PhD Application Requirements

Admission to the PhD is open to candidates with an MA in anthropology, although we may in special circumstances admit students with a master’s degree in a related subject. In all cases, students applying for the PhD should possess substantive previous training at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels in anthropology. Admission to the PhD program is by application and requires an evaluation of the applicant’s previous work and capacity to pursue and complete original research. Students completing their MA at UBC must also formally apply in order to be considered for the PhD program. See the application requirements for a PhD in anthropology on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

PhD applicants must possess or be close to completing a MA in anthropology. They are also expected to have had undergraduate preparation equivalent to that of the UBC major in anthropology (see Academic Qualifications – MA Program). Outstanding candidates who are missing one or more requirements may be required to take such courses as a condition of entry or as part of the program of study. Acceptance into the PhD program is conditional on completion of all outstanding MA work, including coursework and thesis.

The PhD in anthropology requires a major research project (normally involving fieldwork) and writing a dissertation. We thus seek applicants with developed intellectual interests and abilities and a strong commitment to their area of study. Applicants should outline their proposed dissertation research in their statement of intent in clear non-technical language and provide a sample of written work (if possible) that demonstrates preparation for PhD level research. We invite applications from students whose interests fall within the current interests of the Department. If applicants have questions about the match between their interests and the department, they should contact the Anthropology Graduate Secretary. Please indicate which faculty members you wish to work most closely with and contact them ahead of applying to discuss your program and their availability.

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.