Graduate Division

Social Science - Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies MA

Section 1


The Department of Anthropology offers a Masters of Arts concentration in the School of Social Sciences focused on Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies, informally known as the M.A. in MSTS. Students who complete the program will earn an M.A. in Social Sciences (Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies).

This degree is the only terminal M.A. degree in either medical anthropology or science and technology studies in the University of California system. The program recognizes that these two fields and the social phenomena they examine are inextricably linked, and flexible course offerings provide students with an opportunity to pursue projects that focus on either field or that bridge both areas of study.
Ethnographers of medicine, science, and technology are in high demand, and the M.A. in MSTS will enable students to respond to the significant and rapidly changing impact of medicine, science, and technology upon economies and societies around the world. The program helps to prepare students for a range of employment opportunities in academia, public health, technology industries, and the nonprofit sector.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

1 year

Capstone Type

Comprehensive Exam

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Successful applicants to the M.A. in MSTS program should have a B.A. or B.S. degree and will have demonstrated strong intellectual capabilities and creativity in their undergraduate careers. The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement for admission is 3.0 on a four-point scale (or equivalent). However, most competitive applicants typically report a GPA at or above 3.5.

Applicants are not required to have prior training in anthropology or any field of medicine, science, and technology, although successful applicants are likely to have experience in one or more of these areas.

All applicants for the M.A. in MSTS program must apply online using the UCI Online Application for Graduate Admissions. Paper applications are no longer used.

The following application materials are required:

1. A completed online graduate application and non-refundable application fee.

2. A Statement of Purpose (1-3 pages). The statement of purpose is one of the most important parts of the application and is usually the first thing read by members of the admissions committee. In general, it should answer questions such as the following (these are suggestions, not requirements): Why are you interested in the MSTS program? What types of issues do you intend to study? What are your short-term and long-term academic, professional, and career goals and how will the MSTS program help you achieve them? What relevant academic background or other experience do you bring to the program?

3. A writing sample. Only one writing sample should be provided. It cannot be submitted via the application portal; email it as a PDF to Although there are no mandatory length requirements for the writing sample, they are typically between 8,000-10,000 words.

4. Two sets of official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions. The official UCI campus requirement is that applicants provide two official copies of each post-secondary school transcript. These transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing school to the UCI program to which the candidate is applying for admission. However, the Department of Anthropology and School of Social Sciences, recognizing the cost and labor involved in obtaining transcripts, allows applicants to initially provide just one unofficial copy of relevant transcripts. Please note that while these unofficial transcripts are acceptable for admission consideration, they are not acceptable for matriculation. If you are offered and accept admission to the M.A. in MSTS program, an official set of transcripts will be required prior to matriculation.

5. Three letters of recommendation.

6. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report. See GRE and TOEFL/IELTS.

7. TOEFL or IELTS score reports. The internet-based TOEFL(-ibT) is required of all international applicants except citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The test is also required of US permanent residents who did not attend four full years and graduate high school in the United States. For more information, see GRE and TOEFL/IELTS.

8. OPTIONAL: Personal History Statement. The online application system provides an option for you to submit a “Personal History Statement.” This Personal History Statement, separate from the Statement of Purpose, is required if you wish to be considered for an application fee waiver. If you do not wish to file a separate Personal History Statement, enter “See Statement of Purpose” in the box in the online application in which the Personal History Statement would normally be entered.

Current UCI doctoral students who wish to earn the M.A. in MSTS in addition to a Ph.D. or other professional degree do not need to apply for separate admission. For more information, see Concurrent Enrollment.

Financial Support

Most Master’s students are self-funded. Financial assistance based on need (loans, primarily) is available to qualifying student applicants through UCI Financial Aid & Scholarships. Subject to limited availability, M.A. in MSTS students may apply for part-time Teaching Assistant positions.

All students applying for need-based financial aid are required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

International students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to apply for federal need-based financial aid.

Further information on assistantships and funding resources can be found here.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Victoria Bernal
Ph.D., Northwestern, 1985
gender, war, cyberspace, islam, transnationalism, africa

Tom Boellstorff
Ph.D., Stanford, 2000
digital cultures, queer studies, indonesia

Leo Chavez
Professor & Graduate Program Director
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1982
migration, media, discourse analysis, visual semiotics, medicine
Eve Darian-Smith
Professor, Anthropology and Law | Director, International Studies
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1995
LLB, University of Melbourne, 1988
human rights, global governance, international law, postcolonialism, indigenous law and politics, ethnographic approaches, social and legal theory
Kim Fortun
Professor and Chair
Ph.D., Rice University, 1993
environmental problems and science, science and technology, environmental health, disaster, india
Michael Fortun
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1993
anthropology of science, air pollution science, data science, genetics, history of science, united states, iceland

David Goldberg
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature. Director, UC Humanities Research Institute
Sherine Hamdy
Associate Professor
Ph.D., New York University, 2006
medical anthropology, science, technology and society, bioethics, comics, islam, egypt, middle east

Mizuko Ito
Professor in Residence
Ph.D., Stanford, 1998
technology usage, focusing specifically on children and youths changing relationships to media and communications
Angela Jenks
Lecturer with Potential of Security of Employment & Director of Undergraduate Students
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, 2009
medical anthropology, race and ethnicity, urban ethnography, united states
Eleana Kim
Associate Professor
Ph.D., New York University, 2007
kinship, transnationalism, environment, korea
Lilith Mahmud
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University
freemasonry, elites, gender, nationalism, race, citizenship, critical studies of europe, secrecy, transparency, knowledge production, secret societies, power
George Marcus
Distinguished Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1976
elites, ethnography, and cultural critique, pacific
Bill Maurer
Dean and Professor
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1994
money and finance, law and culture, caribbean
Keith Murphy
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2008
linguistics, design, aesthetics and morality, sweden
Sylvia Nam
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2012
urban studies, property, transnational expertise, southeast asia
Valerie Olson
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Rice University, 2010
environmental systems, science and technology, u.s., extreme environments
Kristin Peterson
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Rice University, 2004
science and technology, feminism, pharmaceuticals, west africa
Damien Sojoyner
Associate Professor & Graduate Admissions Director (Ph.D. and M.A. in Medicine, Science and Technology Studies (MSTS))
Ph.D.,  University of Texas at Austin,  2009
prisons; public education; urban anthropology; race; african diaspora theory; public policy and law; gender; united states
Ian Straughn
Lecturer with Potential of Security of Employment
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2006
archaeology, cultural heritage, middle east and islamic studies, space and landscape, material culture
Roxanne Varzi
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2002
iran, war, islam, visual anthropology, film, art/popular culture in iran, social cultural anthropology, religious studies, visual culture
Mei Zhan
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2002
medical anthropology, science and technology studies, theory and methodology, chinese medicine, globalization, china