Apply online for admission to the Anthropology doctoral degree program.


Admission Deadlines

New students are accepted for the fall quarter only.

  • December 15 - Applications for admission into our Ph.D. programs and Terminal M.A. program (only in Evolutionary Anthropology) must be submitted online. The online application process includes submission of the following materials: three letters of recommendation, Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, Prior Experience Essay (optional), Writing Sample, and CV. 
  • December 15 - Prospective student fellowship deadline. Students must apply by this deadline to be considered for potential fellowships.
  • March 15 - Space available deadline for students applying to the Ph.D. programs and Terminal M.A. program in Evolutionary Anthropology.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the time between the “General” deadline and the “Space Available” deadline should not be treated as a rolling deadline. Importantly, applications received by the Space Available deadline will only be considered after applications received by the General deadline are reviewed, and it is very rare for the Anthropology Graduate Program to have available space at this point in the admissions process. Because applications received after the General deadline will not receive full consideration, prospective students should apply by the General deadline. 


Application Requirements

  • Prerequisites
  • We do not have any course prerequisites.

    An M.A. degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students may apply directly from a bachelor’s degree program. The Evolutionary Anthropology program is admitting students who wish to obtain only an M.A. degree (the “Terminal MA" program). Please consult with the faculty you are interested in working with before selecting the M.A. rather than the Ph.D. degree program.

    Note: The Sociocultural Anthropology program does not offer a Terminal M.A.
  • Preferred Faculty Mentor(s)

  • You will be asked to indicate up to three faculty members with whom you wish to work. The Anthropology Ph.D. is a mentorship program. Our faculty roster (evolutionary faculty and sociocultural faculty) indicates the geographic and topical specialties of each of our faculty members. Please read about the faculty in your area and identify those whose research closely matches your own interests.

    We recommend that you contact the faculty member(s) with whom you are interesting in working to ensure they will be accepting graduate students for the next academic year.
  • GRE Scores and Transcripts
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The GRE requirement is no longer required

    Have more questions? See GRE FAQs and Transcript FAQs on the Graduate Studies website.

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Three letters of recommendation are required; you may not submit more than three recommenders to contact. The university will contact recommenders with instructions for uploading their letters. We do not currently support document agencies such as Interfolio.

    Have more questions? See Letter of Recommendation FAQs on the Graduate Studies website.

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis. 

    • -- preparation and motivation may include your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, studio projects, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
    • --interests, specializations and career goals may include your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area(s) of specialization and professional objectives.
    • --fit may indicate how your preparation, experiences and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of the UC Davis Anthropology graduate program. Please identify specific faculty within the graduate program with whom you would like to work, and explain how their interests match yours.

    The maximum permissible length of the statement of purpose is 4,000 characters, including spaces.

  • Personal History and Diversity Statement
  • The purpose of the personal history and diversity essay is to learn about you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education. This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in your statement of purpose.

    The maximum permissible length of the personal history and diversity statement is 4,000 characters, including spaces.

  • Supplemental Materials
  • Along with your application, you must submit:

    • --a PDF file of your CV
    • --a sample of your writing — a paper of up to 10 pages, thesis or published article
  • Application Fee
  • Please consult the UC Davis Graduate Studies office for current application fees for U.S. and international applicants.
  • International Applicants
  • English language testing is required, not only for international students, but for all applicants whose native language or primary language of instruction is not English. UC Davis accepts both the TOEFL and IELTS examinations.

    Additional Resources: