How to Apply

PhD Application Deadline is December 5.

Admission to Our Program

Admission to our graduate program is competitive. Only a small percentage of applicants are admitted to the graduate program each year. Currently, we admit six or seven PhD students annually across all three subfields of archaeology, biological anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. 

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

We collaborate with the University of Minnesota College of Design on the Masters of  Heritage Studies & Public History.

Submitting Your Application

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

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

There is an application fee required by the Graduate School: Application Fees. If you are a McNair Scholar, you may be able to request an Application Fee Waiver through the Graduate School Diversity Office: McNair Scholar Resources.

Application Materials

All application materials should be submitted electronically via the Graduate Application. We accept admissions to the program for fall semester only.


Materials How to submit
Statement of Purpose

This statement should include information about your research and intellectual 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, as well as addressing the complex legacies of Anthropology’s history. We ask you to write a 450-word diversity statement on why you believe “diversity” is important to anthropology and academia. Secondarily, if you wish, you might also include examples that address your contributions to the diversity of the student body and academic life, your particular life and community experiences that shape your intellectual and social commitments, your overcoming of obstacles to achievement, and/or your helping of others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.

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.

TOEFL Scores
International students only

The Department of Anthropology is in line with the Graduate School’s operational standard for admission of test scores and English language proficiency. Exceptions to these minimum scores can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Review the Graduate School's English Language Proficiency web page for the 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 The writing sample should be a substantive work that reflects your ability to think critically and to articulate ideas. It might be a 20-25 double-spaced page seminar paper, an undergraduate research paper, a chapter of a senior or master’s thesis; or it might be a published article, a presentation poster, or a digital exhibit.The writing sample can be interdisciplinary and does not have to be in the context of an anthropology course or major.  
Resume/CV A resume/CV is required for submission. 

More information

See chapter one of our graduate handbook or contact