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Should I specialize in my Master's? Or do a more general program?


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I have been accepted to two graduate (MA) programs, starting this Fall. I want to pursue my PhD in cultural anthropology, and am pretty sure I want to do research in ethnomedicine, medical anthropology, shamanism, the Andes and Himalayas.

The programs I was accepted to are both two years long, both have international research components, and are both prestigious. The problem is not knowing which one to choose.

One program is Medical Anthropology of Asia (my original first choice), and the other is Social Anthropology, and has courses focusing on Asia, but not medical anthropology or the specific regions I am interested in. Would it be better to specialize early? For example, studying medical anthropology now in preparation for the PhD program? I worry that I will want to change my PhD research area (if I decide to) and may not be able to because of my specialized MA in medical anthropology and Asia. Or does it not matter? Is it possible to get my MA specializing in South Asia, and also potentially specialize in South America later on as well as in Asia? Are specializations set in stone, or are they easily changed? I have many interests and dont want to limit myself, however the medical anthropology program is much more interesting to me than the general social anthropology. Questions questions... :)

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