MACCP Requirements

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Overview

Completion of the M.S. in Medical Anthropology & Cross-Cultural Practice requires that students complete a total of 60 credits that include:

11 Required Seminars

  • GMS MA 700-A1  History and Theory of Medical Anthropology, Part I
  • GMS MA 710-A1  Medical Anthropological and Qualitative Research Methods and Design
  • GMS MA 701  History and Theory of Medical Anthropology (Part II)
  • GMS MA 770  IRB Proposal Development and Writing
  • GMS MA 711/GMS MA S711  Summer Fieldwork Part 1
  • GMS MA 712/GMS MA S712  Summer Fieldwork Part 2
  • GMS MA 734  Reading Ethnography in Medical Anthropology
  • GMS MA 742  Medical Anthropological and Qualitative Data Analysis
  • GMS MA [# TBA]  Final Writing Project, Pt. 1
  • GMS MA 735  Writing Ethnography in Medical Anthropology
  • GMS MA 786  Final Writing Project Seminar, Pt. 2

7 Elective Courses

In addition to the required seminars and thesis-related requirements, students must also take seven electives, for a final program total of 60 credits.

        1. Up to 12 credits can be taken outside of the program, either as three 4-credit courses, or combinations of 2-credit and 4-credit outside courses. These credits must be taken during the academic year, and may not be taken during the summer. This provides the option of applying up to 20% of total program credits to a wide range of the university’s resources in other parts of the medical campus or on the Charles River Campus.

The only exception involves the following: the medical school allows you to take up to 18 credits per semester without paying extra tuition. If you have developed a plan to fulfill your required 7 electives, and it has been approved by your adviser, you can propose taking additional courses anywhere within GMS only.

       2. A minimum of three electives in the MACCP program. That allows any one of the following options, each of which must first be approved by your adviser:

  • Take four MACCP electives;
  • Take three MACCP electives, plus a 3-4 credit independent directed-study project within MACCP. To do so involves identifying a faculty member within the program who is both willing and available to supervise the directed study, and to arrive at a learning agreement with related assignments and deadlines;
  • Take three MACCP electives, plus a 4th elective within another GMS program. This will not have to count against the 12 allowed outside credits;

Although  directed-study credits do not count against the 12-credit limit allowed outside of GMS, they also do not let students take extra courses outside of the program. Again, the limit on outside-of-GMS credits is 12 credits.

Students who opt to cluster several directed-study credits to comprise a fourth in-program elective cannot do so to “take” a program elective course that they missed when it was actually offered. That said, students can use directed-study credits to address interests not represented in specific courses, as long as the credits remain within the program.

Students may not register for an elective through a non-GMS department, program, or school at BU if an equivalent course is offered by one of the GMS programs.

All electives must be 600-level or higher (exceptions may be made for language-study courses, for example, but require adviser’s approval and a petition to the Division)

If you have questions, consult with your adviser.

Year-Long Volunteer Internship/Field Practicum and Thesis-Related Fieldwork

5 Professional-Development Workshops

  • Literature Searches and Library Research
  • Grant Writing and Funding Sources
  • Transferable Skills and Professional Development
  • Making Research Presentations
  • From Thesis to Publication

Thesis: Students must conduct original research that results in a masters thesis (15,000 words). The thesis must emphasize the integration of medical anthropology with the student’s own discipline or profession. This independent research must be advised by a three-member faculty committee, and presented at the end of the fourth semester to the student’s committee, and other faculty and students. The thesis, on a topic of the student’s choice, must demonstrate a solid research design; engagement in fieldwork with the collection and analysis of related data; the effective application of theory; and well written results.

ePortfolio: Students prepare an electronic portfolio of their work to reflect their interests, training,  scholarship, conference presentations, community work, and other accomplishments. These ePortfolios can be used when applying for further graduate training and/or for jobs.

