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Duke, Columbia, or Oxford? (anthro)

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Hi everyone!

I recently applied to sociocultural anthropology masters programs as well as east asian studies masters programs because I was interested in studying east asian countries through an anthropological lens. I was accepted into Duke (interdisciplinary), Columbia(socio anthro), Oxford (socioanthro), and UPenn(east asian). I already rejected UPenn because their east asian studies program seemed to be focused on history whereas I wanted to focus more on contemporary.

To be honest though, I am not completely set on whether or not I want to study east asian cultures just yet and was hoping I could figure that out in the master's program before I apply for PhD in the US for anthro (which is the plan for the future). 

I've been getting different advice from different professors and different PhD students about their experiences so it's been really hard for me to choose, especially because I don't want to regret my choice later. On the one hand, Duke seems to be a good choice because I know they are known for race and gender within the anthro department and that's something I'm really interested in and would allow me to work with great advisors. Not to mention that the interdisciplinary would give me a chance to study race/gender in East Asian countries.

But on the other hand, Columbia and Oxford would allow me to look at things in a broader perspective- afterall, I AM Asian American so wouldn't the interdisciplinary track kind of make me look like I tried to find the easy way out as a potential PhD candidate later? 

I'm so conflicted and would love the general opinions about the anthro masters programs in these schools. 

I really appreciate it everyone :) thank you in advance!!!! 

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Do you have funding for any of these programs?

FWIW, I wouldn't worry at all about someone thinking that you were trying "to find the easy way out as a potential PhD candidate later" because you did an interdisciplinary degree. The real thing to consider is what kind of training you desire and which program is best equipped to offer that to you. 

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Ah yes! funding from Duke and Columbia

and the thing is is that I'm still not sure if I want to study anthropology in general with no previous mindset about a specific region or if I should just go into anthropology within East Asian countries...

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Hmmm... that's something only you can answer. If you do a general anthro degree, you'll have an opportunity to learn about other regions. If you know you want to focus on East Asia, then an EAS masters might be more helpful because it would allow you to deepen your knowledge of the region by taking courses in anthropology, history, religion, political science, etc. If your future plans include a PhD, you'll find that many anthro PhD programs require you to earn a master's along the way.

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