Department of Anthropology

Application Instructions and Admissions Requirements


Admission to the Department of Anthropology Graduate Program is highly competitive and your application shoud be prepared with care.  A seriously constructed Statement of Purpose, an interest in areas which our faculty have teaching and research expertise, and an application that is complete and filled out carefully with all necessary information are of great importance.  Although the department places no specific restrictions on GRE scores or GPA, the Office of Graduate Studies may choose to deny an applicant with extremely low scores or GPA. 

On or around September 1, 2020, the Department of Anthropology will accept applications for FALL 2021 graduate admission; we do not have spring-semester admission.

The application deadline is December 1, 2020.   Students applying for Fall 2021 must have all materials submitted by December 1, 2020. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 

FALL 2021 ADMISSIONS UPDATE: Because of testing complications that some are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE is optional for Fall 2021 applicants to the Anthropology graduate program.

The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) processes all applications for U.S. and International graduate admission into the University of Texas at Austin.  U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents should review GIAC's information page for U.S. applicants.  International applicants should review GIAC's information page for International applicants.

Applicants will need to use the online application (Texas Common Application) to apply to the program and to upload materials.  The online 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 GIAC.  Please note that it may take up to 24 hours after GIAC has received your paid application for the system to allow you to upload materials. Please plan accordingly.

The following application materials must be submitted by December 1st:

  • Texas Common Application  for Admission to Graduate Study (U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents only) or Texas Common Application for Students from Other Countries (international applicants) is found on the ApplyTexas web site. 
  • Official report of GRE scores;  Reports are to be submitted directly to GIAC from The Educational Testing Service (ETS) agency.  The ETS code for UT-Austin is 6882. 
  • Official report of TOEFL or IELTS scores (international students only);  Reports are to be submitted directly to GIAC by the testing agency.  Note:  the Certification of Financial Responsibility (CFR) does not need to be submitted until an offer of admission has been given by the department.
  • Application fee payment (U.S.- $65.00; non-U.S. - $90.00).  If you need a waiver for the application fee (U.S. applicants only), please see the GIAC website's instructions.

The following application materials must be uploaded in PDF format to the applicant's file by December 1st: 

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Three letters of recommendation: These must be submitted online. An automatic e-mail will be generated and sent to your recommenders within 24 hours of your application submission. The e-mail will contain instructions and a secure link to their letter of recommendation online.
  • Statement of Purpose:  The statement of purpose should be submitted as a single document that addresses 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.)
  • Transcripts:  Upload an official trancript from every senior college you have attended. Transcripts are not required from junior colleges and community colleges.  Do not mail transcripts. For more information, please see the GIAC's instructions on uploading transcripts.
  • A writing sample. For students who have attained an MA; a copy of the MA thesis or report if available is requested. For students who are unable to provide a copy of their thesis, a writing sample related to proposed area of study is required.  

To upload materials to the applicant's file, edit lists of recommenders or check on the status of an application, visit the following link: Application Status Check

Selecting a Major

When filling out the Texas Common Application, you will be asked to identify your major from a drop-down menu.

Select a Major

Applicants who are applying to Archaeology, Linguistic, or Biological should select Anthropology (major code 606200).  For more information please visit our website.

Applicants who are applying to Sociocultural should select Anthropology/Sociocultural Anthropology (major code 606203).

If you are interested in Classical Archaeology please apply to the Department of Classics (major code 623200).

Selecting an Area of Interest or Specialty within your Major

Within the Texas Common Application you will be asked to identify an area of interest or specialty within your major. Please choose from the items on the drop-down menu (Archaeology, Archaeology/African Diaspora, Archaeology/Borderlands, Biological, Linguistic, Sociocultural, Sociocultural/African Diaspora or Sociocultural/Borderlands).


Degree you will seek

For the application, this question refers to the ultimate degree you expect to earn.  Please select "Ph.D." as your final degree, even if you wish to earn an M.A. en route; we do not offer a terminal M.A. in Anthropology.

Still have questions?  Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.  When in doubt, email the Graduate Program Coordinator for help and clarification.