1. K-State home
  2. »Arts and Sciences
  3. »SASW
  4. »Anthropology
  5. »Graduate School

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Graduate School

Kansas State University does not offer a graduate program in anthropology.  Instead, we use all of our energy and resources to create one of the best undergraduate programs in the world.  

Common Requirements for Graduate School

  • GRE: Most graduate schools require for you to take the GRE exam(s). The results in the GRE are important for you admission. Overall, elite and high ranking graduate programs give preference to students with scores in the 90th percentile or above. There are many ways in which you can prepare for these exams, and many preparation books are available at Hale Library, and other public libraries. Make sure to take your GRE with enough time so that your scores are available before your application's due date. You can retake your GRE, but your previous scores do appear below your most recent ones. Most candidates are cut off based on their GRE scores.
  • GPA: A GPA that is 3.5 (based on a 4.0 system) or more, is important. However, if you GPA is slightly lower because you have taken one or two very difficult classes you can try to explain that in your application letter. You can also ask your  advisor, or professor, to mention this in your letter of recommendation. Remember that there are alternative paths to graduate school. A low GPA can sometimes be overlooked when the applicant has gained experience after their undergraduate training. This experience will show that the candidate is committed to anthropology, and that you are serious about your interest in graduate school.
  • Writing sample: Not all schools require this, but if they do, make sure your writing sample is in the sub-discipline in which you are interested. 
  • Letters of recommendation: These must be academic, unless otherwise specified by the school. A reference from you work supervisor will not look good. You need to know your professors (at least 3 of them), so that they will feel comfortable writing you a letter.
    • Get to know your professors.
    • When you ask a professor for a letter of recommendation do not assume that they will say yes.
    • Make sure to ask them with enough time (way ahead of the deadline).
    • Don't assume the professor will automatically  know what to write about. It is your responsibility to provide your professors with a curriculum vitae (CV), and the instructions for each school. You will likely apply to more than one school, make sure to organize the schools' forms and information by due date.
  • Curriculum Vitae: Your CV may only be a couple of pages long, but you must include all your academic and non-academic activities (for assistance on how to create a CV visit: KSU Career Center). Make sure to include your awards, classes, scholarships, jobs and job positions, etc.
  • Letter of Intent: Be professional. Know the school and the faculty, and why you want to go there. Based on this, specify in your letter who you want to work with. The letter should inform the committee about your experience, the area you want to specialize in, and the subjects/issues/problems you are most interested in.
    • You may have a region, theory, or problem you are particularly interested in. Make sure to include that in your letter. Moreover, specify why that particular school, and professor, will hep train you. You can also refer to laboratories, equipment or facilities  that are available in that school.
    • Tailor each letter to each place and be very careful when you cut and paste.
    • Keep the professional tone through the letter. Avoid the following type of statements: "Ever since I was little and saw my fist Indiana Jones movie...", or "When I was five, I went to the museum....".
    • Ask others, including your Advisor, to read your letter of intent.
    • The letter of intent in commonly the third document reviewed by the committee.
  • Finishing your application: Make sure all the documents required for your application are included. If there is a place to say you want to be consider for GA (Graduate Assistant) or RA (Research Assistant) funding, make sure to state it or tick the box. Some times great applicants forget to do so, and the school is obliged not to consider them.

If you would like to explore graduate programs, or are looking for advice on how to get in, check out the links below.

Advice for Prospective Graduate Students (from 'The SAA Archaeological Record" Sept 2010 p. 12-14)
"So, You Want to Apply for Graduate School?"
What Makes a Good Graduate Student?
Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose
"How to Win a Graduate Fellowship" (Chronicle of Higher Education)
'Anthropology without Doctorate" (2010)
GRE Word List


Funding for Graduate School

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Fulbright-Hayes Doctoral Research Abroad
Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program
Graduate Extramural Support Database (GRAPES)
Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (UG & GRAD)
International Dissertation Field Research Fellowships (Social Science Research Council)
Ford Foundation Fellowship Program
American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowships
American Center for Oriental Research Fellowships (archaeology & art)
Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program (maritime archaeology)
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships (ethical & religions values)
Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Scholars Program
Chiang Cing-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (Chinese Studies)
Phi Kappa Phi fellowship and scholarship
The Field Museum (Chicago) Research Scholarships and Grants