Admissions FAQs

Application + admission questions

The application deadline for both an international applicant and domestic applications is December 1.

We rarely admit M.A.–only students to the graduate program. Students who are just finishing a B.A. are urged to apply directly to our Ph.D. program, even though they will earn an M.A. degree on their way to their Ph.D.

In other words, if your ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D., you should apply to the Ph.D. program. Note that admissions standards are the same for M.A. and Ph.D. students, which means M.A. applicants must compete on even footing with Ph.D. students. M.A. students also cannot receive financial aid from the department. Be sure to indicate whether your ultimate goal is an M.A. or a Ph.D. on the application form, and you should also mention this in your statement of purpose.

  • School code: 1324
  • Department code: 1701

The four most important parts of the application are: your undergraduate record (including your GPA and transcript), your GRE scores, your personal statement, and your letters of recommendation. Before making final decisions, faculty will additionally review your CV and your writing sample.

It’s really a research statement. You will want to discuss the subject of your dissertation work, to the extent you can, and you should make it clear why the curriculum at IU fits well with your research plans, including mentioning faculty you may want to work with.

No. We are aware that many schools do not offer a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. We admit graduate degree program students from many other fields and majors. To be admitted into a graduate degree program at IU, students are required to be working towards finishing the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application or to have already received the degree.

The Graduate School requires an accumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Exceptions may be requested but are rarely granted.

The Department of Anthropology requires a GRE from our domestic applicants whose native language is English. We do not require the GRE if you are a international applicant and your native language is not English.

The required minimum GRE scores are 152 (verbal) and 153 (quantitative), and a 4.0 in analytical writing, or a 600 in both verbal and quantitative in the old format. Most of our accepted students however have scores well above this minimum.

ETS will not send out GRE scores that are more than five years old.  By request of the applicant, the department’s Graduate Admissions Committee may accept old GRE scores.

For applicants whose native language is not English, proof of English proficiency is required by the Graduate School. If the applicant received an undergraduate degree in the U.S., technically, the TOEFL score can be waived. However, we still highly recommend that all international students whose native language is not English provide TOEFL scores. Recent TOEFL scores are required of all students who will receive financial assistance in the form of a teaching assistantship. Further, many of our international students choose to use English as their foreign language, and this permission requires a TOEFL score. Thus, we highly recommend that all international applicant submit a TOEFL score.

TOEFL or IELTS or Letter from a consular official is required. If it is not possible to take the TOEFL, applicants should obtain a statement by a responsible official, ordinarily a United States consular official, attesting that they read, write, speak, and understand the English language well enough to pursue, at an American university, a program leading to an advanced degree in their chosen field. Such a statement should be submitted with the application for admission. A consular official could be a consul or an ambassador at the U.S. consulate or U.S. embassy in the student's home country.

Minimums are:

  • 550 for the paper version of the TOEFL
  • 213 for the CVT (Computer version of the TOEFL)
  • 79 for the new internet TOEFL, which is the preferred test as it includes a speaking section
  • 6.5 for the IELTS

Exceptions to minimum scores may be requested by the department, but in practice this is rarely done.

We generally admit around eight new Ph.D. students each year. We rarely admit M.A. only students (see the FAQ “Should I apply for the Master’s or the Ph.D. program?”). Each entering class of students comes from diverse backgrounds and has varying sub-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary interests. Typically, about 1/2 to 2/3 have a prior M.A. (in a variety of disciplines). Further, only about half of our entering class will have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, specifically. Our applicants also tend to have substantial work and research experience in various fields of science and the humanities.

The number has varied widely over the years, between 75 and 140.