The Department of Anthropology and Graduate Division accept applications for admission to the Anthropology and Medical Anthropology programs once each year for the fall semester only. The application must be completed online.  

**The Joint Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology is a separate Ph.D. program and must be applied for as such.  It is not a subdiscipline available to those accepted into the Ph.D. in Anthropology.

First go to Graduate Admissions to complete and submit the online application:

Link to the online application

This must be completed and submitted by no later than 8:59 PM, Pacific Standard time, December 4.  We prefer that letters of recommendation be submitted online as provided for in the application.  However, we recognize that some recommenders will either be unable or unwilling to send their letters electronically.  In that event, we will accept hard copy letters of recommendation.  Please upload scanned copies of transcripts to the online application.  Do not send hard copy original transcripts to the Anthropology Department.  You will not be required to submit original hard copies of transcripts unless you are planning to accept an offer of admission.  Everything else must be uploaded to the online application as directed.  We are accepting only the online graduate school application.

**Materials that can be accepted after December 4 are limited to letters of recommendation,TOEFL scores, or writing samples.

Applicants for the Anthropology Ph.D. are required to specify the track to which they wish to apply:

  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Sociocultural Anthropology

Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an institution of acceptable standing and may hold a Master of Arts in Anthropology or another field. Previous concentration in Anthropology is not required. The Department does not accept applicants interested in the Master of Arts in Anthropology degree only. The University's Graduate Division requires a combined junior and senior grade point average of at least 3.0 of an applicant to be admitted.

**Students interested in medical anthropology may apply to either the UCB program or the UCSF program but not both. Students should carefully review information about both programs before making a decision.  Information on UCSF’s program can be found at

Applicants should keep in mind:

Admission review begins immediately. Your application will be given the most serious consideration if all materials are on hand by December 4. Incomplete applications will be at a disadvantage.

The University does not deliver and sort mail during the winter holiday, so materials submitted after December 4 are likely to be delayed well into January. Given that the Department receives about 400 applications per year, it is not possible to review applications regularly in search of late materials and documents.

Please be assured that our program admits a cohort agreed upon by all the faculty, so the audience for your application is the entire program. On admission, you will be assigned two initial co-advisors, either (or both) of whom may end up being your doctoral advisor, and your interests in working with particular faculty certainly help determine those assignments.

In judging applications, the Department is interested (in order of importance) in:

  • Statement of purpose.
  • Statement of personal history.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Grade point average.
  • TOEFL scores/IELTS scores

Statement of Purpose
The applicant's Statement of Purpose should be concise (maximum 2000 words) and very explicit about the applicant's interests and anthropological goals. These statements are read carefully and are taken very seriously. 

For more information on what should be included in the Statement of Purpose, please see the link below:

Statement of Personal History
The applicant's Statement of Personal History should be maximum 2000 words.

For more information on what should be included in the Personal Statement (Statement of personal history), please see the link below.
Writing Sample
If the applicant wishes, they may submit a sample of their written work. There is no specific expected format or length. The writing sample will be used by faculty to assess your readiness for doctoral study, so consider texts that show your research capacity.

Letters of Recommendation
We require three letters of recommendation. The Department prefers that letters of recommendation be submitted electronically through the online graduate school application as mentioned above.  If need be, a hard copy letter can be sent to:

Department of Anthropology

Graduate Office

232 Anthrpology and Art Practice Building 

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA  94720-3710

GREs are no longer accepted or reviewed. Please do not submit them. 


International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not earned a basic degree at an appropriately recognized US college or university must take the TOEFL or IELTS test. For more information on the TOEFL go to, and for the IELTS,

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