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Graduate Application Process

Am I eligible to apply for the PhD program in Anthropology?

You are eligible for admission to graduate programs at Stanford as long as you have either completed a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association; or completed an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.

Can I apply for winter, spring, or summer quarter admission?

No, applications will be submitted during autumn quarter for matriculation in the following autumn quarter/in the following academic year (e.g. apply in autumn for matriculation in autumn of the following academic year).

Can I apply to more than one department, center or program at Stanford University?

You may apply to only one degree program per academic year; however, you may only apply concurrently to one departmental program and to a professional school program (law, medicine or business). Please refer to

Can my application to the PhD program be considered for the MA program if my PhD application is not successful?

The Department of Anthropology does not offer this option. Students should apply directly to the PhD degree program in Anthropology. Current PhD students, either in the Department of Anthropology or at another PhD program within Stanford, can request to fulfill the M.A. degree requirements on the way to the PhD degree. The Department of Anthropology does not offer a terminal M.A. to non-Stanford students.

Can I obtain a fee waiver or fee reimbursement from Stanford University?

Stanford University offers several fee reduction programs. For additional information on this University policy, please see

The Department of Anthropology does not offer a fee waiver.

Should I arrange to visit the campus or meet with the department faculty before submitting my application?

Applicants are welcome to tour the department and to make an appointment to meet with the Student Services Officer.

Those applicants who wish to tour the campus to learn more about the University should contact the Visitor’s Center

May I send supplemental materials to my electronic application?

Yes, please upload all application articles directly to the online application.

May I send in supplemental materials before I submit my online application?

Please upload all application articles directly to the online application. 

I am interested in applying for a FLAS, Fulbright or NSF fellowship at the time I submit m,y application to the graduate program. How can I find out more about these extramural funding opportunities?

Please review the information detailed on the department webpages

What is the Graduate Admission policy on representation and authenticity?

The department’s offer of admission is based on the student’s representation of accurate information in the graduate application. A degree in process and pending completion must be completed by the graduate applicant. The Registrar office of Graduate Admission policy on representation and authenticity is listed at the Stanford Right of Verification policy located at

Who evaluates my graduate application, and what is the process of evaluation?

Applications are reviewed holistically to assess their promise for teaching and research careers. Greater emphasis may be placed on the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Faculty from the Department of Anthropology represent the department’s Graduate Admissions Committee each year – usually about six faculty, with two faculty from each of the department tracks.

How long is the evaluation process and when can I expect to receive information on the status of my graduate application to the Department of Anthropology? How will I be notified?

Decisions and notifications are usually made by mid-March and sent electronically via an email prompt by way of the ApplyYourself applicant profile. Please do not call the Department of Anthropology to inquire about the status of your application. The application status for materials received can be checked via the applicant’s web-based account.

How selective is the admissions process?

Each year, the Department of Anthropology receives many competitive applications to the PhD program for very few funded openings. As with the PhD program, the department also receives many competitive applications to the Coterminal MA program for very few non-funded openings.

If I am not offered admission to the graduate program in Anthropology, may I reapply?

You may (re)apply to a particular degree program in a subsequent application season. Regardless of a first-time application or a (re) application, the prospective applicant is required to submit an on-line application by the published deadline and pay the application fee for each application submitted.

If I receive a rejection letter, may I ask the department for more information regarding the department’s decision process and their evaluation of my application?

The department is not able to provide specific information related to individual applications. The admissions decisions have been based on an assessment of the qualifications of the applicant relative to the unique applicant pool in a given admissions season.

Is it possible to defer admission into the graduate program in Anthropology if there is a circumstance in which I am unable to begin the graduate program in the following autumn quarter?

No, the department does not allow deferral of admission.