Anthropology and Medicine

A doctor listens to a child patient's heart at a clinic
Master of Arts, Doctor of Medicine

About the Program

Explore how different cultural settings impact health and illness with a Master of Arts in Anthropology and Doctor of Medicine dual degree from Case Western Reserve University. Guided by our award-winning faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine, you will gain a deeper understanding of human behavior, cultural norms and social institutions. 

Our program is an ideal fit for those who want to conduct research, oversee programs and shape policy to address the world’s health problems as physicians and anthropologists—both inside and outside of academia.

What to Expect

From global health to human adaptation and disease, our program covers a broad range of subjects to equip you for the diverse field of medical anthropology. 

You’ll work closely with our faculty—which include a member of the National Academy of Sciences—to develop a course schedule that works for you. You can either complete the master’s portion by taking it during a dedicated year focused on anthropology, or you can weave the master’s courses across your four years of medical school.

Both program curricula will provide you with a deep understanding and unique perspective on human behavior, institutions and biology. You will develop skills of investigation, discovery and critical thinking—preparing you for a wide array of careers from health and international affairs, to public service, education, and law, to management and industry. 

Program alumni can be found working in hospitals and universities, community programs, and public health departments across the United States—from New York to Alaska—and around the world in places such as Uganda and Tibet.

“The [Department of Anthropology] effectively prepared me for a career as a medical anthropologist working in global health. The department and its faculty are incredibly supportive and offer coursework that teaches fundamental theory, as well as skills like research design and grant proposal writing."

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Beyond the Classroom

Graduates of the Master of Anthropology and Doctor of Medicine dual-degree program go on to practice medicine in the United States and overseas. Our graduates work in: 

  • University faculty and administration 
  • Public health departments, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Non-academic research centers 
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Museums
  • Hospitals and other healthcare settings

By the Numbers


university in the country, U.S. News & World Report


university for contributions to innovation, Nature Index Innovation


faculty members in the National Academy of Sciences

Admission Requirements

Students with all backgrounds are welcome to apply. A degree in anthropology is not required, although applicants should have a clearly stated interest in the field.

You must apply to both the School of Medicine's MD program and the Department of Anthropology separately. Medical students should talk to their advisors prior to applying to the anthropology program.

Learn more about applying to our dual-degree program.

Contact Us

Headshot of Janet McGrath
Janet McGrath
Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology
Associate Professor of International Health, School of Medicine
College of Arts and Sciences

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