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Schedule of MACCP Requirements

Year One (Fall)

GMS MA 700 History and Theory of Medical Anthropology (Part I) This course introduces the history of the field of medical anthropology and of theoretical orientations related to understanding and analyzing health and medicine in society and culture. Readings will exemplify interpretive strategies applied to health-related experiences, discourse, knowledge, and practice. 3 cr (Students needing a 4 th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Laird M 9:30 AM-12:20 PM

GMS MA 710 Medical Anthropology & Qualitative Research Methods and Design Introduction to methodology for ethnographic field research in medical anthropology, and qualitative research methods. This course examines issues in designing anthropological research, and reviews theoretical approaches to research ethics, designing research, framing questions and interview design, and data collection techniques. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Messersmith W 9:30 AM-12:20 PM

GMS MA [# TBA] Volunteer Practicum Pt. 1 For this practicum, students will arrange a volunteer project with the group or community with whom they plan to conduct their fieldwork. The purpose of the practicum is to initiate the process of engagement in Community-Based Participatory Research design.

Two Elective Courses (see below)

ePortfolio Students will begin keeping a required MACCP e-portfolio while enrolled in GMS MA 700 (History and Theory of Medical Anthropology, Part I).  Each student’s e-portfolio will collect and reflect on important classwork in courses for the program.

Professional Development Workshop: Literature Searches and Library Research

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Year One (Spring)

GMS MA 701 History and Theory of Medical Anthropology (Part II) Prereq: Permission of Instructor. Course will address theoretical traditions in medical anthropology, focusing on orientations developed and applied within the field over the past two decades to interpretations of health-related phenomena. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Laird M 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

GMS MA 770 IRB Proposal Development and Writing Prereq: Permission of Instructor. Students will learn to write a medical anthropology research proposal and related Institutional Review Board Proposal, through the structure provided by the IRB of BUSM. We will address theory and methods related to the design and review process. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Messersmith W 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

GMS MA [# TBA] Volunteer Practicum Pt. 2 For this practicum, students will arrange a volunteer project with the group or community with whom they plan to conduct their fieldwork. The purpose of the practicum is to initiate the process of engagement in Community-Based Participatory Research design.

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

ePortfolio Students will update ePortfolio to reflect work for Spring semester

Professional Development Workshop: Grant Writing and Funding Sources

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Year One (Summer)

GMS MA 711/GMS MA S711  Summer Fieldwork Seminar Pt. 1 Fieldwork or a related internship experience is an integral dimension of anthropological methodology, and important to conducting qualitative research. Therefore, it represents an essential feature of the curriculum in the Masters in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice. Fieldwork allows students to complement their classroom learning with field-based learning, link theory with practice, and refine their skills. It also helps students establish contacts, develop relationships, and learn from the experience of interacting with different cultural communities and groups. This first of a two-part seminar will review issues likely to arise in the experience of conducting fieldwork, and will provide a forum within which students can discuss their ongoing fieldwork. The course is structured around a core set of readings in common, in tandem with each student’s individual research goals, as laid out in each student’s Learning Contract.

GMS MA 712/GMS MA S712  Summer Fieldwork Seminar Pt. 2 Fieldwork or a related internship experience is an integral dimension of anthropological methodology, and important to conducting qualitative research. Therefore, it represents an essential feature of the curriculum in the Masters in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice. Fieldwork allows students to complement their classroom learning with field-based learning, link theory with practice, and refine their skills. It also helps students establish contacts, develop relationships, and learn from the experience of interacting with different cultural communities and groups. This second section two-part seminar will review issues likely to arise in the experience of conducting fieldwork, and will provide a forum within which students can discuss their ongoing fieldwork.  The course is structured around a core set of readings in common, in tandem with each student’s individual research goals, as laid out in each student’s Learning Contract.

Thesis-Related Fieldwork

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Year Two (Fall)

GMS MA 734  Reading Ethnography in Medical Anthropology This seminar will read medical anthropological texts analytically. Starting with a review of the debates, going through selected classic ethnographic studies, the seminar will explore ethnographies that address different cultural meanings of human experiences of suffering and affliction, including illness and violence. Students will engage in studying the methodology, theoretical underpinnings, writing, and social positions represented in these ethnographies. Specific attention will be given to the role of applied anthropology and applied anthropologists, 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Ostrach T 12:30-3:20 PM

GMS MA 742 Medical Anthropological and Qualitative Data Analysis Prereq: Permission of instructor. Examines strategies for analyzing medical anthropology data deriving from interviews and documents. In addition to reviewing different coding strategies and the rationales underlying them, the course will discuss topics such as approaches to managing textual data; the selection and application of epistemological and theoretical frameworks; narrative and discourse analysis; cognitive anthropology theory and methods; the use of grounded theory. Emphasizes the application of these strategies to the analysis and interpretation of data collected by the students as part of the course process. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4 th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Barnes W 9:30 AM- 12:20 PM

