You are here

How to Apply

This coming academic year, the Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce the recruitment of a graduate cohort with an emphasis on “Critical Studies of Race and Racisms” that spans the multiple subfields of anthropology (from biological anthropology to archaeology to sociocultural anthropology) for fall 2021. 
This opportunity is made possible with a “Creating Inclusive Cohort Grant” from the University of Minnesota Graduate School that helps us to continue graduate admissions, despite a pandemic, for this coming academic year; increase the diversity of our graduate program; as well as to train all students in this cohort on the important topic/method of “Critical Studies of Race and Racism.” Specifically, in addition to the courses of study and research foci in each of their subfields (which can be biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology), this cohort would be explicitly trained and mentored with a dedicated multi-subfield graduate seminar on race and racism, co-taught by faculty across the multiple subfields. The in-depth critical study of race and racisms, in the context of anti-racism, is indispensable methodological, conceptual, theoretical, ethical, and professional training for any anthropologist, especially one coming of age in this contemporary moment. This emphasis would be integrally mapped onto existing strengths, programs of study, and subfields in our department. It is important to note that this emphasis does not mean that all applicants must be already trained or experts in this field, or that they must necessarily write their dissertation on this topic, but rather that broad training in this field will behoove all graduates, their projects, and the larger discipline.
If you are interested in applying to the Department of Anthropology, but you are unclear as to whether or not you align with the themes of this cohort, please feel free to contact You can find more information on the benefits of being involved in this cohort by visiting the following websites: Creating Inclusive Cohort Grant and Summer Institute.
Because of ongoing budget uncertainties related to the pandemic, we recommend that applicants wait to submit their application and pay the application fee until closer to the December 15th deadline.
The requirement to submit GRE Exam scores has been temporarily lifted for those applying for admission to the Department of Anthropology’s Ph.D. program for Fall 2021, due to difficulty in taking this exam related to COVID-19.
Additionally, please review the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency web page for the options available for international students about providing proof of your English language proficiency. There are various options available for those applying to programs for admission in Fall 2021 that would not otherwise be available.

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 15. 
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. Please limit your submission to a maximum of two single-spaced pages.

The Extenuating Circumstances Statement is not required, but you may submit them if you wish.

Diversity Statement

Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.

Provide an approximately 450 word count diversity statement. Examples include but are not limited to, personal and community backgrounds, commitment to diversity, research commitments. 

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
This requirement has been temporarily lifted for those applying for admission for Fall 2021, due to difficulty in taking this exam related to COVID-19.


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. 

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.

Review the Graduate School's English Language Proficiency web page for additional options available to provide proof of English language proficiency. 

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.




A resume/CV is not required, but is highly recommended.