Applying to the Ph.D. Program


August 5, 2020:

The Brown Anthropology department will not accept graduate applications during the 2021 admissions cycle. During this exceptional time, the faculty plan to focus our energy, resources, and efforts on our current graduate students. This was a difficult decision to make and we look forward to resuming our admissions process and reviewing applications in the fall of 2021.

Brown University's Ph.D. Program in Anthropology offers:

  • a stimulating, challenging, yet supportive intellectual community
  • a highly productive and diverse group of faculty members with a broad range of research and teaching interests
  • close mentoring for graduate students, both inside and outside formal coursework
  • a mutually supportive graduate student community
  • generous funding packages, with additional funds available for supplementary training and field research
  • an outstanding record of graduate student success in receiving external research grants in national and international competitions
  • a strong record of placing graduates in desirable academic and professional positions, both within the United States and abroad

The Application Deadline is December 15th of each year.  Applications are made through the Graduate School's online application portal on the Graduate School’s website. You will be asked for a personal statement of two single-spaced pages, which should convey your intellectual trajectory, describe your scholarly/research interests, and articulate why Brown’s anthropology department is the right intellectual fit for your research. Other application components are your academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. GRE scores are not required.  International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams. Further information is available for international applicants on the Graduate School’s website.

Brown’s graduate program is Ph.D. granting, and does not admit students solely pursuing a terminal Master’s degree. Students are admitted on the basis of their excellent academic credentials; strong evidence of the capacity to conduct innovative, rigorous independent research; and interests that align with the department’s overall areas of strength. If you wish to work with particular faculty members, you should make that clear in your personal statement; however, the department makes admissions decisions collectively. Our admissions process is highly selective.  Each year, the department receives over 100 applications for graduate study. We have typically made offers of admission to roughly 8-10 students per year, all of whom receive full five-year funding packages, which include tuition remission as well as an annual stipend.

The Director of Graduate Admissions is Andrew Scherer.  Contact information for  all other departmental faculty is available on the Core Faculty website

If you have a special interest in the program and are visiting the Providence area, you may contact relevant faculty members well in advance to request appointments. Faculty availability for such meetings will depend on their schedules and commitments. Additionally, feel free to contact faculty members by email.  Most faculty will be happy to respond by email to inquiries from serious candidates regarding the program and individual research interests.

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