Application Pause for Anthropology Doctoral Program

The Anthropology Doctoral Program and the UCB-side of the Joint UCB/UCSF Medical Anthropology Doctoral Program will not be accepting applications for the 2021-22 academic year. Our decision to pause admissions stems from a recognition that many aspects of our program are predicated on an in-person learning environment, and that it would be unfair to offer admission to students while it is still unclear such an environment will be achievable in the upcoming year. During this one-year hiatus, we plan to review and revise our program to ensure our pedagogical values and commitments can be maintained in the context of current uncertainties. We will resume accepting applications in September 2021 for the 2022-23 academic year.

Letter From the Chair

As chair of the UC Berkeley anthropology department, I write to express my department’s support for the initiative to un-name Kroeber Hall. The act of un-naming, as we see it, takes an important step in addressing and acknowledging a long history of violence toward Native Americans in which UC Berkeley and the anthropology department are implicated. This act gives momentum to the long-overdue work of repair for historical injury. 


For anthropologists, it is crucial that we not let our fidelity to one of the discipline’s founding figures subvert this task — a labor that requires care, certainly in regard to generations past, but especially to the sentiments and sensibilities of living peoples who have experienced grave injustice. For this reason, my department unequivocally endorses the call, forcefully stated in last week’s op-ed by a group of Native students, to un-name Kroeber Hall.

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Faculty Statement: Against Racial Injustice

We anthropologists of the University of California in Berkeley stand with those who condemn the suffocating weight of racial violence applied year after year to the lives and aspirations of black Americans; we express our outrage at seeing the breath of black Americans snatched away yet again by public noose and police knee; and we forcefully denounce a system of white supremacy that shields the lives and livelihoods of white citizens by throwing its black and brown citizens to the ravages of economic collapse and the entrenched biases of a health care system driven by corporate interests. As anthropologists and educators, we reaffirm our commitment to an anti-racist pedagogy and to the goal of bringing about the end of the structures of racial inequality that pervade American society and that culminate both in the mass incarceration of black Americans and in wanton acts of murder by officials working on behalf of the American state. As human beings, we despair of these killings and demand justice.

An Education in Anthropology

Anthropologists study human beings from every time period, in every way possible, and in all their complexity. Click here to learn more about what a degree in Anthropology can do for you.

The Department of Anthropology at Berkeley has long been ranked among the top five departments in the United States.

Berkeley Anthropologists have a history of innovation and leadership in emergent areas of the discipline, whether conducting their research in modern biological labs, in globalizing villages throughout the world, or at places being developed as sites of cultural heritage and national identity. The Berkeley faculty includes the largest number of winners of the J. I. Staley Prize(link is external), awarded annually to an outstanding anthropology book by a living author, the only discipline-wide award in anthropology.

The Anthropology  Department mourns the loss of our own Sam Dubal  (Medical Anthropology PhD 2018) who disappeared in the Mount Rainier National Park in early October.  Our hearts go out to his family, his students, his colleagues and his friends in this time of great sadness.  

Recent Stories

A heartfelt welcome to our new colleague, Professor Aarti Sethi, who joins us this year!

 Aarti Sethi will be teaching Anthro 189A:
 Wheat, Cotton, Coffee, Cannabis: Capitalism,
  Crops and the Making of the Modern World
  for Spring 2021

Brains and Language featuring Professor Terry Deacon

Brains and Language