Skip to content Skip to navigation

FAQ for Materials Needed for Application (Application and Supplemental Articles, Required and Optional)

Application Material


No, the GRE test scores are no longer required for graduate admission beginning September 2018. 


No, the graduate application for admission to the PhD degree program includes the request for Department funding if accepted to the degree program. There is no funding available to terminal MA students.


The TOEFL test score(s), either computer based or paper-based, are required for all applicants to the Terminal MA and PhD degree programs whose first language is not English. Exceptions are granted for applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the equivalent degree from a non-U.S. college or university of recognized standing where all instruction is provided in English. This exception does not apply if the courses were completed in a country where English is spoken but not all courses were provided in English. Holding U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from the requirement for the TOEFL; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit TOEFL scores. TOEFL test scores must be submitted from a test taken within the last eighteen months. Applicants may request confirmation of an exemption by sending an email message to Graduate Admissions at the Stanford University, Registrar at gradadmissions@stanford.edu.


The ETS code for Stanford University is 4704. There is no additional or other Department code. Test scores are sent directly to the Stanford University Office of the Registrar via electronic format. ETS transfers these scores at some time between 1 June and the published graduate admissions deadline of a given graduate admissions year. Please go to http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/exams for additional information regarding test scores and ETS.


The electronic application requires uploaded copies (.pdf) of transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended for one or more years as a full-time student (Summer transcripts are not required).
 
Please do not submit official, copies of transcripts with the Graduate Application submission by the published deadline. After the published deadline, the department will proceed with an evaluation of the application materials based on the uploaded, unofficial scanned transcript copy(s).
 
Official transcript(s) will be required only after the applicant accepts an offer of admission. At that time, the applicant may send the transcripts directly to Graduate Admissions.
 
Acceptable delivery methods are listed at https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/admitted-students/requirements-admission/final-official-transcripts 
 
If the UG degree has not yet been conferred, the incoming student should wait until degree conferral is indicated on the documents before it is sent. 
 
Once received, Graduate Admissions will upload the official transcripts to Admit.  Records that do not match may result in revocation of admission offers.
 
Graduate Admissions will review to verify transcripts are official and that UG degrees have been conferred. 
 

The Statement of Purpose is an important part of application. The graduate admissions committee is primarily concerned with information regarding the applicant’s stated research interests. Applicants should describe in the statement of purpose the following information:
- reason for applying to the proposed graduate program at Stanford University
- preparation for the field of study, research and study interests
- future career plans and other aspects including background and interests which may aid the graduate admission committee in evaluating applicant aptitude and motivation for graduate study

Generally, a shorter Statement of Purpose, clearly written, is better than a longer statement. Applicants should upload one file that does not exceed 5MB. The Statement of Purpose should be a 900-1,350 word paper. Applicant computers should be set to Western European or other English-language setting.

Please include the following statement with the statement of purpose upload: ‘In keeping with the spirit of Stanford University's student honor code, I certify that the uploaded Statement of Purpose represents my own work, excepting normal input from advisors and named co authors or sources’.

Do not send the statement of purpose or other materials via mail or courier to the Department of Anthropology. Applicants who encounter difficulty with uploading the writing sample may send it via pdf email file attachment to the Department of Anthropology at anth_gradadmission@stanford.edu.


An appropriate writing sample is comparable to an applicant’s Senior Paper, Honors or Master's Thesis, a published paper, or a comparable written work giving evidence of both writing ability and the capacity for research, analysis, and original thought at the graduate level, demonstrating the ability to use theory in relation to evidence. A short, effectively written sample is preferable to a longer sample. Papers originally written in a language other than English must be submitted in English translation.

Applicants should upload one file not exceeding 5MB. The writing sample should be a 4,500-5,400 word paper. Applicant computers should be set to Western European or other English-language setting.

Please include the following statement with the writing sample upload: ‘In keeping with the spirit of Stanford University's student honor code, I certify that the uploaded Writing Sample represents my own work, excepting normal input from advisors and named co authors or sources’. Do not send the writing sample via mail or courier to the Department of Anthropology. Applicants who encounter difficulty with uploading the writing sample may send it via pdf email file attachment to the Department of Anthropology at anth_gradadmission@stanford.edu.


Three letters of recommendation are required, only. It is not the quantity of letters, rather it is the quality of the letters that supports the graduate application. Although, the electronic application will allow an applicant to submit more than three recommenders, please submit three recommenders, only. At least one recommender should be a faculty member at the last school you attended as a full-time student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years). Substitutions for faculty recommenders may include work associates or others who can comment on the applicant’s academic potential for graduate work. By special permission, a substitute or fourth recommender may be added by the applicant, please contact the Student Services Officer directly via email or telephone at selleck@stanford.edu or 650-723-4641 in order to make arrangements for a substitute or fourth referee.


Letters must be submitted using the electronic application. As part of the online application, the applicant will be required to register the names and contact information, including e-mail addresses, of each recommender. Recommenders will then receive an e-mail with directions on how to proceed. For additional information, please go to http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/recommendations. Letters should be received by the published deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that letters are submitted to the electronic application by the published deadline.


The electronic application and web-based recommendation submission process does not accommodate applicant recommendation via a letter service (i.e. Interfolio or other service). Letters of recommendation are submitted online, by the recommender. The recommender’s email address is used as the contact. Once the recommender’s email address has been provided in the electronic application, an email message is sent to the recommender with instructions on setting up the recommender account and submitting the recommendation, electronically.

The process of making a recommendation includes submissions of an electronic form in which the recommender answers questions about the qualifications of the application (i.e. how long the recommender has been teaching and the approximate number of students the recommender has taught), and ranking the recommender gives to the applicant compared to all others taught at that level. Due to the electronic application recommendation process, a letter service is not applicable and would not function. Applicants should contact their recommenders notifying them in advance that they will be receiving an email message asking them to submit a letter of recommendation.


Letters cannot be emailed or faxed; they will be rejected. If the recommender has difficulty with the electronic application and the requirements for submission of the letter(s) of recommendation, please contact the Student Services Officer directly via email or telephone at selleck@stanford.edu or 650-723-4641 in order to make other arrangements to submit the letter.