The graduate program in Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder is one of the most selective and prestigious public PhD programs in the US. All applicants should consider the following guidance before applying.
1. Choose the appropriate subdiscipline
Those applying to the archaeology program should be interested in studying past societies through their material remains. Our program offers geographical expertise in North and Central America and topical foci in community archaeology, ritual and religion, materiality, ethnohistory, ethnogenesis, domestication, environmental archaeology, and complex systems.
Those applying to the program in biological anthropology should be interested in studying human biological variation. Our program offers expertise in ecology, biogeochemical techniques for studying the diets and habitats of modern and fossil fauna, growth and development, primate behavior and biology, ancient genomics, bioarchaeology, and related topics.
Those applying to the program in cultural anthropology should be interested in studying contemporary societies through ethnographic method and theory. Our program offers expertise in affect, culture and power, environmental anthropology, ethics, gender and sexuality, history and memory, kinship, medical anthropology, modernity, and science and technology.
2. Choose the appropriate track
In archaeology, applicants seeking a PhD should apply to the PhD track. Applicants do not need an MA to apply to the PhD program. Applicants seeking an MA should apply to the terminal MA track. Please note that the MA track is reserved primarily for those working in applied areas such as Cultural Resource Management.
In cultural anthropology, applicants seeking a PhD should apply to the PhD track. Applicants do not need an MA to apply to the PhD program. Applicants seeking an MA should apply to the terminal MA track. Applicants to the terminal MA program should articulate a clear vision for a professional route outside of academia.
3. Contact a potential faculty advisor
All applicants should review faculty profiles closely and assess the degree to which their interests align with those of the faculty.
All applicants should identify potential faculty advisors with whom they would like to work and correspond with them in advance of the application deadline. Faculty are happy to speak with and advise potential students about their suitability for our graduate program. Prior communication with potential faculty advisors is a component of admissions evaluations, and applicants are expected to communicate with faculty prior to applying.