MA Application Requirements

The Department of Anthropology welcomes Canadian and international applicants from a broad spectrum of anthropological sub-disciplines. We especially look for candidates with an outstanding record of academic preparation and achievement.

Applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree with a major, honours or concentration in anthropology or the equivalent. The UBC major, for example, requires a minimum of 42 credits in anthropology courses, at least 30 of which must be numbered 300 or higher. In addition, applicants to the MA program must have completed at least 12 credits in senior anthropology courses with a minimum average of A -. The courses should cover a broad range of anthropology, including at least three credits of archaeology or physical anthropology, six credits in ethnography, three credits in methods, and, if possible, at least three credits of anthropological theory, and three credits in museum and visual anthropology.

Outstanding candidates with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines but with substantial background related to anthropology, or who are missing one or more of our admission requirements, are occasionally admitted on the condition that they complete a number of additional courses in anthropology. The categories and the types of courses that fulfill these requirements are described in the UBC Calendar. Click here to find the relevant section online on the UBC website.

The Department also favours applicants who have taken introductory courses in linguistics and statistics. Highly qualified applicants lacking one or more of these requirements may have courses in contiguous fields accepted as equivalents or may be required to take such courses as part of their program of study.

Beyond these minimum requirements, we look for applicants with developed intellectual interests as well as abilities and a strong commitment to their area of study and with interests that fall within the current interests of the Department. If applicants have questions about the match between their interests and those of the Department, they should contact the Anthropology Graduate Secretary. Applicants should indicate in their prospectus which faculty members they hope to work with. It is also helpful for applicants to discuss their program with the appropriate faculty members before making a final application. An application including a well-conceived statement of intent, a solid sample of academic writing, and detailed supportive letters of reference will receive the most favorable attention.

Applicants to both the MA and PhD programs should bear in mind that the Department receives far more applications than it can accommodate each year. We consider applications in terms of available faculty and resources. Inevitably, some excellent students are turned down. It is in applicants’ best interest to consider applying to several graduate schools.