1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

How to Apply

Applications to the Department of Anthropology graduate program are accepted online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admission System.

The application form requires you to specify whether you are applying to the PhD or the MA degree track.

The application requires a statement of purpose, three recommendation letters, and a writing sample.

The statement of purpose should offer a narrative of your accomplishments, including details of major papers and projects you completed as part of your prior studies. It should describe the anthropological questions you want to grapple with through your graduate study and research, along with the particular regions or historical periods on which you will focus (although we do understand that your plans may alter with time). And it should let us know what your future career plans are, your reasons for applying to study in this Department specifically, and aspects of your background, skills, and linguistic abilities that may aid the Admissions Committee in evaluating your aptitude for graduate study.

Letters of recommendation should be requested from people who know you well and can speak to the quality of your academic skills (especially in careful reading, writing, and the construction of arguments), your ability to work cooperatively with others, and your prior accomplishments.

The writing sample should be a major course paper or other substantial essay that showcases your ability to frame a scholarly argument, to develop it by discussing pertinent literature, and to analyze relevant primary materials. For applicants with an MA, the writing sample should be your MA thesis or equivalent.

The remaining application materials include the application form and fee, transcripts, and GRE scores. The GRE is required of all applicants, but no GRE subject test is required. International students from non-English-speaking countries must also provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. The Graduate School asks applicants to upload unofficial transcripts when applying; applicants who are offered admission to our graduate program will then be asked to provide official copies of all transcripts.

For more information on the required application materials, please see the Anthropology Admissions FAQs as well as the Arts and Sciences Graduate Admissions web site.