The Graduate Program in Anthropology has been changed to accept direct admission to our PhD program, with or without an MA in Anthropology. A brief outline of our new curriculum structure has been posted here
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, and we may require students with insufficient familiarity to take undergraduate classes to acquire it. 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 and GREs 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 students primarily takes the form of teaching assistantships (TAs), which provide both a stipend and tuition remission. We also have limited fellowship money. In general, we allocate fellowship money to incoming students at both the MA and PhD levels, and preferentially allocate other funds to students at the doctoral level, including some incoming doctoral students. There are additional funds available through university-wide competitions, but we nominate only one incoming student for these competitions We have been successful in most recent years in offering at least some support to all ongoing students who have requested it.
Graduate Admissions > Anthropology Program
(last updated for Fall 2018 admissions)
By applying to our graduate program, you will automatically be evaluated for one of our fellowships and may be considered for other funds to support graduate education. Anthropology Department fellowships are competitive and based strictly on academic performance. Because they are limited, we encourage you to visit CU Financial Aid and apply for additional financial aid that you anticipate you might need.