GMS MA [# TBA]: Final Writing Project, Pt. 1 This seminar will train learners in the theory and practice of writing up anthropological research findings, and of writing ethnography. The course emphasizes analytical writing. Students will learn to identify and employ rhetorical and stylistic strategies and genre conventions. The class is structured as a seminar, emphasizing class discussion, workshops and peer-group work. Barnes. 3 cr,

One Elective Course (See Program Electives, below)

ePortfolio Students will update ePortfolio to reflect work for Fall semester

Professional Development Workshop: Transferable Skills and Professional Development

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Year 2 (Spring)

GMS MA 735  Writing Ethnography in Medical Anthropology Prereq: Permission of Instructor. This seminar builds on GMS MA 734 (Reading Ethnography in Medical Anthropology), turning the focus to the actual craft of writing ethnography. It is an integral part of MACCP students’ thesis-writing training.  Students will learn to identify and employ rhetorical and stylistic strategies and genre conventions. Through a series of exercises that draw on their own field notes and participant observations, students learn to employ three genres of cultural representation—realist tales, confessional tales, and impressionist tales. Students will explore their own authorial voice and style, and their relationship with truth, objectivity, and point-of-view. The class is structured as a seminar, emphasizing class discussion, workshops and peer-group work. Barnes W 12:30-3:30 PM

GMS MA 786 Final Project Writing Seminar, Pt. 2 Prereq: Permission of instructor. This seminar will train learners in the theory and practice of writing up medical anthropology research findings, and of writing ethnography. The course emphasizes analytical writing. Students will learn to identify and employ rhetorical and stylistic strategies and genre conventions. The class is structured as a seminar, emphasizing class discussion, workshops and peer-group work. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Barnes W 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

Thesis: Completion of thesis and approval through thesis defense.

ePortfolio Students will update and complete ePortfolio to reflect work for Spring semester, and accomplishments from their involvement in MACCP

Professional Development Workshop: Making Research Presentations

Professional Development Workshop: From Thesis to Publication

Presentation of Thesis Findings to group or community with whom student conducted his or her research

 

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MACCP Elective Course Offerings

GMS MA 605  Pluralism and Healing in the United States: A History This course explores the history of therapeutic pluralism in the United States, beginning with the colonial period and continuing to the present. We will examine how this therapeutic pluralism necessarily includes the story of American religious pluralism, the rise of biomedicine, and the changing faces of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), while factoring in the roles of class, race, and gender. We will work with primary source materials, as well as sources from history of medicine, and medical anthropology. 4 cr . (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Barnes, Spring M 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 620 World Religions and Healing An introduction to approaches to healing integral to Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Yoruba, African-descended, Latin American, Chinese, Navajo traditions, and to some of the outcomes of their interactions, in relation to the experience of affliction and suffering. Draws on source materials from history, religious studies, and medical anthropology. (Taught on the Charles River Campus)4 cr Barnes Fall, M 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 622  Religion, Culture, and Public Health This course will explore relationships between religion and health in the context of public health projects. We will examine historical developments, examples of faith-based public health organizations, and current research on “religious health assets,” both locally and internationally. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Laird Spring, Th 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 630 Medical Anthropology and the Cultures of Biomedicine This course examines biomedicine as a cultural system with multiple local and national variations worldwide, all of which have undergone changes over time. Topics will include the exploration of biomedicine as a cultural system, with cultural variations and different conceptual domains; processes of acculturation to biomedicine the medicalization of social realities; biomedical narratives; the patient-doctor relationship (including when the physician is the patient); understandings of interventions and the meanings assigned to them; and different ways of thinking about efficacy in relation to process and chronicity. The course will draw on ethnographic studies of biomedicine not only in the United States, but in other international settings. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Barnes Spring, M 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 640 The Cultural Formation of the Clinician: Its Implications for Practice This course  provides a context for exploring and reflecting on one’s own cultural formation in relation to such topics as gender, sexual orientation, race, class, religion, body size, and other areas where there are the greatest risks for health disparities through unexamined bias. The course examines the values one brings into one’s practice as a researcher and/or care provider, and how the interaction of both influence one?s personal and professional life, including responses to diverse patient cultures. Offered through the M.S. program in Medical Anthropology. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). Barnes Fall, W 5:00-8:00 PM

