Department of Anthropology Graduate Admission

Admission | Apply | Tuition & Funding | Cost of Attendance | FAQDiversity | GNM 


The Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington recognizes three principal sub-fields of anthropology into which its graduate programs are divided: archaeology, biological anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. We currently offer several graduate programs within these subdivisions:


Archaeology and Biological Anthropology admissions will be run every year, Sociocultural Anthropology only offers admissions every other year. The next admission cycle for Sociocultural Anthropology will be for Autumn 2024. Applications open on October 15th and close on December 15th. Applicants may apply for and be admitted for autumn quarter only. Offers of admission are usually mailed prior to the first of March. Those receiving offers of admission must respond by April 15.

Applicants are considered on the basis of academic ability, career motivation, and promise for achieving professional competence associated with the PhD, with interests and goals that fit with departmental programs and faculty interests. It is recommended that the applicant complete an undergraduate program appropriate for graduate work in anthropology, but a BA/BS in anthropology is not specifically required. Please visit the Graduate School Requirements for a list of University-wide application requirements. See Admission Statistics for a profile of recent applicants.


If you wish to apply to the Department of Anthropology, you must complete the online application on the University of Washington Graduate School website. Please note that applicants may only apply to one of the three PhD track programs. All applicant materials (including letters of recommendation and unofficial transcripts) will be collected online and the deadline to apply is December 15th.

Before you apply to our programs, please read through the answers to some frequently asked questions, and be sure you understand what we offer. If you have questions that are not answered in the online program information, application website, or frequently asked questions, please contact the Anthropology Graduate Program at Applicants will be notified by e-mail if materials are missing and when all application materials have been received.

International Applicants

For information about the Financial Ability Requirement, English Language Proficiency, F-1 Employment Options, and detailed information about the post admission process, please visit the International Applicants page on The Graduate School's website. 

Application Fee Waiver

For information about your eligibility and the application process for this fee waiver, please visit the Application Fee Waiver page on The Graduate School's website. 

Tuition & Funding

Students who receive assistantships are granted a tuition waiver and receive a stipend for the quarter in which they hold their appointment. However, we do not guarantee assistantships for every quarter in which a student is enrolled in our program. Detailed funding packages will be included in your letter of admission. 

Please visit the Department of Anthropology's Graduate Funding page for a detailed list of opportunities. For more information about tuition/fees and financial assistance options, please visit the Paying for Graduate School page on The Graduate School's website. 

Cost of Attendance

For an overview of the cost of attendance for full-time, resident and non-resident students please visit Cost of Admission on the Office of Admission's website. Note: International students pay non-resident tuition. US Citizens who are not residents of the State of Washington will have an opportunity to apply for residency status from the Washington State Residency Office after residing in the state for at least 12 months.


Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status is recognized by the anthropology department, however, there is a separate application process for applicants seeking GNM status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Anthropology's Graduate Admission Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Diversity within the Department of Anthropology

In keeping with our disciplinary mission, the Department of Anthropology has long attempted to diversify the composition of our graduate students. We recognize that diversity – whether defined as cultural, racial/ethnic, national, socio-demographic, gender/sexuality, religious, linguistic, age or ability – enriches the process of discovery by engendering multiple modes of thinking about problems and communicating ideas.

Given that anthropology as a discipline will only remain relevant to the world if it includes and trains practitioners from diverse backgrounds, the UW Department of Anthropology is committed to developing a more diverse faculty, staff and student body in order to better achieve our departmental, institutional and discipline-related goals of research, teaching, community service and social justice. View the Anthropology Diversity Mission Statement.

We have benefited from support from the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program in pursuit of this goal. In order to attract strong students to our graduate programs, the department has actively recruited during the national meetings of the major anthropological societies - the American Anthropological Association, the Native American Relations and Native American Scholarship Committees of the Society for American Archeology, the Alaska Anthropological Association, and the Association of American Physical Anthropologists. Additionally we have taken steps to follow-up on names submitted to us by Graduate Opportunities for Minority Achievement Program as part of the University Name Exchange Program. We also recruit with the Olson Fellowship which is funded by a bequest to the department by the Olson family. The bequest stipulates that members of North American Native tribes be given the highest priority.