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Admission Requirements

Thank you for your interest in UCLA’s Department of Anthropology’s Ph.D program. The application deadline is December 15, 2018 for consideration to enter the 2019-20 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, jbanawa@anthro.ucla.edu, for any questions about the application process.

Required Degree and GPA

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.

A degree in anthropology is not required, but is highly desirable. If an applicant with a Bachelor’s or Master’s from another field is admitted, a program of background studies in anthropology is formulated. Students who are entering the graduate program with and Master’s degree, whether or not in anthropology, are required to demonstrate basic knowledge of the discipline before being permitted to begin the requirements for the doctorate.

Test Scores

GRE: Satisfactory performance on the GRE General Test taken within the last five years is required. The institution code for UCLA for the GRE is 4837 and the Anthropology department code is 1701.

TOEFL or IELTS: 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 1701.
  • Ask IELTS to send scores to Anthropology and the UCLA Graduate Division.

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.

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.


The following is required for all applicants and must be submitted by the application deadline.

Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit either an electronic OR hardcopy official transcript onlyfrom institutions where they earned or are currently completing their bachelor’s degree and graduate degree (if applicable). Only one version is required. International applicants must provide one copy in the original language and one copy in English (see additional information below). UCLA graduates do not need to submit official copies of UCLA transcripts.

Electronic Official Transcript Option
If your institution offers the sending of official e-transcripts, please have them sent to anthrogradadvisor@anthro.ucla.edu. Only transcripts from institutions where you earned or are currently completing your bachelor’s degree and graduate degree (if applicable) are required. This is the preferred method of delivery.

NOTE: An email from your institution with an attached PDF of the transcript is NOT considered an official transcript.

Hardcopy/Mailed Official Transcript Option
One official, sealed transcript from each institution where you earned or are currently completing your bachelor's degree and graduate degree (if applicable) must be mailed no later than the application deadline to the address below. The transcript(s) must be sent directly from the institution. Request of transcript forms are available.


UCLA Department of Anthropology
Attn:  Graduate Admissions
341 Haines Hall
375 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553



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.

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


Applicants who are admitted and  choose to matriculate in the program and  who are/were in the process of completing their undergraduate or graduate degree at the time of applying will be asked to submit their official final transcript 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.

If you wish to check whether your transcript has been received in our office, please email: anthrogradadvisor@anthro.ucla.edu. Please wait to send your inquiry until after the anticipated delivery date has passed.

Upload(s) to Application

Applicants must also upload one copy of unofficial or official transcripts to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions. All transcript uploads are considered unofficial.

Faculty Sponsorship

The department requires that two faculty members sponsor an applicant before admission is recommended. Prospective sponsors are canvassed by the Departmental Admissions Committee during the application review process, but it is also appropriate for applicants to contact potential sponsors. Faculty profiles may be viewed here.