Prospective Students

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest regarding graduate study in Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. This page provides information on the procedures involved in applying to the UCR Anthropology Department Graduate Program. The UCR Graduate School processes all applications, and general criteria can be found here, with specific criteria for Domestic and International Applicants. Please read below for our specific Departmental requirements.

Prospective Anthropology Students

All prospective students wishing to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in Anthropology must apply to the PhD program. UCR Anthropology does not take students who only intend to pursue a MA/MS degree. During the first year, students entering the program must complete required coursework and pass comprehensive exams in conjunction with the 200-level seminar series classes before beginning work on a dissertation. Admitted applicants may obtain a MA/MS degree upon satisfactory completion of first-year coursework and exams.
To advance to candidacy, students develop their dissertation topics in consultation with their PhD committees and submit research proposals in the second or third year of study. Acceptance of the dissertation proposal and satisfactory completion of written and oral PhD examinations permits the student to advance to candidacy. The research proposal can also form the basis for applications for research funding.


The department admits scholars only during the fall quarter. The deadline for admissions to the fall quarter is January 5 (This is not a postmark date; the electronic application and all supplementary materials must be received by January 5). Only complete applications will be considered. Applicants will be notified in late March whether or not they have been admitted into the graduate program in anthropology.

Admission to the Anthropology Graduate Program is based on a combination of seven criteria:

  1. Undergraduate record, or both Undergraduate and Graduate record if entering with a post-baccalaureate degree
    • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended since high school (secondary school) are required – these should be sent directly to the Anthropology Department. If they are sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, the review of your application will be delayed. If the highest degree earned is from a foreign institution, please see the Required Academic Records from International Institutions for information. For United States institutions, a GPA of 3.2 or higher is considered acceptable for graduate admission.

  2. GRE scores
    • A minimum is a combined score of 300 from the General Test is considered acceptable for graduate admission, however scores less than 300 may be considered for applicants who are well rounded in the other six departmental criteria. The GRE institution code for UCR is 4839 and the Anthropology Department code is 1701.

  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • Expectations are that letter writers are persons familiar with the applicant's potential for achieving academic and professional excellence.
    • Applicants will be able to enter their recommenders' information directly into their electronic application. Recommenders will be notified electronically and provided instructions on how to submit a letter online. All letters of recommendation must be received electronically so they are attached to the applicants file for review.
    • Submitting more than three letters does not improve standing as an applicant.

  4. One professional or term paper uploaded to the application as an example of the applicant’s work
    • Published papers with the student as first author, MA thesis, Honor’s thesis, or other independent research papers are acceptable as evidence of the applicant’s written ability to synthesize information. These are uploaded within the application and not sent directly to the Anthropology Department.

  5. The extent to which the applicant's interests coincide with the strengths of the faculty
    • The Anthropology Department Graduate Program provides research-oriented training and encourages a strong mentoring relationship between the student and a faculty member. As such, it is important for the applicant to consider their interests in the field and the extent to which they are complemented by the interests of our faculty members.

  6. The applicant’s Statement of Purpose: Goals and Qualifications
    • This is a brief statement (limit of 3,000 characters including spaces) concerning the applicant’s research interests, experience, and area of specialization and why they selected UCR’s graduate program in anthropology. It should also include any awards, prizes, and honors, as well as any other pertinent work, field, or academic publication experience related to the applicant’s graduate school goals. 

  7. The applicant’s Statement of Personal History
    This is a brief statement (limit of 3,000 characters including spaces) about how the applicant’s personal background informs their decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please 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.

Admissions Criteria: These seven criteria are used in judging applicants. The faculty considers carefully the merits of each application and no set formula for admission is applied.


All funding decisions and offers are made through the UCR Graduate School. However, the Anthropology Department generally does not admit applicants to the program without providing funding. Please review Graduate Information on Funding for opportunities at UCR. You may be asked for additional information at the time of application if you qualify for any of these Grants, Awards, and Fellowships. The Graduate School also offers ongoing advice on Funding Sources for your Education and Building a Great Financial Package for both applicants and those admitted.

Graduate Program Application

If you are ready to apply, please complete the official UCR Graduate School Application. This is the application that serves as the "official" application to the Anthropology Department's Graduate Program. The UCR Graduate Division provides more information about the official application procedures.

Program Name: Anthropology
Contact Address: Anthropology Department
1334 Watkins Hall
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
Contact Phone & E-Mail Yolanda Moses, Professor and Graduate Advisor

Anna Wire, Graduate Affairs Assistant
Phone: (951) 827-5145
Leading to the degree of Ph.D., M.A., M.S.
Areas of Specialization 1) Archaeology
2) Sociocultural Anthropology
3) Biological Anthropology
4) Linguistic Anthropology
Admission Limited to Fall only
Deadline to apply Admission and fellowships are applied for by January 5 of the year you intend to register.
Testing Requirements GRE. ALL applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Letters of Recommendation 3
Other Requirements Students are required to submit one professional or term paper submitted as an example of their work and a statement of why they selected UCR to pursue training and professionalization in its graduate program in anthropology.