Admission

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 must be submitted online. The online application process includes submission of the following materials: Graduate Record Examination scores (School Code 4834), 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 Terminal M.A. program in Evolutionary Anthropology.

Application and Admission FAQs are available on the Graduate Studies website.

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

Only the general exam is required. You do not need to take an anthropology subject exam. Please submit test scores electronically through ETS. The department code is not necessary. After you submit your application through the UC Davis online portal, you must upload unofficial transcripts from all college-level academic institutions you have attended. Please follow the instructions in the application and in the confirmation email that will be sent to you after you submit your application.

The UC Davis school code is 4834. 

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.

Prior Experience Essay

Inclusion of a “prior experience” essay is optional, although recommended. If you choose to submit an essay, it should describe your research, teaching, lab, studio, and/or other related work experiences. You may include references to relevant internships, exhibitions, publications, travel or study abroad, special projects, foreign language proficiency, or other applicable achievements or activities.

The maximum acceptable length 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:

Questions?