Tips for Applying to Graduate School in Anthropology

Anthropology is a broad, complex and dynamic field. Succeeding in the anthropology requires dedication, perseverance and a level of maturity. Your choice of graduate school is an important step in for your career as Anthropologist. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.

Plan your Education

� Masters Degree or Doctoral. Most Anthropologists recommend going for a doctorate degree as opposed to a Masters degree. Funding for Masters Degree is hard to acquire. Remember it takes an average of 8.5 years to attain a PhD in Anthropology. Be willing to put in the time.
� Admissions committees look for maturity in Anthropology Graduate Students. It is recommended to take time off before applying to a graduate school in Anthropology. Spend the time off to acquire useful skills; learn a foreign language, gain experience by working in a research position.
� Get to know a couple of your undergraduate professors really well, they will be writing recommendations for you.
� Graduate programs in Anthropology do not require you to have a Bachelors degree in Anthropology; although having one will be beneficial.
� Do actual field work for your undergraduate thesis.
� GRE scores are important namely the analytical and verbal sections. There is no anthropology GRE paper.
� Grade Point Average is important too; keep your GPA above 3.00. This will improve your chances of acceptance into a Graduate School in Anthropology.
� Networking is essential; attend conferences like Northeastern Anthropological Society (NEAA) http://www.neaa.org/, attend lectures at neighboring schools, take a job in research or an internship in the field.

Deciding which program is right for you.

� The American Anthropological Association has a wealth of information on their website. The Association publishes a document that lists faculty and basic information about the departments. http://www.aaanet.org
� Read Journals to determine the kind of research being done in the field. http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/journals.html has a comprehensive list of Anthropology Journals.

Choosing a School

� Utilize the internet to visit websites of the institutions offering program in Anthropology.
� Choose a school with a high national ranking. http://www.anthropologie.net/Contents/contents.html This website has a wealth of information.
âÂ?¢ Pinpoint a faculty member you’d like to work with and contact them directly.
Questions to ask yourself
� What kind of student services are there?
� Is there field work involved?
� How are the relationships between the faculty and the students?
� How about the schools location?
� What kind of funding is available? Is there funding for fieldwork?
� Is there summer funding?
Visit the Schools
� Talk to graduate students in the program; they tend to be more candid with information.

Getting into the Program

� Consider applying for Fellowships or endowments beforehand; Mellon, Jacob Javits Fellowship, Ford Foundation, NIMH, NSF
� As a part of your application you will be required to write a Statement of Purpose. This is the most important part of your application. Make sure yours stands out. Be specific about what area you want to study, who you want to study with and what your goals and plans are.
� Recommendations are also important. Remember the relationships you developed with your undergraduate professors? Make sure they write solid recommendations for you.

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