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FAQ for the Graduate Program Application Process

Application Process

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.

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).

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

Although requesting department evaluation for MA if not accepted to PhD is an option provided in the University Graduate Application, the Department of Anthropology does not offer this option. Students should apply separately to either the PhD or the MA degree program in Anthropology. The department reserves the right to offer admission to an applicant for the MA or PhD regardless of the desired program stated in the Graduate Application.

Stanford uses an on‐line application. Information regarding the application fee can be found at This allows applicants to save data and work on their application from any computer on multiple occasions.


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


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

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

Please upload all application articles directly to the online application. If you need to send supplemental materials before the application is available, please contact the Student Services Officer directly via email or telephone at or 650-723-4641.

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


The graduate application checklist is updated by the department staff from mid-December through mid-January. Keeping in mind that the University is structured on the quarter system and that there is a University Winter Closure from the third week of December through the first day of classes in January, the checklists may not be completed by staff until mid-January. If the checklist status is ‘incomplete’, it may be that the applicant materials have been received, or not, and the staff have not yet had the opportunity to enter the updated information. Alternately, if certain application materials have not yet been received (i.e. official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores), there should be sufficient time for the applicant to provide these materials during the first part of January.


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.

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.


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 MA program for very few non-funded openings.

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.

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.