthropology anywhere that is actually part of a medical school.
- Our School of Medicine has played a leadership role in diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by its history;
- We are at the heart of the campus, between the BU School of Medicine and the BU School of Public Health (for pictures of our offices, click this link).The other Graduate Medical Sciences master’s programs offer a wide array of courses, some of which you can opt to take for your electives;
- We play an ongoing role in the weekly Research-In-Progress group in the Department of Family Medicine, and with clinical staff throughout Boston Medical Center. These connections let you build working relationships with clinicians, do fieldwork in clinical settings, and get input on your research design and analysis from clinician-researchers;
- We work closely with the faculty and clinicians of the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities in the Department of Family Medicine at BUSM, providing you with an opportunity to focus your own research within one of the ongoing PIMHCD initiatives.
One alumna writes:
I benefited greatly from the practical, hands-on field research instruction and practice. I had never completed a project of that magnitude prior to this program, and both the research skills and the subject matter of my project have continued to serve me. Exposure to the medical school curriculum and the values/culture of med school and the hospital broadened my understanding of how doctors and patients are “created” within the health system.
- Our relationship with the BU School of Public Health (literally right next door) supports students with related interests in developing focused public health expertise;
- You can use 12 of your program credits to pursue a Context Area Certificate from SPH. These certificates include Chronic and Non-Communicable Diseases; Global Health; Infectious Disease; Maternal and Child Health; Mental Health and Substance Use; Pharmaceuticals; Sex, Sexuality, and Gender; and Social Justice, Human Rights, and Health Equity.
Highly personalized mentoring and support
I think the biggest reason this program is so great is how small and personalized it is. I’m already amazed by how much I’ve been in personal contact with the various faculty members and how willing everyone is to be helpful and ensure that each student is extracting and growing from the program in the way they want.” – current student
We provide you with:
- Focused, personalized advising, tailored to students’ individual career goals;
- High faculty-to-student ratio with a lot of access to advisers and other faculty;
- Core faculty who teach all required seminars and program electives
- We are proud of our close-knit program community, with periodic whole-program gatherings organized by faculty and students.
Dedication to student career and professional development
- We have geared the program design toward career- and professional-development planning, beginning at the point of admission, continuing throughout the program, and following your graduation.
- We make the development of a professional portfolio and network a program requirement;
- To date, all graduates have been admitted to prestigious doctoral programs or medical schools, or gained a training-related job, within 3 to 5 months of graduating;
- Employers regularly tell us that our graduates are their first choice;
- We are committed to ongoing mentoring and career support for program alumni throughout their careers;
- We run a closed Facebook group for all faculty, current students, and alumni, as a rich resource for networking and ongoing sharing of knowledge and opportunities across cohorts.
In-depth training in Research Methods, Medical Anthropology Theory, and Writing
The methods training is perhaps the most useful and unique aspect of MACCP. Coming into [my doctoral program], almost no one has any idea how to do methods or what I even mean by methods. Additionally, our MS thesis is beyond anything MA students do here, or at any other institution. Consequently, I know how to work hard and was not surprised or intimidated by the workload [in my doctoral program].
- In-depth training in research methods, that includes study design, learning to write an Institutional Review Board protocol that undergoes review by the IRB at BU School of Medicine, intensive original fieldwork, and data analysis;
- An emphasis on ethnographic and other writing skills through the thesis writing seminars;
- Possibilities for involvement in faculty research, with opportunities for co-authorship;
- 100% acceptance rate to date of student paper and poster proposals to national and international anthropology meetings.
I benefited greatly from the practical, hands-on field research instruction and practice. I had never completed a project of that magnitude prior to this program, and both the research skills and the subject matter of my project have continued to serve me. Exposure to the medical school curriculum and the values/culture of med school and the hospital broadened my understanding of how doctors and patients are “created” within the health system.– alumna
Service-learning internship, fieldwork experience, and original research
- Our campus is at a juncture between the neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester, home to many of Boston’s historic minority and more recent New American immigrant communities.The cultural richness of our location is illustrated by the number of languages spoken in the surrounding neighborhoods—Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Vietnamese, for example.
- Our long-term relationships with local neighborhood health centers, agencies, and advocacy groups support identifying site prospects directly related to your research and career commitments.
- Throughout your first year, you will do a volunteer service-learning internship with a local community, organization, or clinical setting related to your own research commitments and career goals;
- Your internship provides an opportunity to learn how to conduct Community-Based Participatory Research;
- We prioritize research that promotes engagement and activism, and that empowers individuals, families, and communities.
- The internship program is followed by a mentored intensive summer fieldwork experience;
- Together, the internship and fieldwork can let you spend at close to a year engaged in your field site;
- Through working with a local community—including refugee and immigrant groups—you learn the local dimensions of global health.
The option to pursue a customized track in the study of Religions, Medicines, and Healing
Two of our core faculty, Linda Barnes and Lance Laird, have training not only in medical anthropology, but also in comparative religious studies. They each hold joint appointments as core faculty in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies at Boston University. Both have played a leadership role in developing this interdisciplinary field within the American Academy of Religion, through their work in the Religions, Medicines, and Healing program unit. We therefore offer a track within the program that supports this interdisciplinary inquiry.
Part of a leading research university, in a world-class city with opportunities to do interdisciplinary training and research
- You can take up to 12 credits anywhere throughout Boston University, including the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences and the School of Public Health. That’s one-fifth of your whole program!
- In addition to working closely with program faculty on your thesis research, you can engage faculty from anywhere in the university as mentors and thesis advisers.
- We offer both introductory and advanced training in the growing field of Syndemics (Ostrach); our faculty are experts in their respective areas of research including Syndemics, Reproductive Anthropology, Islamic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Medical Pluralism, and related topics on which they have many publications.
- The program provides the option of interdisciplinary training in the cross-cultural study of religions, medicines, and healing, with faculty (Barnes and Laird) who are leaders in the field.