How to Apply

Apply online for Admission to the Anthropology doctoral degree program.

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. Within the Evolutionary Anthropology program, we are admitting students who wish to obtain only an M.A. degree (become part of our “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.

Admission deadlines

New students are accepted for the fall quarter only. The Sociocultural Anthropology program will not be admitting any new students for Fall 2019.

Applications for enrollment in our Ph.D. programs must be submitted online no later than December 15 of the prior year. Students applying to the “Terminal MA” program may apply until March 15 of the year they would like to enter (this is a “space available” deadline”).

The online application process encompass submission all supplemental materials, including three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, Graduate Record Examination scores, (School Code 4834) and curriculum vita. Only academic transcripts should be sent directly to the Department of Anthropology.

The prospective student fellowship deadline for the Department of Anthropology is December 15.

The Fall 2018 application and additional information on applying to graduate school at UC Davis are available from the UC Davis Graduate Studies office.

Select your 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 also contact the faculty 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 UC Davis school code is 4834. 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. Consult the UC Davis Graduate Studies office for more detailed information about the process.

Letters of recommendation

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

Statement of purpose

Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis. The maximum permissible length of the statement of purpose is 4,000 characters, including spaces.

  • 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.

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. For more information about these tests, please consult the UC Davis Graduate Studies sections on TOEFL and IELTS score requirements.

The UC Davis office of Services for International Students and Scholars offers a broad range of welcoming resources, programs and activities.

The UC Davis Graduate Studies office also has helpful resources for international applicants.