Graduate Program in Anthropology

At the University of Georgia, themes of ecology and environment connect our cultural anthropologists, anthropological archaeologists, and biological anthropologists to one another and to scholars and practitioners beyond the department and the university.  Our interdisciplinary and integrative connections give our work scholarly and practical relevance.  We offer a Ph.D. in anthropology, and an anthropology and integrative conservation Ph.D.  A master's degree is not required to apply to our Ph.D. program.

More Information

Why pursue a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Georgia?

Here are some reasons why our department might be the right place for you!

  • Ranked in top third of anthropology Ph.D. programs by the National Research Council (placed between 15% - 33% by category).
  • Great history of student funding including grants and assistantships.
  • Strong culture of mentoring with students working closely with faculty and other students, often within lab groups.
  • A cohesive faculty and student community resting on our common interests in environment and ecology.
  • Employment success with recent Ph.D.s employed as anthropologists at universities (65%) and governmental and non-governmental organizations (25%), and other fields (10%). 
  • Students and faculty pursue local and global research, on five continents and Oceania.
  • Doctoral students in the Integrative Conservation (ICON) program pursue a degree in anthropology and integrative conservation in a program that spans anthropology, geography, ecology, and forestry & natural resources.
  • Home to the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research Project focused on landscapes and histories of the southern Appalachian Mountains. 
  • Resources for archaeologists include the Georgia Archaeological Site File, Laboratory of Archaeology, Laboratory of Archaeological Geology, Georgia Museum of Natural History, and new geophysical and biochemical technologies.
  • Resources for biological anthropologists include equipment and space at the Biological Anthropology Laboratory Complex and collaboration with UGA's Center for Applied Isotope Studies (CAIS).
  • Resources for cultural anthropologists include collaborative ties with the Center for Integrative Conservation Research and the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Project and nine laboratories.
  • Professional Seminar (Proseminar) series teaches job skills for academic and applied anthropologists.
  • The Anthropology Graduate Student Organization (AGSO) represents students' interests to the faculty, invites guest speakers, organizes annual events including the annual holiday party and chili cook-off, and edits the occasional periodical Journal of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. 
  • Guest speakers from other institutions regularly present their research to the departmental community.
  • Athens is a great place to live, with a walkable downtown, numerous live music venues, an active local food movement, a full calendar of annual events, and a relatively low cost of living.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  I do not have a master's degree.  Can I apply for your doctoral program?

A.  Yes!  We accept applicants with a bachelor's degree or a master's degree (or equivalent).

Q.  My previous degrees are not in anthropology.  Can I apply for your doctoral program?

A.  Yes!  We routinely accept applicants with degrees other than anthropology at the undergraduate and master's level, particularly in environmental science, ecology, biology, history, geography, sociology, education, etc.

Q.  If I enter the doctoral program with only a bachelor's degree, will I obtain a master's degree on way to the Ph.D.?

A.  Not normally.  Like an increasing number of anthropology programs, students pursue a doctorate without completing a master's degree along the way.  The occasional student who leaves the Ph.D. program prematurely may complete a terminal M.A. degree.

Q.  If I enter the doctoral program with a master's degree, does that mean I can complete the Ph.D. faster?

A.  In some cases.  Some graduate courses may count toward your "program of study" (your coursework plan) with the approval of your major professor and your advisory committee.

Q.  What do you mean by "major professor" and "advisory committee?"

A.  Each Ph.D. student works closely with one professor who serves as advisor and mentor.  If you see a professor or professors you would like to work with, we encourage you to send them an email of introduction before applying. 

By the end of their first year in the program students must also assemble an advisory committee of faculty who will guide their training and provide additional advice. 

Q.  What does the department look for in an applicant?  GREs?  GPA?

A.  GREs and GPA are important, but our primary criterion is "fit."  Our philosophy is to admit specific applicants who match the interests and availability of our faculty.  We judge an applicant's fit by their CV and Statement of Intent.   It also helps if the applicant has communicated with their potential major professor beforehand. 

Q.  How does the Integrative Conservation (ICON) program work?  Would I earn a Doctorate in Anthropology or in Integrative Conservation?

A.  Integrative Conservation (ICON) is a doctoral program that spans Anthropology, Geography, Ecology, and Forestry & Natural Resources.  The term "integrative" refers to the partnering of natural and social science approaches to conservation theory and practice.

ICON students must fulfill all the requirements of their home discipline (anthropology) plus the ICON program.  The doctorate is a single diploma in "Anthropology and Integrative Conservation."

ICON has its own graduate coordinator and graduate committee that makes admissions decisions separately from (but in consultation with) anthropology. 

Q.  How will I pay for graduate school?

A.  Most of our students in residence are funded from teaching or research assistantships.  Our students have a great track record of obtaining external funding (from federal and private foundations) to support their dissertation research.  Please click on the "Assistantships and Grants" tab below for more specific information.

Q.  I'm the first person in my family to even think of applying to a Ph.D. program.  Am I kidding myself thinking I can succeed in graduate school?

A. Please apply!  Anthropology is a field that embraces a diversity of life experiences.

Q.  I have more questions!  What should I do?

A.  Take a look at our graduate student handbook and the ICON handbook. Please feel free to address other questions to the graduate coordinator, Dr. Susan Tanner, or the graduate advisor, Ms. Margie Floyd, and for the ICON program to Dr. Nik Heynen.


How to Apply

The application deadline for Anthropology is January 1, but we encourage you to submit your application materials before this date. Review of your application only begins once all the materials arrive in the department, which can take several weeks.

The application consists of two parts.

Part 1: Documents sent to the Graduate School.

Please visit the Graduate School's application page for complete instructions. Use the online portal to supply basic information as well as your CV and Statement of Intent, send requests for three letters of recommendation, and pay the application fee.

  • Submit your GRE scores to the Graduate School using our ETS code: 5813.
  • Send two copies of transcripts from all previous universities and colleges that you have attended to:

        The University of Georgia
 Office of Graduate Admissions
        279 Williams Street
        Athens, GA 30602-1777

  • If your primary language is not English you must have Educational Testing Service submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Graduate School on your behalf using our ETS code: 5813.

Part 2: Documents sent to the department using the following address:

        Department of Anthropology
        250A Baldwin Hall, Jackson St.
        University of Georgia
        Athens, Georgia 30602-1619