UCSC Admissions Process

Begin your application today! All applications will be processed online at:

More information can be found here: 

Information specific to international students can be found here:

DO NOT mail any admissions documents to the Anthropology Department.


Important Note: Capacity in the Biological Anthropology PhD track at UCSC is low, and interested applicants should contact potential PIs prior to submitting an application. At this time, we do not have faculty working specifically on forensic anthropology or osteology. 


Anthropology Submissions Guidelines

Application opens - October 1st.

Deadline - December 1st.

Minimum grade-point average - 3.0.

In general, we look for potential excellence in our graduate students, whether this manifests itself in a high grade-point average, strong letters of recommendation, or high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Applicants will be evaluated on their individual merits and also with regard to how well their proposed doctoral projects can be supported by the existing resources of the program.

Only students interested in working towards the Ph.D. will be admitted to the Anthropology program (a Master's is earned along the way).

International applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL (paper) or 83 on the TOEFL (computer) is required for admission. The TOEFL exam may be waived for international students who have taken and successfully passed a freshman composition course at an accredited university in the United States.

Applications are kept on file for one year; if you wish to reapply the next year let the Division of Graduate Studies know which parts of the application you want to reactivate.

Applications must include the following:

Application Packet

  1. Application form

  2. Personal history statement
  3. Statement of purpose

  4. Writing sample (i.e.- a term paper or a chapter of your thesis, maximum of 15 pages).

  5. Unofficial transcripts

All documents are submitted online. There will be an application fee. 

Fee waivers for cases of hardship are available to US citizens and permanent residents only; international students are not eligible. Funds for waivers are limited, but if you feel you qualify for a waiver, complete the “Request for Graduate Application Fee Waiver” [pdf] and return it to the Graduate Admissions office for approval. Do not submit both a fee waiver request and an application fee payment. If your request for fee waiver is not approved, you will receive an email advising you and requesting the application fee.

Official transcripts are not required at the time of application. If admitted, we require an official transcript be sent directly from your previous institution prior to enrollment.

The two essay statements and writing sample may be either double-spaced or single-spaced.  Please include any reference pages in the page count.

Three letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be received prior to the application deadline. These letters of recommendation should be prepared by professors or others who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise in your chosen field of graduate study.

 You must register your recommenders as part of the online application, which allows them to submit their letters of recommendation online.

 Once your letters of recommendation have been submitted, you are not permitted to inspect them; however, if you are admitted and enroll, you will have access to your letters of recommendation unless you have previously waived that right. If you wish to waive access, please request and complete a Waiver of Access form for each letter. If your recommenders are submitting your letters directly, they must be received prior to the program deadline.

Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores.

Have GRE scores electronically sent to UCSC's school code: 4860

Admission Decisions

Email messages are prepared and mailed during March to let applicants know whether or not they have been admitted, or you may check your status at the MyUCSC web portal. University policy does not permit the department to give out any information via phone, e-mail or fax regarding which applicants were selected. Please wait for Grad Admissions to contact you.


For further information, please contact:

Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
(831) 459-3588

See Also