Decisions for admission to the graduate program are initiated by the individual faculty who will potentially serve as mentors. Primary considerations for admission are quality of the student and fit with the department. Applicants should declare a particular subfield, provide relevant information on their prior education, work-related experiences and other training and demonstrate their research interests (topics and area) to align with faculty research interests. Successful applicants typically name the faculty members they wish to work with on their application and contact those faculty prior to submitting their application. The department is unlikely to admit students with only general or underdeveloped interests in anthropology or those whose research interests do not match those of current faculty.
Applications must be complete by the December 15 deadline to be considered for admission. Applications are organized by subfield (archaeology, biological, linguistic, cultural). Faculty usually read and evaluate only those applications in their subfield. However, applications from students whose research spans two subfields will be read by faculty in both subfields.
Faculty meet by subfield to rank the applicants for admission. The number admitted in any year varies. To be admitted, an applicant must gain the support of at least one faculty member to chair the supervisory committee and at least two other faculty to be members of the supervisory committee. High-ranking applicants usually have more than the minimum number of faculty supporting their admission.
The Graduate Admissions Committee, composed of faculty representatives of all subfields, reviews the ranked admission requests of each subfield and ranks all applicants for department-controlled funding. The Department Chair makes all final decisions on admission and financial aid.