Admission Requirements

THE LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY SUBFIELD IS PAUSING ADMISSIONS FOR ONE YEAR (students applying to start in Fall 2023). Students who were planning to apply in Linguistic Anthropology should reach out to faculty in the subfield (as well as other subfields, if appropriate) about the possibility of applying in related subfields, if this reflects the proposed course of research.


Thank you for your interest in UCLA’s Department of Anthropology’s Ph.D program. The application deadline is December 1, 2022 for consideration to enter Fall 2023 (2023-24 academic year). Admission is limited to the Fall quarter only. Initial admission to the graduate program is offered only to applicants intending to pursue the Ph.D. The M.A is not offered as a terminal degree and is a stepping stone in the graduate education process towards the Ph.D.

All applicants must complete the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission and meet the University minimum requirements for admission (see also the Frequently Asked Questions for additional technical information). The UCLA Application for the 2023-24 academic year will be available in September 2022.

Please contact the Graduate Advisor, Jennifer Banawa,, for any questions about the application process. Prospective students are also welcome to book a virtual meeting with the Graduate Advisor,

Information regarding UCLA events and tours for prospective students is available below.

Required Degree and GPA

A degree in anthropology is not required, but is highly desirable. Applicants to the program must meet the University minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a bachelor’s degree from the University of California. An applicant whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study with above average scholarship from a university or university-level institution. Please carefully review this website for degree and academic record(s) requirements.

An overall scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required, or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used, and in any post-baccalaureate study.

Test Scores

GRE scores are not required.

Applicants may voluntarily submit GRE scores and they will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. Applications with GRE scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores. The institution code for UCLA for the GRE is 4837 and the Anthropology department code is 1701. If submitting GRE scores, linking of scores between ETS and the UCLA application only begins after an applicant submits the UCLA application. It may take 5 or more business days for an application to automatically update after the UCLA application is submitted.

English Language Requirement

The University’s English Language Requirement applies to all applicants. Citizenship, U.S. residence and/or work experience are not substitutes for meeting the requirement. Exemptions to submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores can only be made for applicants who meet the exemption criteria as listed on the English Requirements page on the UCLA Division of Graduate Education’s website.

Applicants who do not meet the exemption criteria must submit valid (unexpired) TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for only two years. The scores must be valid at the time of application submission.

The minimum score to be considered for admission is 87 on the TOEFL. UCLA does not currently accept MyBest TOEFL scores. The institution code for UCLA is 4837 and the Anthropology department code is 81. The linking of TOEFL scores between ETS and the UCLA application only begins after an applicant submits the UCLA application. It may take 5 or more business days after the UCLA application is submitted for an application to automatically update.


The minimum overall band score to be considered for admission is 7.0 on the IELTS. Applicants submitting IELTS scores must arrange their scores to be sent to the UCLA Department of Anthropology and the UCLA Division of Graduate Education. The address for the Department of Anthropology is

ATTN: Graduate Advisor
375 Portola Plaza
341 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Receipt of IELTS scores on an application is a manual process that may take weeks. If an applicant also arranged for IELTS to mail their scores to the Department as described above, then it may take 1 to 2 weeks following receipt of mailed scores for the Department to manually mark scores as received on the application.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation, preferably from anthropologists, are required.

Recommendations are completed in the UCLA Application. In the Recommendation section of the application, applicants enter the names and email addresses of their recommenders. Upon saving the information, the recommenders will receive an automatic email invitation from with a link to complete their recommendation.

Applicants can check the status of recommendations and resend the email invitation through the UCLA Application.

If a recommender wants to submit their letter through Interfolio, enter the email address(es) provided by Interfolio for recommenders in the application. Instruct Interfolio to answer all questions on the recommendation forms with the option Dossier Service Completion.

If a recommender has trouble submitting their letter, please have them contact with a detailed description of the issue and screenshots if possible.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should include the applicant’s academic background and experience, research interest, and goals in their selected field of anthropology. Prompts to help develop the statement of purpose may be reviewed here. Note: Our program has a maximum of 1,500 words for the statement of purpose.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is an opportunity for applicants to provide additional information that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. Prompts to help develop the personal statement may be reviewed here. Note: All applicants applying to a UCLA graduate program are limited to 500 words for the personal statement.

Writing Sample

The writing sample should be a report of original research where the applicant was the sole author. If a report of original research has not been completed, a term paper, preferably one written for an anthropology class, may be submitted. There is no minimum or maximum page length.


Submission of the applicant’s most current resume/CV is required.


Applicants must upload one copy of current, unofficial transcripts to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions. Any transcript uploaded to the application, even if an official transcript, is considered unofficial. An unofficial transcript will be issued by the university or college registrar’s office but may be accessed through a student portal. An unofficial transcript may also be a physical, official copy that has been opened and scanned. Do not provide screenshots, degree progress reports, grade audits, or similar printouts as it will not count as an unofficial transcript. If possible, applicants should rotate the document or page(s) prior to uploading so that the text is upright for reading.

Acceptable unofficial transcripts from U.S. institutions must:

  • Have the word “transcript” on the document
  • Have the name of the institution attended or are attending
  • Include the student’s name, program of study, and major of study
  • Include a term by term breakdown of each course taken with its corresponding units and grade*
  • Be clearly legible

*This requirement is waived only for those applicants who attended institutions that do not use a traditional grade or grade point system. For those institutions, there must be a note on the unofficial transcript that states that the institution does not assign grades or grade points.


Please carefully review this website for degree and academic record(s) requirements. Official academic records are not needed for the application. Scans of academic records are acceptable for the application. Unless academic records and diplomas are routinely issued in English by the institution, the records in their original language must be submitted with an authorized, complete, and exact English translation.

All academic records must show the dates of enrollment; the subjects or courses taken, together with the units of credit or time allotted to each subject and, if rank is determined, rank in the total class or group. The records must also include a complete description of the institution’s grading scale or other standard of evaluation. Maximum and minimum marks and the steps between them must be indicated.

If available, please upload a copy of the degree certificate/diploma along with the transcript.

Third-party evaluated transcripts, such as evaluations provided by WES, will not count as a transcript.

Applicants who are admitted and choose to attend the program will be asked to submit their official final transcript(s) showing degree conferral. Applicants who completed post-secondary education outside of the U.S. and who are admitted and choose to attend the program must also provide one certified copy of their certificate/diploma showing degree conferred in English and one certified copy of their certificate/diploma showing degree conferred in their original language.

Fee Waiver or Deferral Requests

Application fee waivers or deferrals are available to applicants who meet the University’s fee waiver requirements. All requested documentation outlined in the policy must be uploaded to the appropriate fee waiver/deferral section of the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission for a request to be considered. See also the “Fee Waivers” section in the Admissions FAQs. If an applicant qualifies for both types of requests, need-based and program participation, only one type should be selected to prevent any technical issues with the fee waiver review.

If requesting a fee waiver or deferral, applicants must carefully review the eligibility and documentation requirements to make sure they meet the eligibility requirements and upload the necessary documents before submitting their application.

Faculty Sponsorship

Prospective sponsors are canvassed by the Departmental Admissions Committee during the application review process, as the department requires that two faculty members sponsor an applicant before admission is recommended. The two faculty sponsors become an applicant’s initial advisors, should the applicant choose to attend the program.

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential sponsors/advisors before applying. Faculty profiles may be viewed here. Note: It is not a requirement for prospective applicants to receive a reply from faculty members or a pre-commitment of faculty sponsorship in order to submit an application or have their application reviewed.

UCLA Events & Tours for Prospective Students


To register for one of the following events, please click here and select the matching event date on the calendar.

No events at this time

Campus Tour

During the 60-minute campus tour, prospective students will learn general information about the UCLA campus with attention to the graduate student experience and UCLA graduate student support/resources. To view tour dates and register, please view the tour calendar.

Virtual Tours

Virtual tours are available for prospective applicants who are unable to visit campus in-person: