Anthropology Department Graduate Program

PhD Admissions Update

In light of the extraordinary circumstance our graduate students face in this time of extreme uncertainty, with many of them unable to conduct the field and lab research necessary for their dissertations, we have decided to significantly limit the number of incoming students next year.  The Anthropology Doctoral Program will therefore only be accepting applications for the Archaeology and Biological Anthropology tracks for the 2021-22 academic year. We will not be accepting applications for the Cultural track. Our goal as a department is to ensure support for our current students while enabling all three of our subfield programs to flourish.  That means accepting fewer students than we normally would for this year's admissions cycle and prioritizing our smaller programs in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology. We anticipate resuming accepting applications for the Cultural track in October 2021 for the 2022-23 academic year.   

Anthropology Ph.D. Program

The Anthropology Graduate Program at UC Santa Cruz is one of the foremost in the country, widely recognized for the creative scholarship of its students and faculty. Graduates have continued their careers at leading academic and government institutions, including Cambridge University, Stanford, Yale, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Our goal is to support graduate students in becoming proficient researchers who communicate effectively as teachers and professionals inside or outside of academia. To this end, the program offers close interactions between students and faculty. We have designed the program to facilitate communication and to encourage people from diverse educational, work, and cultural backgrounds to apply for admission and to achieve the doctorate.

The Ph.D. in Anthropology normally requires three years of coursework, one to two years of dissertation research (fieldwork), and one year of dissertation write-up. The anticipated time frame for completion is six years, though circumstances vary. Students enter the program after choosing to specialize in one of the three major subdisciplines. The majority of students are admitted to the cultural track. Smaller numbers are accepted to pursue graduate tracks in anthropological archaeology and biological anthropology. Although applicants are accepted only for the Ph.D. program, students may obtain an M.A. degree after fulfilling specific requirements during the first and second year. Recommended preparation for the anthropology Ph.D. program includes a strong background in anthropology or related disciplines and a thorough knowledge of at least one language in addition to English.

Details of admissions procedures and deadlines, and online application forms are available at the Graduate Studies Division.

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