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Graduate Program

The Anthropology graduate program provides students with excellent training in theory and methods, enabling them to pursue an advanced graduate degree in many subfields of Anthropology, including archaeology, ecology, environmental anthropology, evolution, linguistic, medical anthropology, political economy, science and technology, and sociocultural anthropology.

The doctoral program prepares students to conduct independent research and analysis in Anthropology.  Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of anthropology and to interpret and present the results of such research.  Eligible PhD students from other disciplines at Stanford University may also pursue a PhD Minor in Anthropology. See PhD Program Flyer for more information.

The department offers a Coterminal MA degree in Anthropology for current Stanford undergraduates seeking to obtain a MA degree while completing their BA degree in the same or different department. The department also offers a Terminal MA degree in Anthropology for Stanford graduate students, either in anthropology or in other disciplines, who have fulfilled the MA degree requirements for the MA 'on the way to the PhD'.

Over 1,500 doctoral dissertations have been completed in the department since 1895.  Anthropology alumni pursue successful careers in teaching, research, or non-academic careers in the United States and worldwide.

Beyond the Classroom

In close collaboration with Stanford faculty members and department leadership, our graduate students organize number of event series that contribute to the department's intellectual life and community.  The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) representatives act as a liaison between the department leadership and the graduate student body, actively participating in department issues, and providing a supportive community for the first-year PhD student cohort as well as other for other PhD and M. graduate students. Graduate students also engage with unique research, curricular, and professionalization activities. 

Fields of Study

Our graduate students may choose from the following Department tracks: 1) Archaeology; 2) Culture and Society. Students work closely with faculty members who are engaged in research informed by a wide array of theoretical perspectives from political to spiritual. Subfields in Archeology include: cities, gender and sexuality, and materiality. Students interested in Culture and Society can focus on a wide range of issues such as: linguistic anthropology, culture and mind, medical anthropology, and global political economy.  Explore each Research Area and its faculty.


The Anthropology Department offers 5 years of financial support to PhD students.  No funding is offered for student enrolled in the co-terminal and terminal MA programs.

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS). As a scholar, students join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of Doctoral studies at Stanford. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission.

How to Apply

Please review admissions for policies and requirements for each degree program by visiting the specific degree program page listed above. Please also consider reviewing the Stanford School of Humanities & Sciences' Guide on Getting into Grad School to explore which graduate program may best suit your interest, what graduate committees look for, and the benefits and challenges for pursuing a graduate degree.

Program Contacts

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Professor of Anthropology