GMS MA 650 – Society, Healthcare, and the Cultures of Competence This medical anthropology course examines the history and current policies of health education, beginning with the notion of “competencies” as a basis for biomedical training and the  conceptual formation of key “professional competencies” in medicine, acupuncture, and pastoral care. Readings include autobiographical accounts of medical students, physicians, chaplains, and acupuncturists. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Laird Spring, Th 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 677 Topics in Medical Anthropology This seminar develops a critique of topics in medical anthropology theory. It revisits significant legacies from classic anthropology, joining them with insights from current theory and ethnography, to analyze selected issues in medical anthropology. The topic for 2014 is Reproductive Anthropology. Reproductive Anthropology encompasses all aspects of reproduction; sexuality, fertility, contraception, pregnancy, abortion, birthing, breastfeeding, menopause, sexual health including the health needs of LGBTQ communities, assisted reproductive technologies, masculinity, male infertility, the provision of reproductive health care in and across various health care settings and in varying sociocultural and political-economic contexts locally, nationally, and internationally, and many other topics. Any issue, practice, illness, trend, or debate that combines human behavior and reproductive health or ability is fertile ground for anthropological examination. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Ostrach Spring, T 12:30-3:30 PM

GMS MA 680 Culture, Migration, and Mental Health This course explores the ways in which mental health and illness are constructed by and for those who migrate across national, cultural, and other borders. We will examine the historical development of the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and social work in the context of Western societies, in parallel with the anthropological study of ritual, violence, ecstatic and possession experiences in non-Western societies. We will then explore debates in cross-cultural mental health care that bring these historical disciplines into dialogue, particularly in the context of programs for the treatment of refugee and immigrant mental health. The intersection of political, economic, religious, and gender issues in the construction of mental health will also be considered. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus) Laird Fall, Th 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 682: Islamic Medicine and Healing Explores the social history of medicine and healing traditions among Muslims: the role of the Prophet Muhammad as model and source of health and medicine; the emergence of classical Islamic medicine as synthesis of and innovation on Greek traditions; the influence of legal/moral traditions in regulating and preserving public health; the development of hospitals in the Muslim world; the influence of Sufi philosophy, practices, and the proliferation of shrines on healing traditions; the effects of emerging biomedical practice introduced from the West; the “revival” of Islamic medicine, and the emergence of alternative medicines. Offered through the MA program in Medical Anthropology. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Laird Fall, Th 3:00-6:00 PM

GMS MA 684: Social History of Chinese Medicine and Healing Traditions Explores intersections between the therapeutic, the medical, and the religious, through the study of healing traditions in China. Includes the role of shamans and the persistence of traditions involving gods, ghosts, and ancestors; the emergence of classical medicine and canonical texts, together with the role played by Scholar-Physicians; the influences of Daoist approaches to healing, longevity, and alchemy; the introduction of Buddhist and Indian healing practices; the effects of an emerging biomedical practice brought in from the West; and the meanings of the revival of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the People’s Republic of China. Primary sources, and secondary sources from history and medical anthropology. 3 cr. (Students needing a 4th credit should speak with the instructor about adding a single-credit directed study). (Taught on the Charles River Campus.) Barnes Fall, M 3:00-6:00

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Links for Other Potential BU Electives

Courses offered through our Division, Graduate Medical Sciences (http://www.bu.edu/academics/gms/courses/). The Division expects that, if a course in which you are interested is offered both through GMS and another program, and is essentially identical in content, that you will register for the GMS version. (If you have questions, do please talk with your advisor.) If you identify a course you want to take, you might want to check with that particular program to be sure it is being offered, as course listings are occasionally out of date.

The School of Public Health (http://www.bu.edu/sph/academics/departments/).

Courses offered on the Charles River Campus, through departments with complementary resources (http://www.bu.edu/academics/degree-programs/).

You may also want to look through information about the university’s different Centers and Institutes, to get an overview of different concentrations, faculties, and interest groups (http://www.bu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/).

If you have trouble locating courses in areas of interest to you, contact your adviser, as there are search tools he or she can use on your behalf.

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