Graduate Programs

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The Department of Anthropology at Berkeley invites graduate students to be part of the shaping of emergent approaches in Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Sociocultural Anthropology, and Medical Anthropology by joining one of two PhD programs, in Anthropology and Medical Anthropology. Graduate students may also apply for admission to the interdisciplinary MA program in Folklore, with an option to simultaneously apply for a PhD in another discipline. The breadth of fields that comprise graduate study in anthropology at Berkeley creates a vibrant community of students with diverse approaches to research, backgrounds, and goals.

Research undertaken by Berkeley graduate students literally spans the globe, with notable regional strengths in the study of Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Islamic world, and contemporary North America. As one of the top anthropology programs in the country, Berkeley regularly is visited by leading anthropologists from around the world who share their expertise with students through lecture series, workshops, and as visiting faculty.

A hallmark of Berkeley graduate training is an emphasis on facilitating student research. This includes support from departmental grant programs that allow students to undertake pilot research, mentoring in grant writing leading to a high level of success in obtaining research grants and fellowships, and encouragement for student-initiated research groups funded by broader Berkeley programs such as those of the Townsend Center and areas studies centers.

Incoming students share first year seminars that serve to introduce them to Berkeley anthropology and enable their transition from beginning students to practicing anthropologists. Because Berkeley admits a small number of students, the program provides an opportunity to work closely with mentors while developing independent research. Each student individually shapes a course of study, guided by a faculty committee that includes at least one faculty member from another department. Students are encouraged to gain skills in teaching, to present their own research in public, and to engage in a wide range of activities through which they learn how the academic discipline and its sites of practice are structured.