The Anthropology program offers a Doctoral degree. 

A note about admissions to Anthropology for fall 2021: In light of the extraordinary circumstances our graduate students face in this time of extreme uncertainty, with many of them unable to conduct the field and lab research necessary for their dissertations, we have decided to significantly limit the number of incoming students next year.


The Anthropology Doctoral Program will therefore only be accepting applications for the Archaeology and Biological Anthropology tracks for the 2021-22 academic year; we will not be accepting applications for the Cultural track.


Our goal as a department is to ensure support for our current students while enabling all three of our subfield programs to flourish. That means accepting fewer students than we normally would for this year’s admissions cycle and prioritizing our smaller programs in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology.


We anticipate resuming accepting applications for the Cultural track in October 2021 for the 2022-23 academic year.

Important: Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation are required of all applicants. 


Read the Application Instructions​ page for full details.

See the test score requirements for this program.

Below are specific requirements also needed for this program:

  • Résumé

  • Writing Sample:

    • A Writing Sample (i.e., a term paper or chapter from your B.A. or M.A. thesis) of no more than 20 single-spaced pages. Please include your name in the footer of each page of your writing sample.

  • A Statement of Purpose is required:

    • Required of all applicants. Please describe your plans for graduate study and research, and for your future profession. Please also describe in detail why you have chosen to apply to the Anthropology Department at UC Santa Cruz: What about the department and the work of its faculty do you find compelling? How do you see the department, and particular faculty, contributing to your intellectual and professional growth? Include any information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and qualifications for graduate study at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    • Recommended length is 2-4 single-spaced pages. Please be concise.

  • A Personal History Statement is also required:

    • Required of all applicants. This statement will be used in conjunction with your application for graduate admission and financial support.

    • UC Santa Cruz is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. What brought you to apply to a PhD program, and to anthropology in particular? And how do you think anthropology might speak to questions of diversity, inclusion, and/or justice, both in the academy and beyond? Include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.

    • Note that the Personal History Statement should not duplicate the Statement of Purpose. Recommended length is 1-3 single-spaced pages. Please be concise.


See the application deadline


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