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Graduate Programs in Anthropology



About the Program

The Department of Anthropology at Brandeis offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology as well as a Joint M.A. degree in Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies. Students concentrate on one of three foci of anthropological inquiry: evolutionary processes, comparative social institutions, or systems of meaning. Training for independent research is stressed, with particular emphasis on theoretical issues and fieldwork.

Our department’s small size combines the best of both worlds: the intimacy of a small liberal-arts college department and the intellectual strength of a major research institution. Graduate training is based on required courses in the history, theory, and method of anthropology and on elective courses in the four subfields of anthropology: sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology.

Faculty interests include the study of complex societies, comparative methods, economic anthropology and development, gender studies, semiotic systems, global and transnational processes, linguistic anthropology, the emerging cultures of cyberspace, medical anthropology, psychological anthropology and religion and ritual. Geographic strengths include Latin America, North America, Africa, East Asia and South Asia. Graduate study in archaeology concentrates on the development of complex societies, emphasizing Mesoamerica.

Faculty

We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages.

Courses and Degree Requirements

For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines:

Ph.D. and M.A.: January 15 (Ph.D. applicants should see notes under "Admission Requirements" regarding fall matriculation)

Admission Requirements:

The Department of Anthropology is accepting doctoral applicants only as direct admissions from our anthropology master's program. Applicants interested in the Brandeis doctoral program in Anthropology are invited to apply to the Master's program. GRE scores are required for admission to the doctoral program. If accepted as anthropology master's students, students are then eligible to apply to the Ph.D. program for matriculation in the following fall with an application fee waiver. Acceptance to the Brandeis doctoral program is very competitive and not guaranteed, but faculty members also provide mentoring for students' applications to other doctoral programs. Our department has had good success in placing our master's students into doctoral programs.

To apply for all programs, you need to submit:

  • An online application; 
  • An application fee (please click here for more information);
  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions;
  • Letters of recommendation, submitted electronically; M.A. applications require 2 letters of recommendation; Ph.D. applications require 3 letters of recommendation.
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé;
  • A statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the academic program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Applicants to the master's program should discuss their plans for their academic and professional career and how the Graduate School will help them to attain their goals. Applicants to the doctoral program should outline their research interests and indicate how they would complement those of the faculty. Please Anthropology  for more specific notes regarding the statement of purpose.
  • critical writing sample not exceeding 35 pages; the 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE), required for both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Our ETS institution code is 3092.

International students:  For additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas, please click here.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Financial Aid

Brandeis University offers a generous array of tuition scholarships, fellowships, and loan opportunities; for more information please visit Financial Aid.

Careers and Alumni

Students and alumni can work closely with Career Services for an array of resources, including CV/resume help, job search, and networking.