Application to Graduate Program

Application to Graduate Program



Biological Anthropology

Medical Anthropology

Sociocultural Anthropology

Masters in Folklore


Graduate Degree

The Department of Anthropology and Graduate Division accept applications for admission to the Anthropology and Medical Anthropology programs once each year for the fall semester only. The application must be completed online.

**First go to Graduate Admissions to complete and submit the online application.

Online application

This must be completed and submitted by no later than Midnight December 1, 2014.  We prefer that letters of recommendation be submitted online as provided for in the application.   However, we recognize that some recommenders will either be unable or unwilling to send their letters electronically.  In that event, we will accept hard copy letters of recommendation.  Please upload scanned copies of transcripts to the online application.  Do not send hard copy original transcripts to the Anthropology Department.  You will not be required to submit original hard copies of transcripts unless you are planning to accept an offer of admission.  Everything else must be uploaded to the online application as directed.  We are accepting only the online graduate school application.

[Materials that can be accepted after December 1 are limited to letters of recommendation, GRE or TOEFL scores, or writing samples.]

Applicants for the Anthropology Ph.D. are required to specify the track to which they wish to apply: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, or Sociocultural Anthropology.

Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an institution of acceptable standing and may hold an Master of Arts in Anthropology or another field. Previous concentration in Anthropology is not required. The Department does not accept applicants interested in the Master of Arts in Anthropology degree only. The University's Graduate Division requires a combined junior and senior grade point average of at least 3.0 of an applicant to be admitted.

Students interested in medical anthropology may apply to either the UCB program or the UCSF program but not both. Students should carefully review information about both programs before making a decision.   Information on UCSF’s program can be found at

If your recommenders cannot or will not use the online recommendation system, they can send hard copy letters of recommendation to:


Department of Anthropology Graduate Office

232 Kroeber Hall

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA. 94720-3710


Applicants should keep in mind:

Admission review begins immediately.

Your application will be given the most serious consideration if all materials are on hand by December 1. Incomplete applications will be at a disadvantage.

The University does not deliver and sort mail during the staff winter holiday, so materials submitted after December 1 are likely to be delayed well into January. Given that the Department receives about 400 applications per year, it is not possible to review applications regularly in search of late materials and documents.

In judging applications, the Department is interested (in order of importance) in:

  • Statement of purpose.
  • Statement of personal history.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Grade point average.
  • GRE or TOEFL scores.

Statement of Purpose
The applicant's Statement of Purpose should be concise (maximum 2000 words) and very explicit about the applicant's interests and anthropological goals. These statements are read carefully and are taken very seriously. If the applicant wishes to submit a sample of his or her written work, the sample should be brief (no more than six pages).

Statement of Personal History
The applicant's Statement of Personal History should be maximum 2000 words.

Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation.

The Department now accepts electronic letters of recommendation through the online graduate school application as mentioned above.  If need be, a hard copy letter can be sent to:

Department of Anthropology

Graduate Office

232 Kroeber Hall

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA  94720-3710

GRE or TOEFL Scores

All English-speaking applicants are required to take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and to have their scores on this examination reported to the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley by the Educational Testing Service. Foreign applicants whose native language is English and those who have studied for one year or more in schools or universities where English is the language of instruction must fulfill this GRE requirement. Further information on the GRE, together with application materials, dates and places of administration for the current year, may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service at

In order for these materials to be considered in a timely manner, it is advisable to take the GRE before the end of October. Although the GRE is also offered after the end of October, please be aware that any delay in receiving the scores can render an application "incomplete" well into the January decision-making period.

Foreign applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied in an English-speaking university must take the TOEFL test, but do not need to submit GRE scores. For more information on the TOEFL go to

See Admissions F.A.Q. for frequently asked questions about the admissions process.

Nondiscrimination Policy Statement
The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and University policy, prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized). This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.

Inquiries may be directed to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination at