Admission Requirements

Thank you for your interest in UCLA’s Department of Anthropology’s Ph.D program. The application deadline is December 1, 2021 for consideration to enter the 2022-23 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. Please contact the Graduate Advisor, Jennifer Banawa,, for any questions about the application process.

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 international 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.

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.

A satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for international applicants whose primary language of instruction is not English. The minimum score to be considered for admission is 87 on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS. For detailed English proficiency information and exemption criteria, please see English Requirements on the UCLA Graduate Division website.

  • The institution code for UCLA for the TOEFL is 4837 and the Anthropology department code is 81.
  • Ask IELTS to send scores to the UCLA Department of Anthropology and the UCLA Graduate Division. The address for the Department of Anthropology is

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

Letters of Recommendation

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

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. More information regarding 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. More information regarding 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.  If a report of original research has not been completed, a term paper, preferably one written for an anthropology class, may be submitted.


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


Applicants must upload one copy of unofficial or official transcripts to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions. Any transcript uploaded to the application are 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. Acceptable unofficial transcripts from U.S. institutions must:

  • Have the word “transcript” on the document
  • Have the name of your 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.


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.

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. Third-party evaluated transcripts (such as evaluations provided by WES) will not count as a transcript or English translation.

More information for international record requirements may be found on Graduate Division’s website.

Applicants who are admitted and choose to attend the program will be asked to submit their official final transcript(s) as soon as possible after degree conferral. International applicants 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.

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. It is also appropriate for applicants to contact potential sponsors. 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.