FAQ About MACCP
Applicants often ask the following questions:
What will this program prepare me to do?
The MACCP program prepares students for diverse areas of work and study:
As a terminal degree:
- To play leadership roles in health promotion through government, social service or regulatory agencies, advocacy organizations, or similar programs;
- To lead the management and coordination of health-related studies;
- To work nationally and globally in health-related consulting, applying qualitative and anthropological research tools.
As preparation for doctoral-level training:
- To apply to a doctoral program, particularly if you don’t have previous training in Medical Anthropology (or even in Anthropology);
- To enter clinical training or practice with strong cross-cultural research and competency-based skills.
“I just wanted to send you a quick note because every time I get a new job I know it’s because of the excellent experience I gained in our program. In every interview I’ve had I’m always asked about my degree in medical anthropology and people find the description of the types of things we learned so fascinating. My experience in qualitative research has opened so many doors for me and I’m so thankful to you…Thank you again for being such wonderful advisers while I was in graduate school.”
What kinds of applicants are you looking for?
We do not assume any background in anthropology. Instead, we look for evidence of the capacity to do the work in our program. So besides reviewing your transcripts, GRE scores, and support letters, we also look at what you say about your engagement in interdisciplinary work. What experience have you built up with the topic or group you want to work with? Have you volunteered, interned, and/or worked in settings with cultural groups other than your own? And last, but not least, do you like to color outside the lines?
What GRE scores do you require?
As a program, we have decided to waive the requirement for applicants to submit GRE scores. You therefore do not need to take the GREs as part of your application to our program.
What do you want in the Personal Statement?
We look for a focused area of research interest. We are not looking for something as specific as a thesis topic, but we need to know how well your research interests match our strengths. Also let us know: Who would you choose as a faculty advisor, and why? What aspects of our program will help you to achieve your research and career goal?
Can I do any part of the program online?
Our program is designed around engaging in local fieldwork in the Boston region, and involves a great deal of collaborative involvement with peers in your student cohort. We therefore have no online options. All MACCP students must plan to be in Boston for the duration of their enrollment in the program.
Can I do fieldwork abroad or in other parts of the U.S.?
Again, our program is designed around engaging in local fieldwork, in the Boston region. This approach focuses on global health within our own borders. We both explore the transnational presence in the Boston region, and define Boston as a part of global health. The curricular sequence is organized to maximize the fruitfulness of local fieldwork, over a two-year period. Students therefore cannot do their fieldwork outside of the Boston region.
During your time in the program, you’ll have the opportunity to build relationships within and with the community in which you’ll be focusing your work. There is also a related summer seminar, to provide a forum within which to discuss and reflect on your experiences in a workshop setting.
How many students do you accept into your program?
We expect the program to grow, but will always keep it relatively small, accepting no more than fifteen students or so in any given class year, to be able to provide in-depth, individual mentoring. Students from other parts of Boston University and the medical campus also cross-register into our courses, enriching the interdisciplinary mix.
Are there any funding sources for tuition costs?
The MACCP Program awards a tuition-reduction Provost’s Scholarship to every student admitted to the program, which lowers the official tuition and fees by approximately twenty-five percent, or the cost of one of the four semesters. (For further information, contact MACCP Program Director, Dr. Linda Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We are quite aware that program costs still represent quite an investment.
Most of our students fund their programs through a combination of federal and private student loans. We have assembled a list of sites to help you look for scholarships, to help you with funding your program.
We also advise you to explore the possibility of local or regional scholarships in your hometown or state, for which you may be eligible.
This is why we feel so strongly about planning your program in direct connection with your career visions and goals. We feel a deep responsibility from your first day to maximize the likelihood that the effort, time, and money you put into the program will make you the strongest candidates possible for your next steps, whatever those might be.
Do you have any TA positions?
At the Masters level, there are no TA positions or fellowships. Because our courses are graduate level, TAs have to be at least a program ahead of students in the courses, and TA positions and fellowships generally go to doctoral students. However, BU has links for student job postings. Some of our students have part-time jobs outside of the university. The only concern we have is that your academic work not suffer.
Can I do the program part time?
Yes, you can. Our half-time option involves completing all of the Year One required seminars (two in History of Theory, and two in Methods) during the first year; then taking your elective courses and doing your fieldwork over the following two years (Years Two and Three). Finally, during the fourth year, you complete the three required second-year seminars (two in methods and one in theory), and your thesis. Some students may opt to extend their thesis writing into a fifth year.
Full completion of the degree may take from two to five years, depending on the number of courses you choose to take each year. All the degree requirements must be completed within five calendar years after initial registration for the School. A degree candidate in good standing may also request up to a one-year leave of absence from the School. Leaves of absence will be included in this five-year period.
Is there a joint degree with the School of Public Health?
Instead of a combined degree in Medical Anthropology and Public Health, we offer courses in core skills required for public health practitioners, but geared for professionals in our field.
If interested in this option, you can choose our seminars “Epidemiology for Social Scientists,” and “Program Evaluation for Social Scientists.” Among the elective choices outside of the program, you can take courses like “Project Management” at the Metropolitan College on the Charles River Campus, or other courses at the School of Public Health.
At the same time, you will be building in-depth training in the methods, theories, skills, and practical experience that will qualify you as a Medical Anthropologist.