Application Steps

Step One

Hold a baccalaureate degree and an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.00. 

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Step Two

Submit one transcript from each college or university attended.

Step Three

List three references and their email addresses on your application. All three reference letters must be received by the deadline or your application will be disqualified.

Step Four

Upload a research statement with your application.

Step Five

Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology applicants should upload a writing sample with their application

Step Six

Application Deadline

Fall 2023 Domestic Application Deadline:
10:00pm MST December 15, 2022

Fall 2023 International Application Deadline:
10:00pm MST December 1, 2022

Application Process

We receive approximately 100 applications each year. Our target for each entering class is approximately 6 (two in each of the three Subdisciplines of Anthropology that our department supports). We reach this target by admitting some students and placing others on a waitlist; we admit students from the waitlist as other students decline the places we have offered them. On average, we offer admission to approximately 15 applicants per year. Although we train students at the MA level to take jobs in their fields, the standards we apply to all PhD applicants have to do with their potential to carry out research of the quality we would expect in doctoral-level research.

Prospective applicants generally have undergraduate degrees in Anthropology, with focused coursework in their chosen subdiscipline. We prefer that applicants with other kinds of backgrounds have sufficient coursework in Anthropology or other relevant background to demonstrate a basic familiarity with all three of the subdisciplines we support. Applications will be reviewed by subdisciplinary faculty (that is, applications in Archaeology will be reviewed by the archaeologists, etc.) before they are brought to the full faculty, so please indicate your subdiscipline clearly on your application. We evaluate prospective students holistically: grades matter, as do letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, and experience outside the classroom (field and laboratory experience can be particularly important). Applicants are permitted, but not required, to submit one (1) example of their best written work. If you choose to submit an example of your work, we cannot return it to you.

We also seek students whose interests are within our areas of expertise. You should look at the interests of our individual faculty members and contact the faculty you might want to work with.

Financial support for our PhD students primarily takes the form of teaching assistantships (TAs), which provide both a stipend and tuition remission. We also have limited fellowship money for PhD admits. There are additional funds available through university-wide competitions, but we nominate only one incoming PhD student for these competitions. PhD students will be given priority for all funding.  There is no guarantee of funding for MA students.