Department of Anthropology

Admissions FAQ

Quick Notes:


  • Read through the FAQ and the Anthropology and GIAC admissions pages before contacting our office or GIAC.  
  • Include your UT EID and full name when submitting any documents (see below).
  • Make sure all of your documents are PDFs before uploading.
  • Proofread twice, upload once. You may be able to upload each document only once and uploaded items cannot be removed. Make sure the PDF for each item includes the entire document and is the version that you want to submit.   International students should include a copy of the English translation of their transcript(s) in the same PDF.


  • Send any paper documents to our office or the GIAC office without contacting the Graduate Program  Coordinator first.  Paper copies will be destroyed upon receipt unless there is a specific and agreed-upon reason to send them to the department or GIAC. 
  • Use your Social Security number as an identifier. Please use only your full name and UT EID. Please redact your SSN from any documents that you scan and upload (a black Sharpie is perfect for this).
  • Upload grade reports.  GIAC will not refer files to the department without first reviewing transcripts.  

And remember:

  • A file that is not referred to the department by GIAC is considered incomplete.  Faculty may review the file but the department will be unable to admit the student until the file is referred to us.
  • Uploaded documents cannot be removed from an application file by the department.  It is not possible to remove, say, a Statement of Purpose with a typo to replace it with a corrected copy.  Please proofread!

When can I apply?

The ApplyTexas Application will open in early September. 

What part of the application should I complete first?

The ApplyTexas Application is the first step in the application process - all other materials can be uploaded once the application has been submitted to and accepted by Graduate and International Admissions (GIAC).  You will need to pay the application fee or receive a waiver in order for the application to be accepted.  Acceptance by GIAC may take 24 hours or more- please make sure that your application is submitted in time for the December 1st deadline.

How can I request a waiver for the application fee?

Please visit the Graduate School’s site:

Why is your admissions deadline so early?

GIAC processes and verifies applicant materials for the entire university.  Transcripts are audited, scores assessed and applications checked for completeness before GIAC refers applications to the Department for review.

What should I include in the statement of purpose? 

The statement of purpose should address the following:

  1. Areas of interest: Discuss your academic and professional interests and goals. Describe the research areas and problems that you hope to focus on in your graduate work. Identify at least two UT-Austin Department of Anthropology faculty members whose work might contribute to your own research goals and discuss how and why. (No more than 1000 words.)
  2. Background and motivation: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study. Discuss how and why you came to be interested in the research areas you describe in the first part of this statement, as well as experiences, personal circumstances, or challenges that have shaped your scholarly trajectory. (No more than 500 words.)

How should I submit my statement of purpose?  According to the application, if I submit it online I am limited to just 120 lines.  How long should it be?

We recommend that you upload your statement of purpose after completing your online application. Complete your application and when you are emailed the link to upload application materials, upload a pdf of your statement. For length, the norm is about 1,500 words, or 2-3 single-spaced pages.

The instructions say to upload copies of my official transcripts and that only admitted students will need to submit official copies. Can you explain this in a bit more detail?

You will need to obtain copies of the official transcripts from each 4-year college that you have attended. Scan each transcript into a document (i.e., if the transcript is 3 pages long, keep all three pages in one document) and have it converted into a pdf. You should see a drop-down menu with a line for each transcript which will take you to the upload page. Make sure that you match the correct transcript to the proper page- you’ll have just one chance to upload each document.

You may redact the SSN on your transcript but do not alter your transcript in any other manner.  Your uploaded transcript is compared to your official transcript after admission and any alterations may be grounds for cancellation of your application and/or withdrawal of an offer of admission.

Should you be admitted to the University of Texas for graduate study, you will need to submit original, official transcripts before registering for classes. 

Unfortunately, if you attended the University of Texas at Austin for undergraduate study you will not be able to escape the $10 electronic transcript fee when applying. However, you will not have to submit the UT transcript later.

Can I upload a grade sheet instead of my transcripts? 

No, only transcripts will be accepted. 

How can I check my application status? How can I tell if my letters of recommendation are in?

You can check your application status, including the status of your letters of recommendation via the Application Status Check.  An EID is required:  You will not be able to review your application documents but any required or recommended actions will be displayed.

My letters of recommendation are not in and the deadline is in a few days.  Can I select a new recommender or add a recommender? 

Yes, you should be able to do so by using the Application Status Check.  Go to the list view for Letters of Recommendation and click on details for the first Letter of Recommendation.  You should see a link for "Manage your recommendation requests "  which will allow you to edit your list of recommenders.

Do you admit non-degree-seeking students? 


Do you admit part-time students?


Do you admit students in the Spring?

No, we only admit in the Fall. The deadline for applying is December 1 for the following Fall. 

Is the GRE required?

While the program typically requires a GRE score, because of testing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE is optional for Fall 2021 and 2022 applicants.

If submitting a GRE score, the GRE code for UT-Austin is 6882. No departmental code is required but do make sure that your name matches the name on the application.

What GRE score/GPA is required?

The department does not place a great deal of emphasis on GRE scores and no specific GRE score or GPA is required. However, the Office of Graduate Studies may choose to deny an applicant with extremely low scores or GPA. Likewise, a high GRE score can make applicants more competitive for prestigious university-wide graduate fellowships.

Can I apply to the program even if I do not have a Bachelor’s degree (or M.A.) in Anthropology?

Yes, it is possible to apply and be accepted with an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree in a related field.  Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the materials should show that an applicant is familiar with their chosen field as well as prepared to engage in research and scholarship in anthropology.  

Does the program offer a terminal M.A. in Anthropology?

No, the department only offers admission to the doctoral program to PhD-seeking students.

Do I need an M.A. in order to apply to the doctoral program?

No, you may apply to the program with either a bachelor's or master's degree. Recent cohorts have been nearly evenly split among students coming in with bachelor's and master's degrees. That said, students who enter the program without a master's degree are required to complete an M.A. in the program before moving forward.

Does my statement of purpose/writing sample/transcript/letter of recommendation/CV need to be in English?

Yes. Multiple members of our faculty review each application and all components should be in English or include an English translation.

Should I contact faculty about the program before applying?

It is a good idea to contact faculty members with whom you are interested in working with were you to attend UT.  But before doing so, please familiarize yourself with the faculty member’s research and interests. Faculty profiles and CVs are available on our website.  Course syllabi for current classes and CVs for faculty who are currently teaching can also be found here: .   When you e-mail the faculty, please briefly introduce yourself, detail your research interests and explain why you are contacting them. 

Do you give campus tours?

The department does not have sufficient staff to lead campus tours.  Fortunately, the Visitor Center does offer campus tours for prospective graduate students: . 

Who should I contact about campus visits?

If you plan to visit campus and would like to meet with faculty, you should communicate with them directly.  If you would like to sit in on a class, first identify the class(es) you would like to sit in on by reviewing the course schedule ( before contacting the professor for permission to visit the class.  It is also a good idea to check the faculty member’s office hours on the website when arranging a visit.

For more general information about applying to the graduate program please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator .