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How to Apply

Admission to the Department of Anthropology graduate program is competitive. Only a small percentage of applicants are admitted to the graduate program each year. Currently, we admit six to seven PhD students annually across all three subfields of archaeology, biological anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. A master’s degree is not required for admission, and students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree are welcome to apply.

You may apply for the PhD program with either a BA or MA degree. The department does not admit students to the MA degree program in the three primary subfields.

The department collaborates on a new MA in Heritage Studies & Public History.

All application materials should be submitted electronically via the Graduate Application. The Department of Anthropology accepts admissions to the program for fall semester only.

PhD application deadline: December 1. 
For more information
See chapter one of our graduate handbook
or contact

Applicants should include their subfield preference (archaeology, biological anthropology, or sociocultural anthropology) when applying for admission to the PhD program. 

Applicants should also review the Graduate School's application instructions. Please contact the anthropology graduate program with any questions.

The application fee is $75.00 for US Citizens and $95.00 for international students.


How to submit:

Statement of Purpose

This statement should include information about your research interests, academic background, and reasons for applying to the University of Minnesota. Upload this statement into the admissions application as "Personal Statement". Please limit your submission to a maximum of three double-spaced pages. Diversity Statement and the Extenuating Circumstances Statement are not required, but you may submit them if you wish.

Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial copies of your transcripts should be uploaded into the "Educational Background" section of the application using the “Upload Transcripts” button.

You must upload a transcript from each college or university you have attended.

GRE Scores

Send these to the department directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Our institution code is 6874 and the department code is 1701.

TOEFL Scores
International students only

You do not need to submit these scores if English is your native language or if you have completed at least 16 credits at a college or university in the US, Canada (except Quebec), United Kingdom/ Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand within 24 months of your desired date of admission. See the Graduate School's page on English Language Proficiency for more information.

The University of Minnesota requires a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL with minimum scores of 21 on the writing section and 19 on the reading section

Our institution code is 6874.

Letters of Recommendation (3)

You must submit three letters of recommendation. Recommenders must submit the letters using the admissions application.

Please email the program at if recommenders are not able to submit letters using the application system.

Writing Sample

Sociocultural subfield students are required to submit a writing sample. Students in other subfields are welcome, but not required, to submit a writing sample.

The writing sample must be no longer than 20 double-spaced pages and be uploaded into the online application.